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August 01, 2014
 JED DODD
General Chairman
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National Railroad Passenger Corporation


Amtrak Updates
Jan 02, 2009


May 2, 2014 - Amtrak advises regarding the Bi-Weekly pay period and work week definition adjustments. The Arbitration panel was persuaded that adoption of 1) the bi-weekly pay, 2) direct deposit, 3) definition of the workweek, and 4) adjustment of pay error administrative work rule changes are appropriate, are part of the Amtrak Pattern settlements, and should be thrust upon the BMWED as well.

View Amtrak's advisement including Payroll Hotline Number, along with the FAQ sheet, the payroll calendar, and the “bridge loan request” forms. 


March 25, 2014 - PRLBC-Amtrak arbitration decision is rendered resolving wage disputes, retroactivity, healthcare cost-sharing and plan design adjustments, and work rules.


March 20, 2014 - Work Week dispute settlement letter and claimant list.

January 27, 2014 - Public Law Board award - Work Week dispute. View decision here. (1.1mb)


January 1, 2014 - Per Diem Increase - Resulting from language included in our November 4, 2010 "Fence Agreement, 2(b)", the per diem allowance for 2014 will be increased by 87¢.

The November 2013 Consumer Price Index for Food Away From Home (1982-84=100) for the U.S. City Average for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Employees (CPI-W) issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (245.036) increased 2.0% over November 2012 (240.216). Accordingly, the current $42.16 Per Diem will be increased by $.87 effective January 1, 2014, which includes the agreed upon 2013 adjustment. Based on this adjustment, the new Per Diem amount will be $43.03.

Read Amtrak's letter here.


Amtrak Contract Arbitration Agreement

The Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition has finalized an agreement with Amtrak to arbitrate and settle our contract dispute(s). We will have a decision and contract in place by March 1, 2014 at the latest.

View the PRLBC letter updating the status of our Amtrak contract and this pending arbitration.

January 1, 2013 - Per Diem Increase - Resulting from language included in our November 4, 2010 "Fence Agreement, 2(b)", the per diem allowance for 2013 will be increased by $1.02. The November 2012 Consumer Price Index for Food Away From Home (1982=100) for the U. S. City Average for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Employees issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (240.038) increased 2.475% over November 2011 (234.240) as reported in 2011. Accordingly, the current $41.14 Per Diem will be increased by $1.02 effective January 1, 2013. Based on this adjustment, the new Per Diem amount will be $42.16.

Read Amtrak's letter here.


December 14, 2012 - America’s Railroad Can’t Live In ‘Survival Mode’ - Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman was interviewed on camera by Bloomberg TV for a profile about him and his role as the government-subsidized rail corporation's leader. In the interview, Boardman says that Amtrak has lived in "survival mode" for the past 40 years when it comes to funding, and can't exist in that state anymore.

"We either grow or we die," Boardman said. Read More...


October 10, 2012 - Amtrak Contractor Policies Endanger Riding Public. The Pennsylvania Federation discovered an alarming reality; an outside contractor is now responsible for all administration and testing in connection with Contractor Orientation Training, and can then issue contractor security photo ID badges allowing outsiders access to Amtrak’s mainline and infrastructure.

In a letter to New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, General Chairman Dodd discusses this security threat and the potential for disaster. Read our warning.


July 9, 2012 - Amtrak's high-speed Northeast Corridor plan at $151 billion. Amtrak says the costs of building the new rail system would be offset by 40,000 construction jobs a year for 25 years, 22,000 new permanent jobs, and increased revenue and productivity for East Coast employers. Amtrak is waiting for the Federal Railroad Administration to complete a required environmental-impact assessment of the corridor to come up with a "preferred alternative" for development. That assessment is expected to take until June 2015. In the meantime, Amtrak is moving to build political and popular support for funding and building its proposed high-speed corridor.


March 29, 2012 - SEPTA Job Sites on the Northeast Corridor Threaten Railroad Passengers and Right of Way Workers. The purpose of this letter is to focus your attention on an alarming pattern of negligence by SEPTA work crews who are working on SEPTA train stations along the Northeast Corridor and in the foul of the Northeast Corridor. Their continued and willful violation of the FRA Roadway Worker Protection regulations and NORAC operating rules will potentially lead to fatally injuring passengers, Amtrak employees or SEPTA employees who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. A railroad emergency exists and we will hope that you take this situation seriously and correct it. These issues have been raised and documented repeatedly to senior Amtrak engineering management whose lack of remedial action can only be described as negligent. Read More... of General Chairman Dodd's letter to Amtrak's President Boardman.

Then read Boardman's response...



March 13, 2012 - The Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (PRLBC), on behalf of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), along with the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), are making a joint application for the National Mediation Board’s services in mediating outstanding disputes arising from the PRLBC’s Section 6 Notice of April 7, 2010. View our joint Application for Mediation Services here.


January 19, 2012 - Amtrak's Vice President Government Affairs Joe McHugh writes to Congressman Tom Latham, (R-IA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations regarding overtime work on Amtrak, and the legislated $35,000 cap on overtime. Read Joe McHugh's letter here.


January 1, 2012 - Per Diems - Latin for "per day" or "for each day", per diems refer to a specific amount of money that an employer allows a worker per workday, to cover living and traveling expenses in connection with that work. In 2010 the BMWED succeeded in negotiating per diem adjustments tied to variables reported by Bureau of Labor Statistics. Section 2.b. of our November 4, 2010 BMWED/Amtrak fencing agreement is the product of those negotiations, providing in perpetuity for an annual adjustment of our per diems. The new per diem amount for 2012 will be increased from $40.00 to $41.14. Read More...


