Let’s Pay People More Money to Do What They’re Supposed To Anyway!

Reading the paper this morning, articles in the Chronicle and the Examiner told of a simply fascinating idea – paying MUNI employees “bonus” money for simply coming to work – like they’re already supposed to. (Why can’t any of us get deals like that, eh?)
Once again, MUNI logic and Real World Logic collide. Given that members of Local 250A are already the highest paid drivers in the area, I don’t quite understand why it is we need to pay these guys another bonus simply for doing what they’re supposed to be doing – showing up to work every day. Plus the $350 “bonus” doesn’t seem like much of an incentive if workers can take extended leaves of absence – and get paid!
I am still working on talking to Supervisor Peskin directly about his recent proposed charter amendment for the fall ballot that would address some MUNI issues. In the meantime, do you think paying MUNI employees a “bonus” to show up to work, and perhaps reduce the rampant absenteeism causing some of the delays on the N, the J, the T, et al is a good idea? Let people know in the comments today!

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7 Responses to Let’s Pay People More Money to Do What They’re Supposed To Anyway!

  1. sf_fan says:

    absolutely ridiculous.. only in SF and only in MUNI or “MTA”.
    so much for having responsible employees and all that…
    and this is just the smaller union, wait until the others jump on board!

  2. Dan Berkes says:

    I’ve worked in environments where bonuses based on attendance (among other factors) were offered, and even when those environments were low-paying call center jobs, $350 a year wouldn’t have been sufficient motivation for staff.
    Across all incentive-offering jobs, though, the one thing that always did seem to improve attendance and attitude was the swift and sudden firing of a few high-profile offenders.

  3. omnicrondelicious says:

    Absenteeism bonuses are not unheard of. Heck, there’s an absenteeism incentive at my office, albeit not a cash bonus.
    If it succeeds in reducing absenteeism, and the net cost of the bonus is less than the cost of overtime we currently pay to offset absenteeism, then the program is a success. If it doesn’t, then it’s not. I don’t get my knickers in a not over some perceived pseudo-injustice about it…
    There’s an underlying point in your post, that the Union seems to have rediculously good benefits that generally screws everyone else. I completley agree though I’m not sure what to do about it.
    re: dantc – not sure how you fire people for absenteeism when they legitimately have sick-time. Unless you have private detectives catching people who might be abusing it. But otherwise you can’t be fired for calling in sick.

  4. Cornelius S. Orthopaedia says:

    Wonderful. As someone who had to wait 30 minutes Tuesday morning for a bus that’s supposed to come every ten because a driver or two decided to make their three-day weekend a four-day weekend, I think a small cash bonus won’t do a goddamn thing to improve driver attendance.

  5. Dan Berkes says:

    omnicrondelicious: The issue typically isn’t about inspecting the validity of sick day claims, but actually enforcing the existing workplace policies on absenteeism, up to requiring doctor’s notes for excessive callouts.
    MUNI has a driver shortage at the moment and doesn’t believe they can afford to lose the ones they have, so they’re lax on enforcing existing policies. This exacerbates an already critical problem.
    Having worked in companies with similar issues, I’ve noted that when new management comes in(or starts going by the book again), it only takes a handful of firings for everyone to suddenly get with the program. It’s a somewhat traumatic thing to do, though, but sometimes it’s needed.

  6. Honestly, this will only work once and only once.
    I don’t know if another transit union hasn’t gotten Muni’s union hip to this yet, but they already tried this on the East Coast. When those workers found out how little they keep after taxes, they called in sick, the following year.

  7. transit troublemaker says:

    dock absentee overacheivers a day’s seniority for each excess day off. seniority drives access to easier schedules and better retirement deals.

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