Board of Supervisors will vote today to take a position on the sick-out that has crippled transit system and created severe negative impacts on residents and the economy
San Francisco - At today's Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener will introduce a resolution urging San Francisco Muni drivers to end their illegal sick-out, return to work, and resolve their labor dispute through the required arbitration process. Due to the sudden emergence of the sick-out and its immediate and drastic impact on the city, the resolution will be placed on today's imperative agenda and voted on by the Board of Supervisors today.
For the second day in a row today, Muni drivers have called in sick en masse, bringing the system to its knees, stranding riders, and undermining the economy. Under San Francisco's charter, strikes are prohibited, and Muni drivers, having rejected management's contract offer, are required to participate in arbitration to resolve the dispute.
"Muni carries 700,000 riders a day - almost half of all transit trips in the Bay Area - and is the only way for many residents to get to work, school, and go about their lives," said Supervisor Wiener. "Muni is crucial to our city's economy, and we cannot do without it. We have an enormous amount of work to do to get Muni back on track, including passing funding measures this November, and this sick-out undermines public confidence in the agency. Muni drivers have a tough job, and they deserve good pay and benefits as well as respect for their service to our city. Similarly, Muni riders deserve to have a functional system to get to work, school, doctor's appointments, the grocery store, and elsewhere. Muni drivers need to end the sick-out, get the system back up and running, and go through the charter-mandated arbitration process to arrive at a contract."
Proposition G, passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2010, provides that in the event of a labor impasse between Muni and its drivers, the parties must participate in arbitration. Prop G sets the standards for that arbitration process.
Generally, when resolutions are introduced at the Board of Supervisors, the resolutions must sit at least one week before the Board takes actions on them. However, in cases where urgent city business arises after the agenda for the coming meeting has been printed and noticed, a Board member may introduce a resolution at the meeting and request that it be placed on the imperative agenda of that same meeting. As the Muni driver sick-out only became public on Monday morning, days after the Board agenda was printed, Supervisor Wiener has requested that this urgent public interest measure be heard and voted on today at the Board of Supervisors.