December 14, 2011 - Amtrak Safety Crisis Follow Up "Last month I wrote to you about the current safety emergency on the Northeast Corridor.   Over the course of a short period of time, we had a series of close calls and incidents. Our concern was that another employee fatality was inevitable.  There have been 17 members of the Union killed on the job since the beginning of Amtrak in 1976, and most of these Brothers were hit by trains. It is a huge mistake to think that it cannot happen to you, and currently, conditions exist where it is more likely to happen again." Read More of General Chairman Dodd's follow-up letter to BMWED/Amtrak members.


November 7, 2011 - The purpose of this letter is to alert you to the fact that, currently conditions exist on the Amtrak property that, in the past, have resulted in an employee fatality. Supervisors are issuing orders to do jobs without enough resources and telling members of the Union that if they complain they won’t honor side deals to let them leave early.  Young foreman are being intimidated by Supervisors and Managers because they are inexperienced and being told to do things without enough men to protect the job site.  Our newer members are being told to do things by some foreman and when the instruction is questioned the foreman is rude, threatening and intimidating. The side deals, inexperience and ego power trips will inevitably lead to the death of one of our members. Of course there are other reasons for the increased danger now on the property, but I think if we are honest with one another these are some of the major reasons. Read More of General Chairman Dodd's letter to BMWED/Amtrak members.


June 9, 2011 - The BMWED performs initial assessment of the  recent accident where a light plant came into contact with energized catenary. It is our requirement that all light plants should be removed from service until we can ensure they are properly grounded and the controls are  properly marked to indicate direction for when the light pole is raised or lowered. General Chairman Dodd's letter to Amtrak is linked here. Then read Deputy Chief Falkenstein's curt response.


June 9, 2011 - Are Amtrak Safety Liaisons entitled to the Foreman Service Bonus? Not according to Amtrak, who graciously agreed not to recover three thousand dollars of service bonus from our liaisons. Read Frank Vacca's letter on the subject here.


May 16, 2011 - Important payroll update from Amtrak, who is in the process of transitioning into a new Strategic Asset Management (SAM) program on June 10, 2011. View Amtrak's correspondence to Union Leaders, along with Amtrak's explaination of this transition including examples. Questions can be directed to 866-247-2915.


May 13, 2011 - Please read this important Safety Notice regarding “Implantable Cardiac Devices”. Should you have any questions about the contents of this notice; please contact your local Safety Officer.  Medically related questions should be directed to HR Medical Services at (215) 349-2389.


April 11, 2011 - Amtrak President Joe Boardman, while presenting Amtrak's budget request, attempts to explain Amtrak's overtime expenses and the seniority provisions of labor agreements to Congressman Tom Latham, (R-IA), Chairman of a House Subcommittee on Appropriations.

              

February 11, 2011 - Amtrak President Joe Boardman's letter to the Unions discussing the future of Amtrak funding, the importance of educating the new faces of Government, cutting Amtrak spending, and more. Read President Boardman's letter here.


January 10, 2011 - Secret ballots counted for the Amtrak Contract Survey. There were 2094 ballots sent to Amtrak workers in 6 BMWED-IBT Systems, Divisions, or Federations, and a 45.5% return of those ballots. 14.5% voted to accept Amtrak’s offer and 85.5% voted to continue to bargain for a better settlement. View Survey results here.


December 6, 2010 BMWED – Amtrak Contract Survey Letter and Summary of Agreement between Amtrak and the Settled Unions (IBEW, TCU, lAM, Carmen, ATDA, ARASA, and TWU). A secret ballot has been mailed, giving the membership opportunity to voice their opinion, the results of which will be counted on January 10, 2011. View Survey Letter here.


September 29, 2010 Amtrak issues it's Infrastructure Master Plan. This new dream system’s construction would support 44,000 jobs annually over the 25-year construction period and approximately 120,000 permanent jobs, while generating an annual operating surplus of approximately $900 million. Read Amtrak's Employee Advisory and then view the report (3.5mb) in all it's splendid glory.


July 30, 2010 Amtrak President and CEO Joseph Boardman's contract with Amtrak has been extended by the Board of Directors through 2013. Maybe thats enough time for our outstanding contract to settle. Let's not all hold our breath. Read More...


June 28, 2010 Amtrak Announces Three New Board Members. Anthony R. Coscia, Bert DiClemente and Jeff Moreland were nominated by President Obama and recently confirmed by the United States Senate.  They are expected to soon assume their new responsibilities guiding and overseeing America’s railroad.
 “We welcome our newest board members with confidence they will contribute their considerable knowledge and experience to advance Amtrak’s growth strategy and efforts to make the nation’s railroad safer, greener, and healthier,” said Amtrak Chairman Thomas Carper. Read Press Release...


May 1, 2010 "An Appeal To Reason" Amtrak edition discussing various contracts, both ratified and tentative. Also discussed is the study which found Amtrak Workers underpaid compared to our Passenger Rail counterparts.


February 4, 2010 General Chairman Dodd's letter with regards to both an upcoming BST/Safe-2-Safer survey, and our Union's current relationship with management's newest safety program. View General Chairman Dodd's letter here.


