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Muni operators president tentatively agrees to 3-year wage freeze

Operators of buses and trains would see a three-year pay freeze but more support for their children’s health care, under a tentative agreement between Muni and the union’s president.

The union said Friday in a memo that it was working to iron out the details of a contract with the management of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. A notice from the head of the union was posted on a bulletin board at Muni’s Woods Division. A photo of the notice, signed and dated by Cabrera, was sent to SF Public Press by a Muni operator.

The memo, from Transport Workers Union 250-A President Rafael Cabrera, came a few days after transit supervisors struck a similar deal. The operators’ union represents 2,000 Muni employees. 

The agency faces a $22 million budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, and has been in negotiations with the union for at least two months. The talks follow last November’s voter-approved Proposition G, which allows the agency to set wages through collective bargaining and change work rules. Before the proposition passed, salaries were set by a provision in the city charter requiring Muni to pay the nation’s second-highest salaries.

The contract still needs to be ratified by transit operators, but the notice says that Cabrera and Muni have agreed that there would be no wage cuts and a salary freeze for the next three years. The agency has also agreed to pay more for monthly premiums for dependents.

Cabrera said in the notice that the tentative labor agreement would be presented to employees at each Muni division station, where operators can get questions answered. At the end of the notice, he said the new contract would not interfere with the union’s continued legal battle against Proposition G. The union has a filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, saying the proposition violated a federal act guaranteeing workers’ fair bargaining rights.

Charlie Goodyear, a spokesman for Muni, said Friday that he knew nothing about the notice, but said: “The SFMTA and Local 250-A have agreed in concept to certain critical elements for a new collective bargaining agreement.”

 The agency has previously said they hope to wrap up labor talks by end of the month.