Of the 2,100 Muni drivers currently employed by the SF MTA, some 900 or so are unavailable for work on any given day due to sick leave, long-term leave, or days off. The Examiner reports that only 58% of workers, about 1,225, are available most days to cover the 1,300+ runs, and that Muni is ending a year-long hiring freeze and is about to take on 120 new drivers in the next six months. But would Muni need to make so many new hires if their workforce were better managed (and healthier)? With 345 people out sick each day, something might be up there -- though Muni recently instituted a policy requiring a doctor's note in order to take a sick day, which is probably an indicator that people have been abusing the sick leave thing for a while.
Walter Scott, secretary-treasurer of the Muni drivers' union, says “I don’t see it being any different than any other year or any other workplace.” But really, Walter? We don't know of too many workplaces where 16% of the employees call in sick on an average day, and almost half aren't available to work. Not that people shouldn't have days off, we're just sayin'.