January 20, 2010 Obama Names Freight Attorney to Amtrak Board. President Obama is nominating Jeffrey R. Moreland, a former senior attorney with BNSF Railway and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, to join Amtrak’s board of directors. Read More...


January 5, 2010 Joseph Boardman will continue to lead Amtrak for a while. The national intercity passenger railroad’s board recently extended his contract as interim president and chief executive officer "indefinitely," according to Amtrak. Read More...


December 3, 2009 Amtrak’s recent correspondence regarding new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations which impact agreement covered employees. Payment for per diems and meals for employees who are not in lodging, and meals provided in connection with working overtime will be considered taxable income under the IRS regulations. Read correspondence.


November 30, 2009 Amtrak Announces it’s Xmas Present to Employees. Amtrak gifts the workers this year with time clocks. Just when you’ve finally gotten over the 2006-07 Merry MAXIMO Christmas where over nine hundred Amtrak employees and their families were Scrooged by Maximo caused payroll shortages. For this holiday season, Amtrak prepares to “roll out” a swipe card time clock system. Given Amtrak’s history, what can the workers expect from this present? Let’s hope this season isn’t spoiled by Amtrak’s time clock scheme. Read How the Grinch Stole Christmas here.


November 23, 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provide Amtrak an additional $850,000,000 for capital projects. Read General Chairman Dodd's letter to the Amtrak Committee and the letter of understanding for various ARRA projects, such as Security Upgrades, Platform Lighting, and Right of Way Improvements.


November 5, 2009 Amtrak's Chairman Thomas Carper today announced his appointment of Theodore (Ted) Alves as Amtrak’s new Inspector General. Carper appointed Mr. Alves after naming a Selection Committee chaired by Amtrak board member Nancy A. Naples and comprised of Amtrak board vice chairman Donna McLean and two prominent former inspectors general, Ken Mead from the U.S. DOT and Gaston Gianni from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Selection Committee sought and received input from the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), and the chairman engaged a leading executive search firm to assist with the process. Does this mean Ms. Lorraine Green is back full time at H.R.? Read Amtrak's fluffy news release.


October 30, 2009 Amtrak petitions the FRA for a waiver enabling the off-corridor passenger platform snow removal to be performed using conductors and contractors.


September 20, 2009 Amtrak's Bridges Troubled. Officials say the region's spans are safe, but they need hundreds of millions in repairs. An Inquirer lawsuit threat uncovered the data.


August 6, 2009 Amtrak Top Cop Paid Hush Money? Amtrak IG's severance raises questions. When Fred Weiderhold Jr. suddenly retired this summer, Amtrak agreed to pay him more than $310,000 in exchange for his signature on a separation agreement that drastically limited what he could say about the circumstances of his departure.


August 1, 2009 The agreement is signed in connection with the foreman rate increase, the CDL differential, and the tree cutting in the overhead wires. and is effective August 1, 2009.

Amtrak has informed the Union that it may be several weeks before their payroll system can be updated to include the new rates of pay for Foreman. Any shortages resulting from this situation will be adjusted and retroactively paid back to August 1, 2009. This also applies to shortages in the CDL differential.


July 27, 2009 The ballots have been cast, the votes have been counted, the membership has decided. Link provides the official results certified by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) in connection with ratification voting on the July 3, 2009 tentative special agreement.


June 30, 2009 Over the last several months our Union leaders 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. Follow link to the proposed special agreement page, including the general agreement summary, and schedule of pre-ratification meetings.


June 25, 2009 Officials of Amtrak have "systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act," Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) charged Thursday (June 25), making public a 94-page legal report prepared at the request of the Amtrak inspector general who resigned suddenly a week ago, the American Spectator reports.


May 29, 2009 Baltimore's Penn Station to get hotel. Amtrak officials confirmed this week that they have signed a lease with Hospitality Partners of Bethesda that will enable the company to build and run a "boutique" hotel inside the 1911 train station while it continues to operate as a railroad terminal.


February 17, 2009 Amtrak President Joseph Boardman asked Congress to provide sufficient funds so Amtrak can fulfill its contractual obligation to pay agreement employees the entire amount of retroactive pay due in 2009.


January 30, 2009 Amtrak's Special Employee Advisory announcing Thomas Carper (not the Delaware Senator) assumes role as Chairman of Amtrak Board, replacing Republican Donna McLean.


January 21, 2009 Tom Roth's letter to General Chairman Dodd discussing an audit and determination that Amtrak’s methodology in calculating the back pay is correct with the exception of Amtrak's failure to pay retroactive money on time claims paid during the retroactive period.


January 20, 2009 Back Pay calculations in error, Amtrak does not consider claim settlements as subject to retroactive calculations. BMWED issues strike warning.


January 13, 2009 Thousands of concrete ties to be replaced in Connecticut


January 7, 2009 Amtrak conductor will ride to inauguration


January 6, 2009 Amtrak plans onboard credit sales


December 31, 2008 Amtrak's Portal Bridge replacement in Forecast


December 18, 2008 Amtrak special Employee Advisory - Amtrak President Boardman's message


December 11, 2008 Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) writes Amtrak's President Boardman regarding Rail Security on Northeast Corridor


December 3, 2008 Rail Labor Protests Appointment of Amtrak President Joe Boardman


November 25, 2008 Amtrak Alex calls it Quits


July 20, 2007 Agreement reached with Amtrak to resolve grievances submitted after Assistant Foreman positions were posted to be Contractor Protection Foreman for a series of NJT Projects in the Metropolitan Division.



