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Policy: Labor

Striking San Francisco transit workers earn 75 percent above median wage

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Labor,California,Analysis,San Francisco

Striking workers for San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system are expected to vote down the latest contract proposal to end their strike, according to local union officials.

The proposal would preserve a base salary 75 percent higher than the region's median household income.

The workers have been on strike since Thursday, the latest action in the long-running talks. The strikers demanded a 23 percent raise.

The proposed contract includes a 12 percent raise, but that is offset by 4 percent higher pension contributions and 9.5 percent higher health care premiums. Unions complain the offsets make the proposal a wash for them.

Still, staying in place is a pretty good deal for the workers, who are the most well-off transit workers in the nation. Their base annual salary is $71,000, not counting $11,000 in overtime.

The median household income in the San Francisco region is $40,522, according to Census data.

A San Francisco Chronicle analysis found that the transit workers currently pay "much less for their health coverage than many other transit agencies, and their zero contribution to a generous pension package is a better deal than most other transit employees receive."

Hat tip: Reason's Jess Remington.

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Author:

Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner