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PEB 243
Updated On: Apr 28, 2012

Presidential Emergency Board 243

President Obama established Emergency Board (PEB) No. 243 on October 6, to investigate and make recommendations for settlement of the current disputes between the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC) and five other unions, and the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC). The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) are two of the six unions that comprise the RLBC.

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The five-member PEB has 30 days from when it was empanelled on October 7 to investigate and make recommendations to President Obama regarding a settlement of the contract disputes. There is another mandatory 30-day cooling off period that follows. PEB 243 began hearings in Washington, D.C. on October 13.

If the PEB recommendations fail to lead to a voluntary settlement, then the parties would be free to engage in self-help once again at the expiration of the second 30-day cooling off period, which would be December 7, 2011. It is possible for Congress to intervene and legislatively mandate a settlement. If this is done, Congress typically would take the recommendations of the PEB and write them into law.
 
The ongoing dispute over wages and health care benefits dates to early 2009 when negotiations began between the BLET and BMWED and NCCC for a new collective bargaining agreement. The Railway Labor Act (RLA) governs contract negotiations between the parties. The appointment of the PEB comes at the close of the mandatory 30-day cooling off period, a step in the RLA process that began on September 6, 2011. That’s when the National Mediation Board (NMB) released the BLET, BMWED, and the 10 other RLBC unions from mediation with the rail carriers. In total, the 11 rail labor unions involved in the dispute represent 75 percent of all rail workers in the United States who work for major Class 1 railroads.

White House Press Release

Carrier Submissions

Carrier Exhibits

Union Submission

Proceedings

Final Report

President Simpson's letter on the release of PEB243 recommendations

November 21 Bargaining Update

December 2, 2011 Cooling-Off Extension

December 15, 2011 - NCCC responds to President Simpson's 12/12/2011 letter

February 2, 2012 - A Tentative BMWED freight agreement has been Reached

February 8, 2012 The Agreement, and the BMWED's Summary Statement

February 27, 2012 Estimated Back Pay under the Tentative Agreement

March 2, 2012 Tentative BMWED/CSXT Memorandum of Agreement.

March 2, 2012 Tentative BMWED/NS Memorandum of Agreement.

March 20, 2012 Ballots mailed to membership for vote on Tentative Agreement.

March 21 Requests for Duplicate Ballots

April 20, 2012 National Agreement Ratifies
 


RAILROADS REAP RECORD PROFITS BUT REFUSE TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE MEAL ALLOWANCE FOR EMPLOYEES HELD AWAY FROM HOME

November 11, 2011 - Washington, DC – Late Wednesday afternoon, the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) categorically rejected the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division’s (BMWED) compromise offer on meals and lodging reimbursement for traveling employees. The BMWED made its compromise offer as an attempt to reach a voluntary settlement of negotiations with the nation’s railroads prior to the end of the “cooling off” period set to expire at 12:01 AM, December 6th. Read More...


October 6, 2011 - BMWED Press Release announcing President Obama's appointment of a five member Presidential Emergency Board (PEB-243) today, narrowly averting a national freight rail strike, or lock-out. On September 6, 2011, the National Mediation Board (NMB) released the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters (BMWED/IBT), and ten other rail labor unions from mediation, and, pursuant to Section 5 of the Railway Labor Act, the parties were in a 30 day cooling off period that would have expired at 12:01 AM, October 7, had the President not appointed the PEB.


October 7, 2011 - Offical White House press release wherin President Obama announced his intentions as to appointees for Presidential Emergency Board 243


October 10, 2011 - National Mediation Board's Instructions to the Parties


Carrier Submissions

1. CARRIER'S TRANSMITAL LETTER
2. CARRIERS’ SUBMISSION No. 1: SUMMARY OF POSITION
3. CARRIERS’ SUBMISSION No. 2: HISTORY AND CONTEXT OF THE DISPUTE
4. CARRIERS’ SUBMISSION No. 3: TOTAL COMPENSATION
5. CARRIERS’ SUBMISSION No. 4: WAGES