Amtrak Agreements
Jan 02, 2009

Current BMWED - Amtrak Agreements

BMWED - Amtrak NEC Agreement - January 18, 2008
PRLBC - Amtrak arbitration decision governing GWI and H&W cost-sharing for Amtrak NEC and Off-Corridor - March 25, 2014
BMWED - Amtrak Off Corridor Agreement
The Consent Decree, now incorporated into the Agreement
BMWED - Amtrak System Safety Agreement
BMWED - Amtrak Training Agreement

October 22, 2013 - Agreement to provide five dollars an hour more for Zone 6 track inspectors in exchange for being locked into the position for two years.  All positions will be abolished and re-advertised and the positions are still subject to displacement by senior employees entitled to a displacement right.
July 17, 2013 - The BMWED and Amtrak's agreement providing for the Pilot positions advertised to the New Jersey High Speed Rail Racetrack Project.
April 29, 2013 - Constant Tension Catenary Agreement for the New Jersey Racetrack Project.
December 22, 2011 - Per Diem Agreement increasing the current $40.00 per diem by $1.14 to $41.14 effective January 1, 2012.
February 1, 2011 - The BMWED and Amtrak reach agreement in connection with Safe-2-Safer. This agreement strengthens our existing safety (Right-2-Refuse) agreement and preserves our safety liaison positions while adding another layer towards eliminating workplace hazards, injuries, and deaths.
November 4, 2010 - Memorandum of Understanding between the BMWED and Amtrak Corridor and Off-Corridor in connection with fencing and guard-rail installation. Additionally this MOU addresses our BMWED/Amtrak per diem allowance and furloughs. Included is General Chairman Dodd's letter to the Amtrak Committee and a hypothetical example of future per diem adjustments.

November 17, 2009 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provide Amtrak an additional $850,000,000 for capital projects. Letter of understanding for various ARRA projects, such as Security Upgrades, Platform Lighting, and Right of Way Improvements.

February 1, 2010 Memorandum of Understanding establishing rates of pay for MW and 3rd Rail Electricians.
August 1, 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, raising Foreman rates, CDL incentives, etc. Commonly referred to as the "Tree Agreement"
June 21, 2004 - Holland Welding and GREX Slot Machine Transition agreements restoring our work and providing training security.
November 2, 2001 New York Pilot Agreement addressing the preservation of work for Amtrak's expansion projects at Penn Station New York as well as tunnels in that area, including the "Standpipe Project", "JO Interlocking", "Ventilation Project", "Long Island City and Weehawken Shaft", and "3rd Rail Replacement East and North River Tubes". This agreement was updated January 16, 2009.
October 5, 2000 - Amtrak Agreement to support the Right Care... Day One program on a system wide basis, including transitional work assignments.
Rule 4 - Filling Vacant Positions
Rule 17 - Order of Seniority - Time of Employement
Rule 18 - Reduction in Force - Retaining Rank on Roster
Rule 19 - Probationary Period
Rule 21A - Absent without Permission
Rule 48 - Holidays
Rule 87 - Vacations
Rule 88 - Scheduling Of Vacations
Rule 93 - Bereavement Leave
Rule 97 - Entry Rates

Past Agreements

2008 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1997 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1992 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1987 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1982 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement

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Temporary Positions and Vacancies - Method of Filling

RULE 4 - TEMPORARY POSITIONS AND VACANCIES - METHOD OF FILLING
 
(a) 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.[1]
 
(b) An employee so assigned may be displaced by a senior employee working in a lower rated position or in the same grade or class, provided displacement is made prior to the starting time of the assigned tour of duty, by notice to the Foreman or other officer in charge. The latter employee will not be subject to similar displacement from such temporary assignment by a senior employee unless such employee is exercising seniority in accordance with Rule 18.
 
(c) Employees temporarily assigned in accordance with the foregoing will be governed by the starting time, headquarters, tour of duty and rate of pay of the position so filled.
The provisions of this paragraph (c) apply only when positions are filled by AMTRAK in accordance with paragraph (1) of this Rule 4, and when an employee in the exercise of seniority displaces a junior employee.
The provisions of this paragraph (c) do not apply to employees assigned by AMTRAK to fill vacancies or new positions pending assignment after they have expressed a desire not to be so assigned.
 
(d) Temporary vacancies which are not advertised will be filled in like manner.
 
(e) The word "senior" as used in this Rule 4 means the senior qualified employee on the roster involved and then on any seniority roster in the same sub-department, and then on any seniority roster.
[1] paragraph (a) amended August 1, 2009

Download a copy of Rule 4

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Order of Seniority - Time of Employement

"The order in which the names of employees who enter service on the same date and in the same class shall be shown on the seniority rosters on the following basis:

  1. Length of previous service in the same class.
  2. Length of previous service in other classes covered by these Rules.
  3. Length of previous service on former railroad on positions not covered by these Rules.
  4. In alphabetical order."

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Reduction in Force - Retaining Rank on Roster

Abolishments, etc

RULE 18 - REDUCTION IN FORCE - RETAINING RANK ON ROSTER
(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 to displace junior employees in accordance with the following provisions of this Rule.
 
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.
 
