Muni workers and common sense

|
(7)

I'm never the one arguing that city workers should take pay cuts, furloughs, benefit cuts or layoffs when there are ways to bring in new revenue. Remember: Layoffs and furloughs are, by definition, service cuts. And it's a good thing to have city employees make enough money to live in San Francisco, raise families, send their kids to college etc. Maintaining a middle class in San Francisco through public-sector jobs is a fine use of taxpayer dollars (particularly if those dollars can come from the rich).

But I have to say: The Muni workers union isn't being very smart. Refusing to accept any concessions at a time when every other union in the city -- particularly SEIU Local 1021, whose members typically earn a lot less money than the bus drivers -- have stepped up to the plate and accepted painful cut is politically foolish.

And for the Muni union leaders to say that the system's budget problems aren't their responsibility sounds terrible. Most other city employee unions show some loyalty to the people they serve, and are interested in making their departments work, and understand that in very bad times, everyone's got to give a little.

The problem is that Sup. Sean Elsbernd wants to change the way Muni workers are paid, and his ballot measure could lead to significant pay cuts and work-rule changes, things the union really doesn't want. And every headline about Muni workers refusing concessions gives Elsbernd more signatures, more supporters and more votes. 

Comments

.... aaaaand scene.

Elsbernd FTW. He was already going to get it on the ballot. Now it's just a question of the margin by which it will pass.

Posted by generic on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

What's your point?

Posted by Guest on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

In the middle of the worst economic recession since the Depression I'd like to see exactly which coalition is going to come out and try to convince the voters of our fair city that MUNI workers should be exempt from the takebacks everyone else has had to accept. And regardless - Elsbernd's measure can and will pass - by a huge margin.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

Tim

About once a year or so, you write something I agree with. So, congratulations.

What is galling about the Muni workers intransigence is that they are perfectly happy to see service cuts of 10%, on top of last year's service cuts. They really don't care about running Muni into the ground. they only care about their bloated pay and benefits, and their outrageously inflexible work practices.

If it were up to me, I'd fire the lot of them and start over.

Posted by TomFoolery on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

I am a member of local 1021 and our members have given up a lot including some layoffs of our health care workers. We have just agreed to 12 ffurlough days for the next 2 years. That's 24 days without pay. Why do MUNI workers feel that they should be exempt from giving up anything when other city unions are willing to give back something? Any MUNI workers want to reply?

Posted by Guest TR Barton on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 8:24 am

I am a member of local 1021 and our members have given up a lot including some layoffs of our health care workers. We have just agreed to 12 ffurlough days for the next 2 years. That's 24 days without pay. Why do MUNI workers feel that they should be exempt from giving up anything when other city unions are willing to give back something? Any MUNI workers want to reply?

Posted by Guest TR Barton on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 8:22 am

There is no arguing the fact that Muni is in need of some serious fixing, but why does the fix to this, and other similar budgetary conondrums, always seem to come at the expense of the workers, or involve cuts in services to the general public. The expenses incurred in running Muni have been a problem for decades. A 'quick fix' has been has also been available and proposed for decades. The major 'beneficiaries' of our "Public Transportation" system are the downtown businesses and corporations. It is way past time for them to make a significant contribution to the running and upkeep of Muni. It would be interesting to know how much revenue the city would generate if even 1% of the profits they transfer out of the city's economy was levied against them
I am also curious as to whether the City Attorney has plans to investigate the proceedures by which the signatures were gathered to place the Elsbernd/Fix Muni initiative on the ballot. For example did every signature gatherer carry the full text of the initiative and related documents, and require that all signatories were fully informed of all the pros and cons.
I trust he will ensure that the same obscure and onerous requirements that led him to invalidate the rights of over 30,000 registered voters who requested a ballot initiative on the Lennar/BayView Hunter's Point Urban Renewal scheme, are as strictly enforced in this instance.
I'm not 'suggesting' anything here...nudge, nudge, wink, wink....but could it just be a coincidence that BVHP has probably the highest concentration of Black residents in the City; that Local 250-A has probably a higher percentage of Black members than any other Local ???
Just curious.
Pat Monk.RN. Noe Valley

Posted by Guest Patrick Monk on Jun. 25, 2010 @ 1:44 pm