Carrier Exhibits

Exhibit #3 REPORT OF DR. KEVIN MURPHY, PhD.,  GEORGE J. STIGLER DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Exhibit #4 REPORT OF CHARLES H. FAY, PhD.
PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT AND LABOR RELATIONS
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
Exhibit #5 REPORT OF DR. ROBERT TOPEL, PhD.
ISIDORE & GLADYS BROWN  
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
BOOTH SCHOOL OF BUSINESS  
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Exhibit #6 REPORT OF DR. DAVID S. EVANS
CHAIRMAN, GLOBAL ECONOMICS GROUP
Exhibit #7 REPORT OF DR. ROBERT E. GALLAMORE, PhD.  
AND MR. JOHN T. GRAY
Exhibit #8 REPORT OF DR. B. KELLY EAKIN AND DR. PHILIP E. SCHOECH
LAURITS R. CHRISTENSEN ASSOCIATES, INC.
Exhibit #9 REPORT OF DR. JOSEPH P. NEWHOUSE
JOHN D. MACARTHUR PROFESSOR OF HEALTH POLICY AND
MANAGEMENT, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL, HARVARD
MEDICAL SCHOOL, HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Exhibit #10 REPORT ON COST of HEALTH AND WELFARE by Mr. PILTCH of the CAMBRIDGE ADVISORY GROUP

Union Submissions

BMWED's Statement regarding the rectification of Intra-Carrier Rate Inequities on Rail Carriers controlled by Norfolk Southern. Download and view here

BMWED"s Statement regarding Improvements in the Rest-Day Travel Allowance paid to employees Working Away from home. Download and view here

BMWED's Statement regarding Improvements to Expenses Away From Home. Download and view here

A Flow Chart illustrating the Collective Bargaining Process under the Railway Labor Act

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Proceedings

Transcript of PEB 243 daily proceedings (2.2mb) The pattern suggested by the recent UTU agreement and touted as the worker's best deal by Railroad lawyers is thoroughly dismissed by counsel for the Unions… "Most of the evidence in this records admits of only one answer. And that answer is a resounding no. There is no pattern in this case. The UTU agreement furnishes no evidence whatever of a pattern that warrants serious consideration by this Board." Mr. Roland Wilder, Esq., on behalf of the RLBC in closing arguements

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Final Report

November 6, 2011 Final Report and Recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board #243

Brothers and Sisters:

Late yesterday, the White House released the report of Presidential Emergency Board No. 243. The full, 101 page report is available here for download or viewing.

The Board made recommendations on wages, health and welfare and supplemental sickness. Additionally, it made recommendations regarding future disposition of BMWED’s craft specific proposals on meals and lodging, travel allowance and rate equity on Norfolk Southern. However, the Board made no monetary recommendations on those issues.

I have summoned BMWED’s National Bargaining Committee to Washington, D.C. to meet with the Carriers on Tuesday, November 8, 2011 to discuss the Board’s recommendations and attempt to fashion an agreement for rank and file ratification. If our initial meeting is unsuccessful, we have meetings scheduled for the following week as well on November 16 and 17. Additionally, I have convened a meeting of the National Association in Kansas City, Missouri on November 30, 2011 to address the Board’s report and its consequences.

Under Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act, the BMWED and the Carriers now must honor a 30 day “cooling off” period that expires at 12:01 AM, December 6, 2011. During that time, BMWED cannot strike, nor can the Carriers unilaterally impose new terms and conditions of employment. After the expiration of that cooling off period, either party is free to exercise economic self-help.

Many rumors will be flying over the next 30 days. I urge you to visit this website and contact your local or system union representative to get accurate, up to the minute accounts of what is really going on. We must approach the next 30 days in a disciplined and focused manner, showing solidarity with each other and the members of the other unions affected by the Board’s report.

Freddie N. Simpson
President BMWED

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November 21, 2011 BARGAINING UPDATE
From President F. N. Simpson

Yesterday, the Chief Executive Officers of the Railroads covered by the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board No. 243 received a letter from me unconditionally extending the cooling off period to February 10, 2012. The BMWED took this action to spare the nation a railroad strike during the busy holiday season, given the still fragile state of the nation’s economy. We made this position clear and public so that shippers and Congress would realize the BMWED would not engage in self-help until at least next February. Any interruption to commerce during this period will be due to Railroad actions, not ours. Read More of this update and view President Simpson's letters to the various railroads.

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December 2, 2011 Cooling-Off Period Extended, Strike Averted
From BMWED National Division

A mandatory 30 day cooling off period scheduled to end December 6, 2011, went into effect after a Presidential Emergency Board made recommendations for a settlement intended to avert a national rail strike, or lock-out. BMWED rejected those recommendations and on November 22, 2011, BMWED President Freddie N. Simpson advised the NCCC that the BMWED intended to extend the cooling off period until February 10, 2011, in order to further negotiations with the rail carriers, and spare the country a national rail strike during the holiday season. Read More of this press release.

