SMART Transportation Division-represented conductors and trainmen employed by the Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad have ratified a new six-year agreement, Vice President Dave Wier reports.
The agreement provides for six annual wage increases retroactive to Aug. 1, 2010, with the final wage increase to be effective Jan. 1, 2015, totaling 18.6 percent and resulting in a cumulative wage increase of 20.08 percent over the life of the agreement. The accord includes conductor certification pay rolled into the rates of pay and full retroactive back pay for all active trainmen and employees that retired or died subsequent to Aug. 1, 2010.
The agreement also lowers the calculated vacation qualification days from 240 to 160 days; increases the meal allowance to $12 after four hours and every eight hours thereafter at the away-from-home terminal; improves bereavement leave; provides for a furlough retention board; institutes provisions for temporary transfer to other CN properties, and establishes seniority on the first day of compensated service.
It also establishes regular assignments after four consecutive days of similar-type work and provides for six-and-two and four-and-two work rest cycles with local negotiations concerning eleven-and-three work rest cycles. Participation in the National Health and Welfare plans continues.
“The work rest cycles are, six days of work followed by two days of rest, and four days of work followed by two days of rest, in a 14-day period,” Wier said. “The 11 and three is subject to local negotiations and includes ‘Smart Rest,’ to allow an employee’s consecutive work days to be reset by taking a 24-hour period off. This complies with Rail Safety Improvement Act regulations.”
Wier, who assisted with the mediated negotiations, expressed his appreciation to CN/IC GO 401 General Chairperson Tracy Bublitz (234), retired General Chairperson R.W. “Red” Dare (1525), GO 433 Acting General Chairperson Butch St. John (1557) and GO 433 General Committee Secretary Jerry “J.J.” Russum (1334) for their exceptional effort in bringing the members’ concerns to the bargaining table.
“This agreement will make their members some of the highest paid rail employees in the country,” Wier said.