Proposed Agreement raising Foreman and CDL Driver's rates of pay, incentives and travel allowances, fill a vacancy...
Following is a joint letter from the General Chairmen of three of the affected Systems or Federations. This letter to the membership generally summarizes the proposal.
Also included on this page is a copy of the proposed agreement, and a schedule of meetings organized to give members an opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussion in connection with this proposed agreement.
Consolidated Rail System Federation
Northeastern System Federation
July 3, 2009
Dear Amtrak BMWED Members,
Over the last several months we have been meeting with Amtrak in an attempt to negotiate a special agreement to raise the foreman rate of pay, provide more money to members who are required to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), improve the 65-cent incentive allowance and increase the travel money for members in production gangs. There is a general consensus in the membership that foremen, and positions that require a CDL, are underpaid in relation to other positions under our contract and we wanted to address this issue. We also wanted to improve upon the incentive allowance and travel money because we were unable to accomplish this in our last general agreement.
A tentative agreement is attached which addresses all of these issues. This agreement requires the approval of the membership before we can sign it and make it effective. Enclosed is a ballot for you to approve, or reject, this agreement. If a majority of members who return ballots approve of the agreement, we will sign the agreement. If a majority who return ballots reject the agreement, we will not sign it. The ratification process is being handled by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAA will conduct the ratification independently of the Union and will ensure that it is a fair process. It is important that you read the enclosed materials and cast a ballot for, or against, the agreement. All ballots received in the offices of the AAA by 10:00 A.M. on July 27, 2009 will be counted.
This proposed agreement is separate and apart from the general agreement. If this agreement is approved, we will still have the right to serve Amtrak to renew the current agreement on January 1, 2010. We intend to pursue that very aggressively. We will start that process at the beginning of the new year. Accepting, or rejecting, this agreement will not have any impact on that process. Obviously, we are hopeful that with a government that is friendlier to the issues of working people, and passenger rail, we will be able to negotiate a fair deal more quickly than we were able to do under the last administration.
Summary of the Agreement
* Effective August 1, 2009, all Foremen or foremen rated positions (this includes B&B Inspectors, Track Inspectors and Pilots) will have their hourly rate increased by $1.00.
* An experimental bonus program will be implemented where any employee who stays in the foremen class for an entire calendar year will receive a $2000.00 bonus. For calendar year 2009, any employee who stays in the foremen class from July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009 will receive a $1000.00 bonus. The parties must both agree to continue this program each year.
* All employees that hold positions that require a CDL will receive an additional $1.00 per hour differential for all hours worked.
* Amtrak may use contractors to clear trees from the vicinity of overhead wires and signal systems on the Northeast Corridor and it will not be considered a violation of the agreement. Members of the Union will continue to perform all of the protection associated with this work and will continue to perform general cutting and clearing of brush and vegetation from the right of way that is not in vicinity of the overhead wires or signal systems.
* Effective August 1, 2009, the sixty-five-cent incentive allowance is increased to $1.00.
* Effective August 1, 2009 the travel allowance for production units is increased to $15.00 for each trip.
* A minor change in the training agreement was made which closed a loop hole, so that employees who bid up and then down during the six-month period in which they can be assigned to positions for which they have been trained, are still subject to assignment to such positions.
* Rule 18 of the NEC Agreement and Rule 8 of the off corridor agreement (Corporate Agreement) has been changed so that employees who fill a vacancy while exercising their seniority after being bumped or abolished will be considered automatic bidders for the position they have filled.
* Rule 4 of the NEC Agreement has been amended so that employees have a demand right to fill all vacancies except vacancies created by the establishment of new positions. Employees who exercise this right will be considered an automatic bidder for the position when it is advertised.
* The Southern District B&B Bridge gang rule has been amended to permit the gang to do any capital B&B work and their territories have been reduced from three to two. The new territories will be the Metropolitan Division and the Mid-Atlantic Division. Amtrak must rebid these gangs each October and describe the territory and jobs that each gang will be assigned to perform on the bid sheet.
