Newsom responds to transit union's contract rejection 

Mayor Gavin Newsom said Transit Union leaders completely misread the public’s will when they rejected $14.9 million in concessions that would kept Muni from raising fares and cutting services to The City’s most vulnerable populations.

But this Friday, Muni is poised to pass a proposal to increase fares and cut services to offset its $16.9 million budget shortfall.

“For them to reject that last contract and negotiate in good faith was a terrible mistake,” Newsom said. “If they don’t step up, I promise you they will see something on the ballot that will go much further and much deeper and will be much more problematic from their perspective.”

Supervisor Sean Elsbernd is backing a ballot measure that calls for changes to the union’s work rules. Under the union’s current contract, members will get $8 million in raises next fiscal year. Elsbernd is trying to collect 50,000 signatures to get union reform on the November ballot.

Newsom said he doesn’t believe work rules should be negotiated on the ballot, but union members have left The City no choice, he said.

“You can’t take a raise in this environment and have the average citizen accept that,” Newsom said.

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Erin Sherbert

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