View our Home Page Article on Extension

View Progressive Railroad's December 2, 2011 article

View Agreement between the National Carrier's Conference Committee and the BMWED

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December 15, 2011 National Carrier's Conference Committee's response
A letter to BMWED President Simpson

In response to President Simpson's December 12, 2011 letter, A. Kenneth Gradia writes " ...it is not our intention for any railroad to "veto" or otherwise influence the negotiations on other properties. Rather, we wish to ensure that unresolved local discussions do not become an obstacle to a national agreement." Read More...


February 2, 2012 BMWED Reached Agreement with NCCC
Tentative Agreement Reached

A tentative BMWED freight agreement has been initialed by the parties settling all outstanding bargaining issues, thereby extending the cooling-off period through the ratification process.

As a result, there will be no job actions, including strikes or lock-outs, that otherwise may have occurred midnight February 8th.

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February 8, 2012 BMWED Releases Summary Statement Agreement with NCCC
Details concerning the Ratification Process will be forthcoming

The BMWED's Summary Statement of the Tentative Agreement reached with the Railroads has been provided by our National Division, including a copy of the Tentative Agreement. View summary here...

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February 27, 2012 Estimated Back Pay under the Tentative Agreement
Estimates and examples based on assumptions

These documents illustrate examples of backpay under the tentative agreement. Actual backpay will be based on the rates of pay applicable to the positions you worked between July 1, 2010 and the effective date of the agreement. Your backpay will be based upon the actual hours you worked as well. Net backpay amounts will be based on the prevailing Federal and State payroll taxes. View example tables here.

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March 2, 2012 Memorandum of Agreements for CSXT and NS
Subject to Ratification along with tentative National Agreement

BMWED/CSXT Memorandum of Agreement that will be included in the ratification package for CSXT members.

BMWED/NS Memorandum of Agreement that will be included in the ratification package for NS members.

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March 20, 2012 Ballots Mailed
Tentative Agreement Ratification ballots for National Agreement

The American Arbitration Association will begin mailing out ballots for ratification of National Agreement on March 20, 2012. Ballots will be counted on April 20, 2012 with the results posted shortly thereafter. For those who for some reason did not receive the original ballot, duplicate ballots can be requested until the April 16, 2012 deadline. Only one ballot per eligible member will be counted.

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March 21, 2012 Requests for Duplicate Ballots
I didn't receive a ballot, now what?

Immediately contact the Federation office by telephone or email and advise us that you did not receive a ballot. Our staff will investigate your dues history and determine if you are in good-standing and have paid dues in February 2012 for March 2012. Once that investigation is complete, American Arbitration will mail you a duplicate ballot. The deadline for requesting duplicate ballots is April 16th, however this is the last minute. You will know if you did not receive a ballot long before the deadline. Read President Simpson's letter on duplicate ballots.


Summary Statement of the Tentative Agreement
Released with the Ratification Package

Provided pursuant to Article XIX, Section 14 of the Bylaws of the National Division, the terms of the tentative National Agreement, save those Railroad-specific arrangements regarding allowances for employees working away from home, are identical to the agreements reached by the other members of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition. Read More...


National BMWED Agreement Ratifies
Low Voter Turnout

April 20, 2012 - It was announced late today that after the American Arbitration Association in New York City tabulated the ballots the majority of those voting chose to ratify and accept the agreement between the BMWED and National Carriers. Only 13,826 members voted, roughly 40% of the total number of eligible members. The contract ratified by a margin of 566 votes.

The vote count was as follows;
7,189 in favor or roughly 51% of returned ballots.
6,623 opposed or roughly 48% of returned ballots.
14 voided or roughly 0.1% of returned ballots.

View certified results, broken down by the Class 1's represented by the NCCC.

"While I am disappointed with the number of ballots returned, I am glad that a majority of those voting recognized that despite our disappointment with the healthcare package, this was still a good solid contract." BMWED National Division President Freddie Simpson.

Read the BMWED News Release. Details concerning implementation of the new National Agreement will be forthcoming.

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By Comparison

In 2007, BMWED members in national handling voted by a 3 to 1 margin to accept a National Agreement covering the period from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2009.

The vote count in 2007 was as follows;

27,600 Ballots Mailed
14,315 returned or roughly 52%
10,853 in favor or roughly 76% of returned ballots
3,462 opposed or roughly 24% of returned ballots

In March of 2008, after 8 years of Amtrak stalled negotiations, prolapsed mediation, Presidential Emergency Board and government intervention, Amtrak workers overwelmingly voted to accept a contract bringing those workers into the new millennium. This contract provided an average of $25,000 in retroactive wages to workers who struggled making ends meet on wages left over from 1999 without any cost of living adjustments.

69% return of ballots
85% in favor
15% opposed

 


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