* A new position has been created on the Southern District called a Structural Inspector. No new seniority roster will be created and this position will be controlled by the B&B Foremen/Inspector class. Effective August 1, 2009, it will pay $29.41 per hour. This will be a contract position where the employee must stay in the job for 24 months, with the right to renew it when the 24 month period is over. This position may not be displaced by a senior employee unless it means that the senior employee will have to furlough, or travel outside of the former operating territory(New York, Mid-Atlantic North and Mid-Atlantic South).
* The special agreements for Lineman/Hi-Rail/Catenary Car Operator in the Electric Traction Department are eliminated and effective August 1, 2009, the new rate of pay for these positions will be $27.64/hour. When these positions require a CDL, they will also receive the extra $1.00 per hour differential.
* Some ET work zones are combined to be equal to Track and B&B Department work zones.
* The provisions regarding the contracting out of tree cutting and the CDL differential may be cancelled by the BMWED in five years.
We believe that overall this is a good agreement. The agreement is the product of negotiations and not everything in the agreement is good. We also understand that there are still plenty of other problems to work upon and we are continuing to look for ways to correct other issues as well. However, for now, this agreement addresses the broad issues of compensation for Foreman and CDL positions with the obvious concession of letting contractors cut trees in the wires and some work rule changes that are both good and bad.
We hope you agree with us and vote yes to support this agreement. However, it is most important that you participate in this process whether you support or oppose this proposal.
Your participation in our Union can only make it stronger. Please read over the enclosed proposal, educate yourself about it and cast an informed vote. Please make sure to have your ballot returned by July 27, 2009 so it can be counted.
Consolidated Rail System Federation
Northeastern System Federation
cc: Fred Simpson, President BMWED
open a printable copy of the above joint General Chairman's letter
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION (AMTRAK) AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYES DIVISION – INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS
IT IS AGREED:
a. In the application of the Scope Rule of the Northeast Corridor BMWE Agreement, Amtrak may use outside contractors to cut and clear trees from the vicinity of overhead wires and signal systems and that such contracting out shall not constitute a violation of the agreement or serve as the basis for claims against the corporation. Amtrak will provide the BMWE with an informational notice as to the location of the work to be performed.
b. BMWE forces will continue to perform all other work that has been customarily and historically performed in connection with the general cutting and clearing of vegetation and brush from the right of way, except as provided above.
c. When protection is deemed necessary as determined by Amtrak, M/W forces will perform said work.
Effective upon signing of this agreement, the incentive allowance provided for in Rule 42 of the Northeast Corridor Rules Agreement and in the Special Construction Agreement, paid by rule or memorandum of agreement, shall be increased to $1.00 per hour.
Effective upon signing of this agreement, the Travel Allowance provided for in Rules 89, 90-A, 90-B, 90-C, 90-D and 90-E of the Northeast Corridor Rules Agreement and in Rule 29 of the Corporate Rules Agreement, paid by rule or memorandum of agreement, shall be increased to $15.00 in each direction.
The following new rule is established:
Commercial Drivers License
a. Licensing Fees
Amtrak shall reimburse employees for all fees necessary to obtain and maintain a CDL. Employees will be required to provide necessary documentation in connection with such reimbursement.
b. Reimbursement for Training
Amtrak shall reimburse employees for the cost of tuition to an accredited school after receipt of official notification of the employee’s successful completion of a CDL training course, subject to the maximum amounts payable under Amtrak’s Educational Assistance Program.
c. Access to Vehicle for CDL tests
Upon not less than five (5) working days written request from an employee to the designated Amtrak officer, Amtrak shall, consistent with the requirements of service, make available a vehicle for use in taking the CDL driving test. Amtrak shall also make available a qualified employee to transport the vehicle to and from the examination site.
d. Rate Differential
Employees who have obtained a CDL and who are occupying a position requiring CDL qualifications are required to comply with all regulations, operating and administrative responsibilities associated with their driving performance. In connection therewith, employees occupying positions requiring a CDL shall be paid an incentive allowance of $1.00 per hour for all hours worked on such position. This allowance is separate and apart from the hourly rate of pay and is not subject to future general wage increases or cost of living adjustments.
Amtrak is not required to retain CDL requirements on any position where it is determined not operationally necessary.
Electric Traction Trainees will receive the differential provided for in this paragraph upon acquiring a CDL license. The differential shall be paid during their training period provided they maintain their CDL and upon completion of training, such differential shall be paid when they occupy a position requiring such qualification.
