A Muni trolley bus rolls on the system's No. 6-Parnassus route. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)
A Muni trolley bus rolls on the system’s No. 6-Parnassus route. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED) (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

San Francisco transportation officials confirmed Monday that they’ve reached a tentative agreement in a contract dispute with Muni bus and rail operators that led to the partial shutdown of the city’s transit system earlier this month.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director Ed Reiskin said after a closed session of the agency’s board that former Mayor Willie Brown mediated the pact at the request of Mayor Ed Lee.

“I do believe it wouldn’t have happened without him,” Reiskin said of Brown’s role in brokering the new contract. The union will vote on the agreement next week. If it approves the deal, the MTA board of directors will vote on the pact July 15.

No details of the agreement were immediately available, but the major dispute between the two sides centered on future pension payments that union members will make.

An agreement reached in early May, and later rejected by the rank and file of Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, called for workers to begin paying 7.5 percent in pension contributions for which the city has been responsible. In exchange, union members would get a 5.05 percent wage increase to offset the the new pension payment. They’d also get a raise of 3 percent in the first year of the two-year contract, and a cost of living increase of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in the second year.

Union officials said an analysis of the deal, done after they had initially agreed to the pact,showed that members would actually have less take-home pay despite their higher gross wages, which could have reached $33 an hour.

The dispute led Local 250-A members to reject the contract with a 96 percent “no” vote. That decision was followed by a three-day sickout in early June that crippled Muni service.


Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

Twitter: twitter.com/danbrekke
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