MUNI Train in front of San Francisco Ferry Building in Embarcadero in San Francisco

San Francisco Ferry Building and MUNI (Photo credit: Diego Grandi)

After Muni Director's Sudden Resignation, Workers Demand Safety

Jenna Lane
May 03, 2019 - 12:05 am

SAN FRANCISCO — The news that San Francisco’s director of transportation will step down amid worries about bus and train service comes just as the city negotiates new contracts with Municipal Transportation Agency workers.

Unions rallied their members during a break in bargaining at SFMTA headquarters Thursday and many Muni workers said they hope the next director prioritizes their safety.

Nicole Christian processes parking and traffic citations for the SFMTA. Like almost everyone else at the rally, she knows coworkers who have been hurt on the job. She hopes the SFMTA’s next director will be sympathetic to that. 

“We need a director who understands when our parking control officers are on the street writing a ticket, they’re at a higher risk of assault. Every July 1, they increase the parking fines, and every July 1 like clockwork parking officers are attacked, assaulted, spit on.”

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Roger Marenco, president of the Muni operators’ union, said his members share the health and safety concerns of other MTA workers.

“Whatever the number is, you have to maybe double that. Because of the fact that there are many assaults that go unreported, due to fear of retaliation," Marenco said. 

SFMTA officials do not comment on the ongoing negotiations with labor unions, but both sides are hoping to get a new contract nailed down before the current one expires at the end of June. Director Ed Reiskin is set to leave the agency in August, and a nationwide search for his replacement is under way.

The SFMTA is confronting a variety of problems, including a safety hazard with the doors in its stock of new trains and a recent power outage that caused widespread delays.