The following modifications are made to the Amtrak BMWE Northeast Corridor and Corporate Rules Agreements:
a. Effective August 1, 2009, rates of pay under the Northeast Corridor and Corporate BMWE agreements for all Foreman or Foreman rated positions will be increased by $1.00 per hour. This shall not apply to Assistant Foreman positions.
b. Service Bonus
Employees in the Foreman class, holding positions for the full calendar year and perform service in that capacity each month during such calendar year, shall qualify for a bonus payment of $2,000.00, which shall be paid within six (6) weeks of the end of each calendar year. It is understood that continuation of the bonus payments shall be subject to agreement of the parties each year.
In order to allow all employees an opportunity to avail themselves of this bonus for 2009, all employees holding a Foreman position for the period from July 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, will be eligible for one-half of the bonus payment.
c. Rule Modifications
- Paragraph 6.b. & c. of the August 27, 1977 Training Agreement, as amended, are modified to provide as follows:
“b. Employees who successfully complete the training shall be awarded the positions covered by the training. The senior employee who completes the training shall be awarded the position. Seniority shall begin on the date of the award for employees who successfully complete the training and are awarded the position. Employees awarded the positions shall stay on the position for a period of six (6) months, except when bidding to a higher rated position. Employees who bid for higher rated positions must remain on such higher rated position for the duration of the six month period or will be subject to assignment to a position for which trained for the remainder of the six (6) month period.
c. Employees who successfully complete the training who are not awarded positions may be assigned to positions that go “no qualified bidders” that are in the same work zone as the position for which the training was initially posted, in reverse seniority order. Such employees stand for assignment to such positions for a period of six (6) months and must remain on the position for six months unless bidding to a higher rated position. Employees who bid for higher rated positions must remain on such higher rated position for the duration of the six (6) month period or shall again be subject to assignment to a position for which trained for the remainder of the six (6) month period. An employee so assigned may be released by agreement between the General Chairman and the Deputy Chief Engineer in cases of hardship.
- Paragraph (a) of Rule 18 – Reduction in Force of the BMWE Northeast Corridor Agreement is replaced with the following:
(a) When the force is reduced, employees affected shall have the right, within ten (10) days after the effective date of such reduction, to elect to take furlough or to exercise seniority against a junior employee or to an available vacancy which is subject to or under advertisement.
An employee displaced in reduction of force who elects to exercise seniority may exercise seniority onto any position for which he is qualified, by bid or displacement without loss of seniority. The requirement to exercise in class is deleted. An employee selecting a vacant assignment will be considered an automatic bidder for that assignment. In the event a senior employee is awarded the assignment after the advertisement is closed, the junior employee who picked the vacancy will be required to exercise seniority to another assignment within ten (10) calendar days after the effective date and time of the award.
- Paragraphs 3 of Rule 8 – Bulletin, Assignment & Displacement, of the BMWE Corporate Agreement is modified and a new paragraph added to the rule to provide as follows:
“3. An employee whose position is abolished may within seven (7) calendar days after the effective time and date of the abolishment, exercise his seniority to any position for which qualified held by a junior employee or to an available vacancy which is subject to or under advertisement. An employee who is displaced may within seven (7) calendar days after the time and date of displacement, exercise his seniority to any position for which qualified held by a junior employee or to an available vacancy which is subject to or under advertisement.
Displacements must occur prior to the start of the shift and an employee reporting to the supervisor in charge of the gang in which the displacement is to be made prior to shift start will be allowed a displacement on that date.
An employee selecting a vacant assignment will be considered an automatic bidder for that assignment. In the event a senior employee is awarded the assignment after the advertisement is closed, the junior employee who picked the vacancy will be required to exercise seniority to another assignment within seven (7) calendar days after the effective date and time of the award.
- Paragraph (a) of Rule 4 – Temporary Positions and Vacancies, of the BMWE Northeast Corridor Agreement is amended, and a new section added under paragraph 1 of Rule 8 – Bulletin, Assignment and Displacements, of the BMWE Corporate Agreement as follows:
“A new position may be filled temporarily pending assignment. When vacancies occur, the senior available qualified employee working in the same or lower class shall be permitted to fill such position. Employees filling positions under this provision will be considered automatic bidders for such position as their first preference unless alternate preference ranking is indicated on their application for advertised positions.”
