“Fix Muni Now”

San Franciscans have put up with late buses, fare increases and service cuts for too long. Now San Franciscans have the opportunity to stand up and say that enough is enough and we need to Fix Muni Now!

To improve Muni service and oppose unjust fare increases and unnecessary cuts, hardworking San Franciscans are joining the Fix Muni Now campaign and signing the petition to place a reform measure on the November 2010 ballot. The transit-first measure will prioritize the needs of riders by removing from the City Charter salary guarantees for bus drivers and reducing work rules that impair transit operations.

San Francisco is a world-class City that deserves a world-class transit agency. Unfortunately, the MTA has little ability to deliver an efficient transit system because the City Charter guarantees bus operators the second highest salary in the country and labor agreements restrict the MTA’s ability to deploy bus operators in a manner that reflects riders’ needs.

Currently, the MTA has no ability to negotiate Muni operator wages because the Muni operators’ salaries are set in the City Charter. As a result, Muni drivers routinely receive raises when the transit agency is facing cutbacks. This year, Muni drivers will receive an $8 million raise while the MTA management is forced to balance a $50+ million deficit on the backs of Muni riders by raising fares and reducing service 10 percent citywide.

The measure will remove from the City Charter reference to Muni operators’ wages, allowing the MTA the ability to negotiate salaries and benefits through the collective bargaining process used by all other employee bargaining groups. This change will prevent drivers from receiving huge pay increases in deficit years which will help to preserve Muni services when the budget situation is bleak.

The measure will also reduce outdated and inflexible work rules that have impaired transit operations for years. The measure will encourage new and improved work rules that will be responsive to riders’ needs. Currently, there is no incentive for the Muni operators to change antiquated work rules that have proven to be counterproductive from a service and ridership perspective. Giving the MTA the ability to negotiate salaries and benefits will increase system-wide efficiency and effectiveness through improved work rules.

With the MTA facing record deficits and considering further reductions in services now is the time to fix Muni. We are asking the people of San Francisco to support the Fix Muni Now campaign, so that the MTA has the tools to provide world-class service to San Francisco.

For instructions on how to sign the petition or more information, please visit www.FixMuniNow or call (415) 640-7278.

May 2010