(b) The Carrier may force assign the junior qualified employee in a working zone as defined in Rule 14 who is working in a lower class on the same shift to a vacancy in the same working zone which has gone no bid. A qualified employee is considered an employee who is qualified on the position to be filled and who has established seniority in the class of that position. Force assignment shall be made in writing to the affected employee and a copy of such written notice shall be promptly furnished the General Chairman. An employee who refuses to fill such assignment will forfeit seniority in the class of the position refused and all higher classes on the same seniority roster.
 
(1) The Carrier will not force assign an employee to a position in a work zone if another employee in the work zone possesses the necessary qualifications for the position although not having established seniority and has made application for such position.
(2) Temporary vacancies will not be filled by the force assignment procedure.
 
(3) Employees will not be forced to vacant positions for which they have no seniority.
 
(4) Employees not working in gangs covered by Rules 89-90 at the time furloughed will not be forced to cover positions in gangs established pursuant to those rules.
 
(c) If a vacancy cannot be filled in accordance with (b) above the appropriate Assistant Chief Engineer, or his representative will promptly meet with the appropriate General Chairman or his representative to determine how to fill the vacancy. However, the time required to fill the vacancy shall not be more than ten (10) days or the Carrier may assign the junior qualified employee in the working zone in a lower class.
 
(d) It is not the desire of Amtrak or the Organization to reduce the total compensation of anemployee force assigned under this rule. Upon written request by an employee force assigned under this rule, or his representative as designated in Rule 83 to the Division Engineer, with copy to the General Chairman, these respective officers, or their representatives, shall promptly meet for the purpose of determining if there are mutually agreeable ways to minimize any loss in total compensation.
 
(e) A position filled by force assignment under this Rule shall continue to be advertised inaccordance with the provisions of Rule 3 until filled through the normal advertisement and assignment process or abolished. The incumbent of such position shall be allowed a displacement in accordance with this rule should the position to which the incumbent was force assigned be subsequently awarded to another employee in accordance with Rule 3.
 
[5] (f) An employee furloughed as the result of reduction of force, desiring to be recalled to active service shall file his name and address, as well as subsequent notice(s) of change, in writing, with the officer(s) designated by the Carrier. The employee will prepare three (3) copies of such notice and/or change notice(s), retaining one copy and filing two (2) copies with the officer referred to. One copy of such notice will be forwarded by AMTRAK to the General Chairman.
 
In the event an employee fails to file notice as set forth above, Amtrak may request, by certified mail to the employee's address of record, that the employee file such notice. Failure to comply with such a request may result in the application of Rule 21-A.
 
Amtrak shall not be subject to financial liability for failure to recall employees who do not file their name and address as required above.
 
The requirement for filing name and address will not apply to an employee who exercises seniority in reduction of force to another position covered by this Agreement.
[5] revised December 9, 1997

Download a copy of Rule 18

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Absent Without Permission

"(a) Employees who absent themselves from work for fourteen(14) consecutive days without notifying their supervisor shall be considered as having resigned from the service and will be removed from the seniority roster unless they furnish the Carrier documented evidence of either physical incapacity or that circumstances beyond their control prevented such notification. In the absence of the supervisor, the employee shall notify the office of the Division Engineer of the division on which last assigned.

(b) If the Carrier refuses to accept such documented evidence, the employee or his representative may appeal such action in accordance with the appeal procedures of Rule 74 - DISCIPLINE."

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BMWED - Amtrak Bereavement Leave

This negotiated benefit helps ease the pain when the tragedy of death strikes. Bereavement leave is paid leave that an employee is entitled to because of the death of a family member as defined by the terms of the BMWED collective bargaining agreement.The BMWED/Amtrak agreement Rule 93 can be viewed here.

Download a copy of the Bereavement Leave Rule with Q+A

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BMWED - Amtrak Holidays

New Years Day
Personal Holiday*
Washington's Birthday
Veteran's Day
Good Friday
Thanksgiving Day
Memorial Day
Christmas Eve
Fourth of July
Christmas Day
Labor Day
 

*  Such day will be selected by the employee, consistent with the requirement of service, upon 48 hours advance notice to the Corporation.  The "personal holiday" request must be made before October 12 of each year.  Failing to do so, such "personal holiday" will be assigned by management.

View a text version of Rule 48-Holidays (NEC Agreement)


NORAC

In the spring of 2009, without advertising as a training opportunity, Amtrak began to give new hires NORAC Training as part of new hire orientation. This violates Article 12 of the January 17, 2008 Consent Decree Agreement. Employees must have an equal opportunity to apply for properly bulletined training. Claim and settlement follows.

Claim and Settlement

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Probationary Period

"Applications for newly-hired employees shall be approved or disapproved within 90 calendar days after applicants begin work.  If applications are not disapproved within the 90 calendar day period, the applications will be considered as having been approved.  Applicants shall within 90 calendar days from date of employment, if requested, have returned to them all documents which have been furnished to the Company.  In the event an employee's application for employment is disapproved in accordance with the provisions of this rule, he shall be notified, in writing, by the Company of such disapproval."

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Vacations

RULE 87 - VACATIONS
The December 17, 1941, National Vacation Agreement, together with amendments and interpretations, is adopted as the AMTRAK-Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Vacation Agreement. Prior continuous railroad service of employees accepting AMTRAK employment in this craft and class, who are affected by an assumption of function, will be credited for such prior service to determine length of vacation.

How much vacation time does this negotiated benefit provide? You would not get any vacation if the Company had their way. Fortunatly the National Vacation Agreement has held up even after vicious attacks by Railroad Robber Barons. Paid vacations for rail workers are a hard-fought victory. Currently unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more total paid leave (personal leave and holidays) then their non-union counterparts.