- Rule 90-D of the BMWE Northeast Corridor Rules Agreement is modified to provide as follows:
“Rule 90-D – B&B Capital Improvement Gangs – Southern District
Amtrak may establish B&B Capital Improvement gangs, not assigned to fixed headquarters, to work in the following territories:
NOTE: In October of each year, Amtrak shall advertise all positions in the Capital Improvement gangs, indicating the anticipated work schedule – identifying the projects and locations for the coming year.
II. Operation of Southern District B&B Capital Improvement Gangs
a) Amtrak may establish B&B Capital Improvement Gangs in each territory defined in Section 1
b) The compliment of Gangs established under this rule shall not exceed twelve (12) employees, except as agreed between the parties.
c) The November 3, 1976, Special Construction Agreement shall not apply to gangs established under this rule.
The remainder of the rule shall continue in effect.
- The BMWE Northeast Corridor Rules Agreement is modified to establish the classification of Structural Inspector in the Bridge & Building sub-department on the Southern District, with an hourly rate of pay of $29.41, to perform the duties of inspecting bridges, tunnels, buildings, culverts, retaining walls and other structures.
The following provisions shall apply to this new position:
1. Structural Inspector positions established under this agreement will be awarded on the basis of seniority in the B&B Foreman/Inspector class, subject to the provisions of the agreement.
2. Successful applicants for Structural Inspector Positions shall be provided training in areas such as, but not limited to Bridge Climbing Techniques; Annual Bridge Inspection Training; Bridge Inspection Seminar; Movable Bridge Inspection; Personal Computer Training and other training that may be deemed necessary for the positions, including National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) certification. Any testing required in connection with such training shall be uniformly applied to all successful applicants.
Prior to disqualifying any candidate for failure to demonstrate proficiency in required skills, Amtrak shall notify the General Chairman and meet to discuss alternatives in an effort to assist the employee in acquiring the necessary skills to qualify for the position.
3. Employees assigned to positions covered by this agreement will remain on such position for a period of twenty-four (24) months from the effective date of award, except under extenuating circumstances to be evaluated and approved by the Deputy Chief Engineer – Structures and the General Chairman, or if it would result in the furlough of a senior B&B employee on the operating territory (New York, MidAtlantic North & MidAtlantic South).
Sixty (60) days prior to the end of the twenty-four month period, employees assigned to positions covered by this Agreement will have the option of:
a. Remaining on the position for another twenty-four (24) month period by so notifying the Deputy Chief Engineer – Structures to that effect in writing, or
b. Upon conclusion of the twenty-four month period, exercising displacement rights to any available position in accordance with the agreement.
4. Where operational conditions require Structural Inspectors to work at locations away from their normal headquarters and such conditions do not permit return to the normal headquarters, Structural Inspectors shall be compensated for actual time worked and will be afforded travel time, lodging and the meal allowance provided in the agreement.
5. Except as provided in Rule 58, the work of checking all forms of construction for compliance with applicable blueprints, plans and local codes, currently performed by B&B Inspectors, shall continue to be performed by employees in that classification.
- The BMWE Northeast Corridor Rules Agreement is modified to establish the classification of Lineman/Hi-Rail/Catenary Car Operator in the Electric Traction sub-department, with an hourly rate of pay of $27.64, to perform the duties of constructing, installing maintaining and repair of high voltage transmission and catenary systems; operate and maintain Catenary Maintenance Vehicle and other Highway/Rail vehicles of the Electric Traction Department.
The following provisions shall apply to this position:
1. The May 12, 1976, Platform Truck Agreement is deleted and the March 31, 1988, Motor Vehicle Work Agreement shall not apply to these positions.
2. Employees holding positions in this classification must have and maintain all appropriate qualifications, such as NORAC and physical characteristics.
3. Incumbents of positions in this classification shall perform the following activities:
- Securing, servicing and parking the equipment outside the regular bulletined hours of the positions. This includes completing necessary paperwork associated with driving the vehicle and performing daily inspections (fluid checks, air, etc.)
