Posts Tagged ‘tentative agreement’

Tentative agreement reached by SMART TD with Amtrak

SMART Transportation Division General Chairpersons Dirk Sampson (GO 769), Robert Keeley (GO 342) and Fran Ariola (GO 663) announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement with Amtrak on behalf of their members employed by the passenger railroad.

The chairpersons convened Jan. 10 and 11 at SMART TD headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, to continue negotiations over a new contract for Amtrak employees represented by the union. Assisted by SMART TD President John Previsich and Vice Presidents John Lesniewski and John England, union officials and Amtrak representatives reached tentative agreements for each bargaining group.

A synopsis of the tentative agreements can be read here.

Each proposed agreement will be submitted for a ratification vote of the affected members.

Copies of the proposed agreement and information on ratification will be communicated by the General Chairpersons to their respective memberships with balloting materials to be prepared and distributed beginning Jan. 15.

Coordinated Bargaining Group condemns interference in its ratification process

On October 6, 2017, the six Rail Unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) announced that they had reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. Shortly after that announcement, a Union belonging to a different bargaining coalition began a campaign of misinformation, misrepresentation and outright falsehood in an effort to disrupt and undermine the democratic ratification process of the CBG Unions. This anti-union activity has included public letters replete with falsehoods, leaflets at TY&E on-duty points, also filled with falsehoods, and a social media campaign intended to negatively influence the ratification process of the CBG Unions. We can no longer stand by and allow this anti-union interference and disruption to go unchecked.

Before the Section 6 Notices were filed in late 2014, the Union now interfering in our ratification process was invited to join together with all unions to bargain jointly. That Union rejected this invitation, and set out on its own as the smallest of the three coalitions in the bargaining round. Without informing the other ten Unions at the table, that smaller coalition offered the railroads its own version of Plan Design Change to the Health Care plan. In its public contract offer in the Spring of 2017, that group offered Plan Design Changes valued by their own math at over $200,000,000.00 to the Carriers. It was only after the railroads rejected this proposal, absent the buy in of the other ten Unions, that this smaller coalition offered to share its proposals with the CBG Unions.

Contrary to what that group would now have you believe, only one of the ten other Unions in negotiations were ever invited to join the smaller coalition, and to date not one of those ten other Unions has signed onto the smaller coalition’s version of Plan Design Change.

That smaller group now argues that their Plan Design Proposal would cost you nothing; that is not a proven fact. Here are the facts:

  1. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the support of 10 other Unions at the bargaining table and they couldn’t care less what any other Union thinks.
  2. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have an agreement with the railroads to even compare to the CBG Tentative Agreement. Proposals are not Agreements.
  3. Due to its failure to obtain an agreement, the Union interfering in your ratification process has publicly declared to the National Mediation Board that they are at an impasse in negotiations and have no plans to bargain further.
  4. Instead, the Union interfering in your ratification process has publicly stated that it plans to put its Healthcare dispute before the Federal Government for resolution, knowing that the current Congress is one of the most Corporate owned, anti-labor, anti-healthcare, Federal Governments in years.
  5. The Union interfering in your ratification process made the decision to put its own membership at risk in this way without allowing them to have any say through a ratification vote.
  6. The Union interfering in your ratification process wants you to vote no and join it before the Federal Government, and it does not care if your wages, benefits and work rules are put at risk.

Refraining from attacking another Union in the performance of its negotiating obligations is a core principle of Trade Unionism. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the same exposure to significant work rules changes that you do and has publicly stated that it does not care if your work rules are eliminated. The leaders of that Union at the highest level have been repeatedly asked to stay out of our ratification process, and they have refused.

This is the opposite of true Brotherhood; don’t be conned by their anti-union activities. Take the time to understand all your options and the risks associated with each, and then be sure to participate by voting in your ratification process, a process that the interfering Union does not think you are entitled to.

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The Coordinated Bargaining Group is comprised of six unions: 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; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.


To view this release in PDF form, click here.

National Negotiations update: Coordinated Bargaining Group unions reach tentative national contract agreement

Independence, Ohio, October 5 — Rail Unions making up the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) announced today that they have reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. The CBG is comprised of six unions: 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; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART TD).

On Wednesday, October 4th, the CBG’s full Negotiating Team met in Independence, Ohio for a review of the terms of the proposed voluntary agreement. Following that review, each of the CBG Unions’ Negotiating Teams unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement. On Thursday, October 5th, the involved General Chairpersons of SMART TD, BRS and BLET met as well and those groups also unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement for consideration by the respective membership of each Union.

