Monday, June 06, 2011

Well... Muni is still a mess

Tomorrow the MTA gives the people of San Francisco another gift: price increases!

Isn't that just amazingly good. I mean, anytime they can't manage their budget, its the ridership who gets to pay the price. Our unelected, and apparently unaccountable MTA leadership has managed to increase the cost of ridership while decreasing the service.

But hey, at least the operators are getting paid their exhorbitant salaries. I mean, its only fair that the union gets to stick it to the rest of San Francisco.

But I guess I shouldn't complain that much, I mean after all Nathaniel Ford, who apparently is failing at getting hired away to anywhere else in the country did take a 2 percent pay cut earlier this year. That means he only makes $308,837 this year. That $6,000 dollar pay cut he took really benefitted the ridership. 

(In case you wanted to know, the mayor of San Francisco makes $252,000 - and he took a $7,000.)

Now, as this is going on, Muni is negotiating its labor contracts. So far, they have gotten two to the "tentative deal" phase, meaning that the union membership has yet to approve it. The IBEW contract will save a forecasted million dollars.  The same situation is going on with the operators union (Local-250A). Their proposed deal will save $21 million over three years (or $7 million or so per year). 

However, the problem with the operator deal is that they still do not address some of the fundamental problems going on with Muni. First, the operators are still going to be making an obscene amount of money. No cuts in pay. Not cuts in starting salary pay.  And all it guarantees is a freeze for 3 years. Second, they still do not make any contribution to their pensions. All that Mr. Ford's wonderful negotiating has done is getting the union to accept the use of more part time drivers. That was not even the bare minimum. 


Mr. Ford had virtually every bit of support going for him. The Board of Supervisors and the people of the city were dead set against the sweetheart deals that the operators have had for far too long without any corresponding performance on their part.  Yet for some reason, this is going to be allowed to happen because our elected leaders are unwilling to do what is necessary to complete the reform of Muni started by the Prop G movement.

Another opportunity missed. But hey, rather than deal with a real problem, San Francisco wants to debate circumcisions. 

Ford needs to be sacked. The unions need to be put in their place and reminded that their rank and file is here to work for the people of this City and not vice versa. 

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