San Francisco Elimination of Pay Guarantees for Muni Operators, Proposition G (November 2010)

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A San Francisco Elimination of Pay Guarantees for Municipal Workers from the City Charter, Proposition G ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in San Francisco as an initiated city charter amendment.[1] It was approved.

San Francisco superintendent Sean Elsbernd was a leading force behind the initiative.

San Francisco's muni operators are guaranteed, by a provision in San Francisco's city charter, the second-highest city salaries in the nation.[2]

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (MUNI), the agency that supervises the muni operators, projected a $16.9 million deficit through June 30, 2010, and a $53 million deficit for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2010.[2]

On July 1, 2010, all of San Francisco's muni workers received a 5.5% raise. They were the only city workers to receive a raise.[3]

In the wake of Proposition G's significant victory at the polls, its chief sponsor, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, said, ""(Muni chief) Nat Ford and management have been given a tremendous tool to negotiate a fair and equitable contract. The public and political pressure on them to follow through will be great."[4]

Election results

Proposition G
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 164,234 64.94%
No 88,671 35.06%


Election results are from the San Francisco elections division as of November 26, 2010.

Aftermath

Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, a union that represents about 2,000 muni operators, filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court the first week of March 2011.[5]

The union is trying to block several key provisions of Proposition G. Specifically, they hope that a judge will nullify these parts of Proposition G:

  • If operators and management reach impasse at the bargaining table, according to Prop G, the impasse is to be turned over to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator must take into account the impact that any proposed contract would have on fares and service. According to the lawsuit, this provision of Prop G "render[s] the good-faith bargaining procedure mandated by state law impermissibly onerous and illusory (and) ... effectively prohibits an arbitrator from ruling in the unions' favor on important and mandatory subjects of bargaining."
  • Over the years, the union has negotiated a number of agreements with the Municipal Transportation Agency that fall outside the scope of their contract with the agency. Prop G nullifies all those agreements, leaving it exclusively up to the MTA whether to keep them.A clause in Prop G that nullifies long-standing agreements with the operators negotiated outside the scope of their contract, unless top agency officials agree to keep them.

Supporters

Supporters of Proposition G included:

  • San Francisco Supervisor Sean Elsbernd
  • The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association[6]

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Proposition G: Shall the City eliminate the formula for setting minimum MUNI operator wages and instead set MUNI operator wages through collective bargaining and binding arbitration; add rules for arbitration proceedings regarding MTA’s transit employees; and make other changes to terms of employment for MTA employees?[7]

Path to the ballot

As an initiated amendment to the San Francisco charter, 44,799 valid signatures were required to qualify the measure for the ballot.[1]

Supporters turned in 74,884 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot in early July.[3]

About $320,000 was donated to the campaign to enable the collection of the signatures.[3]

According to San Francisco Examiner reporter Melissa Griffin, writing during the petition drive for signatures, "In light of the operators’ recent refusal to make labor concessions, people are signing the petition for this with flourish, in big letters, and in red ink — the same color as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s bloody financial statements."[8]

External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Local ballot measure campaigns reach the finish line", July 6, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 San Francisco Chronicle, "Muni operators want supe's ballot measure off the table", February 23, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 San Francisco Appeal, "Money, Muni Fuel Successful "Fix Muni" Petition Drive", July 1, 2010
  4. San Francisco Chronicle, "SF Prop. G backers call it mandate to reform Muni", November 8, 2010
  5. San Francisco Chronicle, "Unions sue over Prop. G", March 9, 2011
  6. San Francisco Streets Blog, "Proposition G and the Fix Muni Syndrome", October 14, 2010
  7. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  8. San Francisco Examiner, "Must make suckers pay", June 24, 2010