Muni chief blames charter provision 

The executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Nathaniel Ford said Friday The City Charter provision that drivers are guaranteed the second highest wage of transit agencies in the nation is to blame for the Muni operators’ reluctance to negotiate.
“With that the salaries being set as the second highest average in the country there is not a lot of leverage for management to negotiate,” Ford said, during the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee hearing on a proposal charter amendment about Muni operations. “It’s difficult for me to put myself in their shoes. But if I am in the union leadership what do I gain by negotiating a work rule that reduces my compensation? I just won’t come to the table. There is no leverage. However, if at the end of the contract I am not going to receive this charter amendment raise that’s automatically given to me if I am not going to receive that then I am more apt to negotiate to increase my compensation or make some modifications that increases my actual compensation. With that charter amendment there, there really isn’t any impetus to bargain. I think that is why they are uniquely positioned that way.”
Voters are expected to have the opportunity this November to vote on a ballot measure that would eliminate this provision in the charter.

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