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Runaway overtime for Muni

A Muni bus makes its way down Market Street.
A Muni bus makes its way down Market Street.

Over the past few days, much has been made about the final tallies for overtime among San Francisco's agencies. Muni turned out to be City Hall's biggest spender, dropping more than $55 million in overtime last year – $18 million more than the agency had budgeted. 

The San Francisco Chronicle's Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross note that Muni employed 22 of the city's top 25 overtime wage earners, with 10 agency supervisors taking home more than $100,000 in overtime last year. The column also attributes the massive overages to keeping buses and trains running: Muni chief's, Ed Reiskin, pointed to a new train control system and lots of night work when asked about the primary reasons the numbers seemed so inflated.

KGO-TV reports that Muni is aiming for a 20 percent reduction in overtime costs this year, with the transit authority looking to keep its overtime expenses below $42 million. KGO also notes that one mechanic made more than twice his base pay, logging almost 2,000 hours of overtime to the tune of more than $163,000. The Snitch, SF Weekly's news blog, did a little digging and found that this same mechanic took home almost $140,000 in overtime in 2011. 

Such high overtime pay isn’t the only controversial compensation Muni has paid to employees in recent years. As The Bay Citizen’s Zusha Elinson reported last July, the agency paid thousands of dollars in bonuses to top executives for meeting or exceeding on-time performance goals that were inflated by as much as 18 percent.

So, what are we getting for these significant budget overages? Do you trust that Muni is spending its funds appropriately? Weigh in with your solutions in the comments, or shoot me an email at mmcintosh@baycitizen.org.

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