- Taking and picking up the vehicle, as appropriate, to and from designated garage facilities, outside of regular bulletined hours, for routine scheduled maintenance (such as but not limited to scheduled oil and fluid changes) and the annual high rail vehicle inspection.
- The April 27, 1977 Electric Traction Work Zone Agreement is modified as follows:
Line and Substation employees:
Washington Terminal To Gunpow (MP 79.0)
Gunpow (MP 79.0) to Darby (MP 6.3)
Darby(MP 6.3) to Holmes (MP 76.0) and to Paoli (MP 21)
Paoli (MP 21) to Harrisburg
Holmes (MP 76.0) to Hunter (MP 11.0)
New York Zone:
Hunter (MP 11.0) to Shell
3rd Rail employees:
Penn Station, NY:
Entire 3rd Rail Territory
Washington Terminal to Ragan, including Bear
The provisions of Items 1 through 4 of this agreement shall remain in effect until December 31, 2014. Thereafter the provisions in Items 1 through 4 may be cancelled upon 30 days written notice from the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees.
This Agreement shall be considered a special agreement as to the terms and conditions specifically addressed herein and shall amend the Corporate and Northeast Corridor Rules Agreements as to those terms and conditions. All terms and conditions not specifically addressed herein shall continue to be controlled by Corporate and Northeast Corridor Rules Agreements. All matters concerning the contracting out of work not specifically addressed herein shall continue to be controlled by the Scope Rule of the applicable Agreement and this Agreement is made without prejudice to either party’s position with respect to the meaning of the Scope Rules in such matters. Absent cancellation pursuant to Section 6 above, this Agreement will remain in effect until modified in accordance with the requirements of the Corporate and Northeast Corridor Rules Agreements and the Railway Labor Act, as amended.
This Agreement is effective the ____ day of ___________, 2009.
National Railroad Passenger Corporation
|Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division – IBT
R. F. Palmer
General Chairman – BMWED
Stuart A. Hurlburt, Jr.
General Chairman – BMWED
Northeastern System Federation
Bradley A. Winter.
General Chairman – BMWED
Consolidated System Federation
General Chairman – BMWED
General Chairman – BMWED
Illinois Central Federation
General Chairman – BMWED
open and view a printable version of this agreement
Ratification Period Meeting Schedule
The Pennsylvania Federation BMWED-IBT has organized three meetings scheduled during the ratification period to give members an opportunity to ask questions and participate in discussion. Meetings are currently planned for New York, Philadelphia, and Perryville.
It is important that you participate in this process whether you support or oppose this proposal. Your participation in our Union can only make it stronger. Please read over the proposed agreement, participate in one of the scheduled informative meetings, and educate yourself about what's being proposed. Then cast an informed vote.
Philadelphia, PA - July 9, 2009
A joint meeting is being held for all Track, B&B, and ET Department employees beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Shereton at 36th St., just walking distance from Amtrak's 30th Street Station.
BMWED members from the Philadelphia area are encouraged to attend this important meeting.
Sheraton Philadelphia University City Hotel
36th and Chestnut Streets
Phone: (215) 387-8000
open and view a printable flyer for the Philadelphia pre-ratification meeting
directions to this Philadelphia meeting
Perryville, MD - July 13, 2009
A meeting for BMWED employees of the Track, B&B, and ET Departments will be held beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the American Legion, 300 Cherry Street in Perryville, Maryland.
All BMWED members from Wilmington South through the Baltimore-Washington area are encouraged to attend.
open and view a printable flyer for the Perryville pre-ratification meeting
directions to the Perryville American Legion
New York - July 14, 2009
Open to all BMWED workers in the area, a meeting has been scheduled for July 14th at 5:00 p.m. at the The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) union hall at 31st street in Manhattan.
Meeting Hall is walking distance from Amtrak's Penn Station.
RWDSU Union HAll
140 West 31st Street (second floor)
New York, NY 10001
between 6th and 7th Avenues
map of the Manhatten area
open and view a printable flyer for the New York City pre-ratification meeting
July 14, 2009 Flyer
July 14, 2009 Leadership Letter
July 27, 2009 Ratification results
return to the Amtrak page
© 2009 Pennsylvania Federation BMWED-IBT