Posts Tagged ‘contract ratified’

Three GCAs ratify contract with Amtrak

Amtrak employees represented by SMART Transportation Division General Committees of Adjustment GO-769, GO-663, and GO-342 (Conductors, Assistant Conductors, and Yardmasters) voted in overwhelming favor of ratifying a tentative agreement reached last month.

The agreement, effective April 1, 2018, provides a compounded 18.83 percent pay increase over the life of the contract, which runs through 2021, plus retroactive pay.

The contract also caps monthly healthcare contributions at $228 while adding services such as telemedicine and a fixed 24-month continuation of coverage period, among others. It establishes AMPLAN 1A, a lower-cost healthcare plan that will be available to all employees beginning Jan. 1, 2019, and compulsory for new hires during their first five years of service.

For members of the military who lose earnings because of their service, the agreement accounts for up to 120 hours of “make whole” pay.

Follow this link to view a synopsis of the now-ratified agreement.

SMART TD President John Previsich and Vice Presidents John England and John Lesniewski led the negotiating team, and a tentative agreement was reached Jan. 11.

“Their combined efforts were instrumental in reaching our goal of gaining wage increases and certification allowances that are comparable to industry standards,” General Chairperson Dirk Sampson (GO-769) said in a Feb. 6 letter to his membership announcing the vote results.

General Chairperson Robert Keeley (GO-342) in a letter to his membership expressed gratitude to leadership and to fellow members of the negotiating committee, including Vice General Chairperson Charlie Yura and Secretary Rick Pauli.

“We walked into negotiations together and we found success together,” Keeley said.

As did his fellow GCs, Fran Ariola, general chairperson of GO-663, expressed appreciation to leadership, members of the negotiating team, his colleagues and to his membership.

“I would like to thank you for this opportunity to represent our GCA and our members during this negotiation process,” Ariola wrote in a Feb. 6 letter.

SMART TD members ratify National Rail Agreement

By a margin of nearly four to one, SMART Transportation Division members have voted to APPROVE the new National Rail Contract. The voting was conducted by BallotPoint Election Services, who certified the following results for each craft eligible to vote:

CRAFT ACCEPT REJECT
Conductors 79.89% 20.11%
Brakemen 78.98% 21.02%
Engine Service 76.58% 23.42%
Yardmen 79.97% 20.03%
Yardmaster 86.68% 13.32%
Combined 79.57% 20.43%

The approved contract will have an effective date of December 1, 2017, with implementation of new pay rates and employee healthcare cost-sharing modifications planned for January 1, 2018. Employees’ monthly healthcare contributions will remain frozen at $228.89 for the life of the contract.

The term of the agreement is for five years, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. In addition to a 3% increase previously negotiated and already implemented on January 1, 2015, the contract provides for full retroactive pay of 2% from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, and 4% from July 1, 2017, until implementation of the new rates. Thereafter, affected members will receive a boost in wage rates of 2.5% on July 1, 2018, and 3% on July 1, 2019.

The ratified contract will cover over 35,000 SMART TD members employed by BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific and numerous smaller carriers, all of whom were represented in this round of bargaining by the rail industry’s National Carriers’ Conference Committee.

The SMART TD negotiating team was led by President John Previsich, who was assisted in the negotiations by Vice Presidents David Wier, John Lesniewski, Troy Johnson, John England, Doyle Turner and Jeremy Ferguson, along with General Chairpersons Danny Young (BNSF), Mark Cook (NS), Brent Leonard (UP) and Steve Mavity (CSX), all four of whom are nationally elected TD officers in addition to serving as General Chairpersons.

For this round of bargaining, SMART TD joined forces with five other unions to form the Coordinated Bargaining Group. The other unions in the CBG are the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers/SEIU.

President Previsich commented: “I believe that our negotiating team, along with the teams from the other unions in the CBG, are to be commended for staying the course during a long and tedious round of negotiations. The easy thing for them to do when the going got tough was to declare defeat and walk away from the negotiating table, as others have done, but our team never wavered. By rejecting the carriers’ unreasonable demands while staying at the table and continuing to negotiate, the team was successful in obtaining an agreement that achieved an approval rate of 79.57%.”

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The SMART Transportation Division, formerly the United Transportation Union, is the largest rail union in the United States representing members in all operating crafts, including engineers, conductors, trainmen, switchmen and yardmasters.

Follow this link to view this release in PDF form.

First Student maintenance workers ratify contract

bus2The maintenance workers of First Student Inc. of Bus Local 1908 in Rochester, N.Y. have ratified a four-year agreement. The agreement was approved with 17 members voting for the agreement and one against, for a total of 18 votes. 

A collective effort improved work rules, created a travel time per diem for techs, increasing boot and tool allowance. Additionally, a wage increase of 9.5 percent with an Automated Service Excellence (ASE) incentive program increasing hourly wages up to 80 cents per hour.

ASE are certification tests (diesel engines, suspension and steering, heating and A/C, brakes, preventative maintenance, etc.) taken by mechanics. After passing, the mechanics will receive 10 cents per test with a maximum of eight tests. First Student has agreed to pay for each test and for one retest if the test is failed the first time. Each certification lasts for five years before the mechanics will have to be re-certified. A mechanic can pick and choose which tests he or she would like to take and receive the incentive.

“I would like to give recognition to Local Chairperson Jonathan Connors, with the negotiating committee; Vice Local Chairperson Doug Pearce, Local Committee Secretary Todd Clevenger, Shop Steward Mark Meuse and Technicians Sean Irwin and Chris Divens. Everyone worked long evenings in the effort to bring a superior agreement to the membership in Rochester,” Alternate Vice President-Bus Alvy Hughes said.