San Francisco Muni drivers sue to block parts of Proposition G 

Muni operators are taking Proposition G to the courts with a lawsuit seeking to block provisions in the voter-approved measure.

According to documents filed last week, operators have objections to a provision that gives the transportation agency the ability to negotiate work rules and compensation. The measure also eliminated a requirement that drivers’ salaries will be at least the second-highest in the U.S.

The provision causing the most objections, however, is one that gives the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency management more leverage in case of an impasse during bargaining. If an impasse occurs during bargaining, it will fall on an independent arbitrator who must consider the impact the potential contract has on service and fares.

According to the lawsuit some of the impasse resolutions will only apply to Muni workers and “effectively prohibit an arbitrator from ruling in the Union’s favor.”

“Proposition G’s arbitration procedure is so one-sided and restrictive of the arbitrators authority that the process is impermissibly onerous and illusory, and leaves transit employees with no effective remedy in the event of a bargaining impasse,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit was filed by the Transportation Workers Union Local 250A, which represents more than 2,000 Muni workers, along with five other unions. It names the city and county of San Francisco and SFMTA chief Nathaniel Ford as defendants. Local 250A officials and their attorneys were not immediately available for comment.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the agency continues to bargain with operator unions and plans to “uphold the will of the voters.”

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener called for Muni to bargain effectively.

“It’s not enough to get a few concessions,” Wiener said. “And it’s not enough to nibble around the edges.”

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