A synthesis of the (M. of W.) National Vacation Agreement generally provides the following vacation accrual:

One Week
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred twenty (120) days during the preceding calendar year.
Two Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred ten (110) days during the preceding calendar year and have two (2) or more years of continuous service.
Three Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less that one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have eight (8) or more years of continuous service.
Four Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have seventeen (17) or more years of continuous service.
Five Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have twenty-five (25) or more years of continuous service.

View a synthesis of the National Vacation Agreement, as amended December 17, 1984

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Vacations - Scheduling Of

RULE 88 - VACATIONS - SCHEDULING OF
In addition to the provisions of the Vacation Agreement of December 17, 1941, Interpretations and Amendments Thereto, the following will apply:
 
(1)24Effective January 1, 1998, employees shall be permitted to take one week of their vacation allowance per year in less than 40 hour increments, provided that such vacation days will be scheduled in accordance with existing rules on Amtrak applicable to the scheduling of personal leave days.
 
(2) Except as provided above, all vacations will start on the first day of the employee regular scheduled work week.
 
(3) In gangs of ten (10) men or less (not including Foreman) only one (1) employee will be permitted to be on vacation at a time during the months of June, July, August, and September.
 
(4) In gangs of more than ten (10) men (not including Foreman) two (2) employees will be permitted to be on vacation at one time during the months of June, July, August and September.
 
(5) One (1) Track Foreman on a Supervisor's Territory will be permitted to be on vacation at one time. (6) Employees desiring to split their vacation period may request same in accordance with the following:
 
Employees entitled to:
1 week (5 days) vacation
No split
2 weeks (10 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
1 week remaining months
3 weeks (15 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months
or
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
1 week remaining months.
4 weeks (20 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
3 weeks remaining months
or
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months.
5 weeks (25 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
4 weeks remaining months
or
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
3 weeks remaining months
or
3 weeks - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months.
Vacation schedule will be prepared jointly by the General Chairman and Chief Engineer, or by their authorized representatives, and signed by the General Chairman and Chief Engineer.
Request for change in scheduled vacation dates must be by written request to the Chief Engineer, with a copy to the General Chairman. Any agreement to change a scheduled vacation will be writing by the Chief Engineer and General Chairman.

Download a copy of Rule 88 - Vacations - Scheduling Of

Rule 88 Still Under Construction


Entry Rates

In conjunction with Amtrak’s probationary periods, new hires are further discriminated against by reduced vacation entitlements, vesting periods for unemployment and sickness annuities, and Entry Rates of Pay.

Railroad employers have fought long and hard to choke the earnings of workers. One method of suppressing advancement of the working class is to provide reduced wages to newly hired employees. This draconian practice pre-dates Amtrak, carried over from the steam era, the industrial age and beyond. Railroad managers rationalize that new workers don’t know as much as older, more experienced workers and are therefore less valuable. At Amtrak, the value of experience is expressed in paychecks, and the disparity of entry rates perpetuates animosity between brothers and hatred towards the railroad.

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right of the working class. Our Union continuously bargains against entry rate reductions. In 1986 we successfully improved the then 5-year/75% entry rate scale (meaning it would take a new worker 5 years to reach 100% pay in yearly 5% increments) to our current 3-year scale. This improvement in entry rate scales was thought by many to be a victory, however it's not enough and we can not rest until all workers are treated equally.

No Justice, No Peace.

RULE 97 - ENTRY RATES
(a) For the first 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 90% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
 
(b) For the second 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 95% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
(c) At the conclusion of the second period specified in (b) above, employees will be paid at 100% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
(d) An employee will be credited with a "month of employment" if the employee retains seniority in that month.
(e) Employees who have had an employment relationship with Amtrak and are rehired will be paid at established rates after completion of a total of twenty-four (24) months of combined service.
(f)    Service in a craft not represented by the BMWE shall not be considered in determining periods of employment under this rule.
(g) Employees who have had a previous employment relationship with a carrier in a craft represented by the BMWE and are subsequently hired by Amtrak will receive credit toward completion of the twenty-four (24) month period for any month in which compensated service was performed in such craft, provided that such compensated service last occurred within one year from the date of subsequent employment.
(h) Entry Rates will not be applied to Maintenance of Way Repairmen

Download a copy of Rule 97

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 "An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


Snitch

Next to a scab, a snitch or an informer is one of the lowest forms of humanity. All we have is our ability to stick together. Statements given to railroad management and their agents will only be used against you. Management is not interested in the truth and is only interested in protecting their money at our expense. Be careful what you say and never volunteer any information.

Remember, nobody likes a snitch. No one can say you saw something that you did not see. This includes but is not limited to injuries, investigations and accidents of all kinds.

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Rosters
Jan 02, 2009

 Amtrak Seniority Rosters

Following are the current Track, B&B, and Electric Traction seniority rosters for the Amtrak property, including Southern District, Corridor, Off-Corridor, and Bid/Displacement lists.

The BMWED/Amtrak NEC seniority rosters are governed by Rule 16, the Off-Corridor rosters governed by Rule 7, both of which provide for an annual roster publication.