The Tentative Agreement, which will be submitted to the memberships of each involved Union in the coming weeks, includes an immediate wage increase of 4%, with an additional 2.5% six months later on July 1, 2018 and an additional 3% one year later on July 1, 2019. In addition, wage increases of 2% effective July 1, 2016 and another 2% effective July 1, 2017 will be fully retroactive through implementation, for a compounded increase of 9.84% over an 18-month period and 13.14% over the 5-year contract term (this includes the First General Wage Increase of 3% implemented on January 1, 2015).

All benefits existing under the Health and Welfare Plan will remain in effect unchanged and there are no disruptions to the existing healthcare networks. While some employee participation costs are increased, the tentative agreement maintains reasonable maximum out-of-pocket protections for our members. The TA also adds several new benefits to the Health and Welfare Plan for the members of the involved unions and, importantly, it requires that the Rail Carriers will, on average, continue to pay 90% of all of our members’ point of service costs.

On a matter of critical importance, the employees’ monthly premium contribution is frozen at the current rate of $228.89. The frozen rate can only be increased by mutual agreement at the conclusion of negotiations in the next round of bargaining that begins on 1/1/2020.

In addition, the CBG steadfastly refused to accept the carriers’ demands for changes to work rules that would have imposed significant negative impacts on every one of our members. As a result of that rejection, the Tentative Agreement provides for absolutely no changes in work rules for any of the involved unions.

“This Tentative Agreement provides real wage increases over and above inflation, health care cost increases far below what the carriers were demanding, freezes our monthly health plan cost contribution at the current level, provides significant retroactive pay and imposes no changes to any of our work rules,” said the CBG Union Presidents. “This is a very positive outcome for a very difficult round of negotiations. We look forward to presenting the Tentative Agreement to our respective memberships for their consideration.”

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Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.


Click here for a pdf of this letter.

Click here for the Tentative Agreement.

Unions reject NJT tentative agreement

NJ TransitSMART Transportation Division membership rejected a tentative agreement with New Jersey Transit from March that prevented a strike. BLET also rejected the agreement. Read more from NJ.com.

LIRR strike averted, tentative deal reached

A tentative deal has been reached to avoid a strike at the nation’s largest commuter railroad, sparing hundreds of thousands of commuters the headache of finding alternate routes to and from the city, Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday.

The agreement, which still must be ratified by union members, settles a four-year contract dispute between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the eight unions that represent the Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers.

Read the complete story at NBC New York.

UTU, rails in tentative new five-year agreement

A tentative new five-year national rail agreement covering wages, benefits and working conditions has been reached between the UTU and the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC).

The tentative agreement is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010, and extends through Dec. 31, 2014.

The tentative agreement, which amends the existing national agreement, must be ratified by each affected UTU craft under the craft-autonomy provisions of the UTU Constitution. The existing national agreement remains in force under provisions of the Railway Labor Act.

Details of the tentative agreement are being withheld pending their presentation at a June 2 meeting of the Association of General Chairpersons – District 1. General chairpersons will then have 15 days to submit written questions. The questions and answers will be provided to all members prior to the ratification vote.

Railroads represented by the NCCC include BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and many smaller railroads. Some 38,000 UTU members are affected by the tentative new agreement.

This is the first agreement reached in this round of national bargaining with the NCCC. It was reached, voluntarily, without need for mediation. However, two members of the National Mediation Board — Elizabeth Dougherty and Linda Puchala — served as facilitators during the two most recent rounds of talks between the UTU and the NCCC, leading to this tentative agreement.

UTU International President Mike Futhey thanked his negotiating team for “their hard work and long hours. I am confident our general chairpersons will react positively when the details of this agreement are presented to them.”

In addition to UTU lead negotiator Futhey, the negotiating team includes Assistant President Arty Martin; National Legislative Director James Stem; UTU International Vice Presidents Robert Kerley and Delbert Strunk; and General Chairpersons John Lesniewski (CSX, GO 049), Pate King (NS, GO 680) and Doyle Turner (CSX, GO 347).

Futhey also praised retired UTU General Secretary & Treasurer Dan Johnson for his emphasizing, early in the process and through a series of opinion articles published on the UTU website, the value of interest-based bargaining whereby both sides strive to understand the needs of the other.

“Interest-based bargaining worked well for the UTU in reaching a ratified national agreement in 2008, and interest-based bargaining was instrumental again this round in guiding both sides to a voluntary tentative agreement,” Futhey said.

Other labor organizations — bargaining as part of two separate coalitions — remain in negotiations with the NMB, and mediation has been invoked in those separate talks.

One coalition includes the Transportation Communications Union, the American Train Dispatchers Association, the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Transport Workers Union.

A second coalition still negotiating with the NCCC includes the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the Brotherhood of Boilermakers and Blacksmiths, the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association.