The tentative union deal between the Transit Workers Union and the SFMTA flamed out pretty hard yesterday. The Transit Worker's Union rejected SFMTA's proposal by an overwhelming margin, once again going against the recommendation of the Union bosses and shooting down money-saving efforts. While Muni Chief Nat Ford flatly expressed his disappointment with the outcome, officials from the Union laid the blame on Charlie Goodyear, SFMTA's outsider PR flack-for-hire.

TWU president Rafael Cabrera made it clear his Union wasn't happy after Goodyear violated the Union's trust by releasing details on the deal before the operators union could take a look at them. Cabrera told the media, "The actions by management’s spokesman created a sense of mistrust and confusion that was hard to overcome." Of course, that would also make a convenient excuse to reject cost-saving measures for the third time in a year and a half without making the operators look like the bad guys here.

The currently deceased contract, which would have allowed the agency to hire part-timers, cut down on overtime pay and boot non-licensed drivers off the payroll, will now go to an arbitrator who is expected to lay out new terms after meeting with the Operators Union and Muni management later today. The arbitrator is expected to issue a decision on new terms by next Tuesday and the final contract will take effect on July 1.

(Loosely related: Can we talk about how the Muni Operators still vote by stuffing ballots in a barrel?)