* archived senority Rosters at bottom of page


Seniority Roster Rules

Additionally, agreement rules detail roster protests and appeals, specifying a 60-day protest window that begins January 1st for Off-Corridor, and March 1st for Corridor. All roster protests should be submitted to Amtrak’s designated officer before the expiration of respective protest windows. Currently BMWED/Amtrak roster protests should be mailed to:

National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Mr. Pete Bubnis, Manager Engineering
30th Street Station
Third Floor, North Tower, Box 22
2955 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19104

A Seniority system is simple way for determining employment advantages based upon length of service. Our BMWED seniority system is instrumental in fairly determining who receives more favorable duty tours, work locations, promotions, and other work opportunities. Seniority also has an influence over bumping rights, which is a re-assignment of jobs, possibly for many people at a time. Our Seniority system has been formulated to avoid unfair 'bumping' in the event of a furlough. Generally Unions are strongly in favor of using seniority as the only criterion for making distinctions among employees. Most BMWE Agreements address seniority first but also take into consideration employee qualifications.

Also see Rule 10-Seniority, which addresses how BMWED employees earn, retain and accumulate seniority, and Rule 17-Order of Seniority, which stipulates the seniority order of employees who are hired on the same day.


2014 Southern District Track Department Seniority Rosters

Southern District Foreman, Asst. Foreman, and Trackman (36 pages, 3.1MB)
Engineer Work Equipment and Machine Operator
Truck Driver
Repairman Foreman, Repairman, and Repairman Helper
Electric Arc Welder Group
Orgotherm/Thermite Welder Group
Oxygen Acetylene Welder Group
Panel Renewal System
Drawbridge Operator, Drawbridge Tender
Watchman Highway Crossing
Paver
Camp Overseer, Cook and Camp Attendant

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2014 Southern District Structures Department Seniority Rosters

B&B Welding and Plumbing Inspector, Welder, Bricklayer, Carpenter, Ironworker, Mason, Painter, Plumber, Repairman, Signwriter, Structural Welder, Cabinetmaker, Sandblaster, Mechanic Foreman, Asst. Foreman, and Inspector, and B&B Mechanic. (2.8 mb)

2014 "Bear" System Rosters

Bear MW Repairman Foreman and Repairman
Bear Welder

NEC PRODUCTION UNITS

Including Foremen, EWEs and MOs, Truck Drivers, Repairmen, Camp Car Attendants, and other assorted Corridor Production positions who have established seniority in the Track Laying System, Undercutter System, Ditcher Unit, Rail Pick-Up Unit, Ballast Distribution System, MDZ Unit, and SES. (2.0MB, 61 pages)

NEC "RULE 89" BID/DISPLACEMENT LISTS

PART I - Rule 89 including Foreman, Assistant Foreman, and Trackman list (51 pages, 3.9MB)
PART II - Rule 89 including Repairmen and Repairman Foreman, Truck Drivers, O/A Welders, E/A Welders, the Boutét Welding group, EWEs and MOs (6.2MB, 82 pages)

NEC ELECTRIC TRACTION

Mid-Atlantic Division including Foreman, Gang Foreman, Lineman, and Lineman Helper as well as Electrician Substation positions, Electronic Technicians and M/W Electricians.
2013 New York Division including the Catenary & Transmission Foreman and Linemen, the Substation group, 3rd Rail positions, Electronic Techs and Electrolysis group.


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CHICAGO DISTRICT

Foreman, Trackman, M.O.,Welder, Repairman and B&B Mechanics

Albany District

Foreman, Trackman, EWE and M.O., Welder, Repairman and Repairman Foreman, Truck Drivers, and B&B Mechanics, Mechanic Foreman, Inspectors, and Helpers

ARCHIVED SENIORITY ROSTERS

2013 Southern District Foreman, Asst. Foreman, and Trackman rosters
2013 Southern District Track Miscellaneous rosters
2013 Southern District Structures Miscellaneous rosters
Southern District Foreman, Asst. Foreman, and Trackman rosters
2012
Southern District Track Miscellaneous rosters
2012
B&B Structures Miscellaneous rosters
2012
NEC Unit rosters
Southern District Foreman, Asst. Foreman, and Trackman rosters (4.7MB)
Southern District Track Miscellaneous rosters (7.8MB)
B&B Structures Miscellaneous rosters (4.5MB)
NEC Unit rosters (4.2MB)

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 "An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


Furlough
Sep 12, 2010

Furlough...is a term used on Amtrak to describe a temporary lay-off from the railroad. Usually involuntary, furloughs result when a railroad employer eliminates jobs due to lack of work or change in work conditions, and is always a result of inadequate foresight and poor planning on the part of Railroad Management.

During these Company caused job eliminations or force reductions, employees are forced to exercise seniority to other positions for which they are qualified, or to furlough. These basic seniority rights are governed by the following rules.

RULE 18 - REDUCTION IN FORCE-RETAINING RANK ON ROSTER

(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 to displace junior employees in accordance with the following provisions of this Rule.

Your position has just been abolished, or you've been displaced (bumped) by a senior employee. Now what? If you cannot in turn make a bump or fill a vacancy, you are effectively laid-off and left with the option of furloughing. Rule 18 continues by addressing furlough requirements.

RULE 18 - REDUCTION IN FORCE-RETAINING RANK ON ROSTER (con' t)

(f) An employee furloughed as the result of reduction of force, desiring to be recalled to active service shall file his name and address, as well as subsequent notice(s) of change, in writing, with the officer(s) designated by the Carrier. The employee will prepare three (3) copies of such notice and/or change notice(s), retaining one copy and filing two (2) copies with the officer referred to. One copy of such notice will be forwarded by AMTRAK to the General Chairman.

In the event an employee fails to file notice as set forth above, Amtrak may request, by certified mail to the employee's address of record, that the employee file such notice. Failure to comply with such a request may result in the application of Rule 21-A.

Amtrak shall not be subject to financial liability for failure to recall employees who do not file their name and address as required above.

The requirement for filing name and address will not apply to an employee who exercises seniority in reduction of force to another position covered by this Agreement.


open a printable complete version of Rule 18


Should you decide to take a furlough, you must file a Furlough Form. This is a three-part form, those parts being repetitive but necessary. After completing the form, mail or fax to:

National Railroad Passenger Corporation
Mr. Pete Bubnis, Director Manpower
30th Street Station
Third Floor, North Tower, Box 22
2955 Market Street
Philadelphia PA 19104

fax 215-349-4197

Should your personal circumstances change, such as you've moved to a different address, changed your phone number, or decide to change your Recall Zone Selection, you must complete a new furlough form and submit that new form to Amtrak.

Always get a receipt for your furlough form, either by mailing the furlough form Certified Mail with a return receipt request, or by a fax delivery conformation. At some point employees might be required to prove that their furlough form was on file with Amtrak.

Amtrak's Furlough Procedures for 2012


Returning to Work from Furlough

How do I get back to work after I've been furloughed? Typically Amtrak will call the number you list on the furlough form, or they will mail you a recall notice, delivered to your Address of Record. If Amtrak Assignments does not have your correct phone number or address, you will most likely miss this important notification.

RULE 21 - RETURNING FROM FURLOUGH

When the Carrier recalls furloughed employees to service, furloughed employees from that work zone having seniority in the class will be recalled from furlough in seniority order in that work zone. The employee's work zone will be the work zone selected by the employee at the time of furlough, or if no selection by the employee, the work zone from which furloughed.

If the pool of employees is exhausted in the work zone where the position is headquartered, the Carrier will recall in seniority order, other employees having seniority in the class who are furloughed from other work zones.

An employee who fails to return to service within ten (10) days from date notification of recall has been mailed to his last recorded address for a position or vacancy of thirty (30) days or more duration in the work zone selected or from which furloughed as designated in paragraph 1 above will forfeit all seniority under this Agreement. Forfeiture of seniority under this Rule will not apply:

(1) When an employee, within thirty (30) days from date of notification of recall, furnished evidence satisfactory to the officer signatory to notification that failure to respond within ten (10) days was due to conditions beyond his control. Such evidence will be made available to the representative.

(2) When an employee recalled to a gang (work zone) established in accordance with Rule 90-A, 90-B or 90-C, advises the General Chairman and appropriate Assistant Chief Engineer in writing that extenuating circumstances prevent his return to that work zone. Such extenuating circumstances will be evaluated and must be approved by the General Chairman and appropriate Assistant Chief Engineer.

(3) When the position to which recalled is outside of the work zone selected by the employee, or if no selection by the employee, the work zone from which furloughed.

(4) When an employee refuses recall to a gang established pursuant to Rule 89, the employee shall only forfeit seniority on rosters associated with Rule 89.

Furloughed employees may exercise seniority to displace junior employees awarded to new positions or recalled to service within fifteen days from the date such junior employees start work on such new positions.

New positions filled by recalled employees will be advertised on the first Monday after five days from the date such employees start work on such positions. Such advertisements will be made in accordance with the procedures in Rule 3.

If such positions are not advertised on the first Monday thereafter, then employees in active service may exercise seniority to displace newly recalled employees, provided they notify their current supervisory officer or foreman not less than 24 hours in advance of their current starting time. The current supervisory officer or foreman shall prepare a release form to be presented to the new supervisory officer or foreman prior to making the displacement. Such release form will be available for the employee to pick up at the current supervisor's office by the end of the employee's tour. If such release form or reasonable facsimile thereof is not available, then the current supervisory officer or foreman shall contact the new supervisory officer or foreman and arrange the displacement.


open a printable version of Rule 21

It is imperative for you to remain aware of working conditions while you're on furlough. Are others being recalled? Are positions for which you are qualified being bulletined and assigned? These conditions could impact your return from furlough.


One and Done

On the Amtrak property there are furlough conditions employees must be aware of, including Rule 100, or the "One and Done" rule, which generally provides that if you have less than three years of seniority (DES) and you have been furloughed over one year, Amtrak does not have to re-call you into service.

RULE 100 - TERMINATION OF SENIORITY

The seniority of any employee whose seniority under an agreement with BMWE is established after the date of this Agreement and who is furloughed for 365 consecutive days will be terminated if such employee has less than three (3) years of seniority.

The "365 consecutive days" shall exclude any period during which a furloughed employee receives compensation pursuant to an I.C.C. employee protection order or an employee protection agreement or arrangement.


open a printable version of Rule 100

It is important to maintain contact with Amtrak's Assignment Office to keep apprised of circumstances that could return you from furlough and prevent your termination.


Unemployment Benefits

If you are furloughed, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), the Federal agency responsible for administering the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA).

Only qualified employees can receive benefits. A new benefit year begins every July 1st. To qualify for benefits in a benefit year, you must have creditable railroad earnings in the preceding calendar year (base year), counting no more than a certain amount in any month. In addition, a new employee must have railroad service in at least 5 months of his or her first year of work in order to be eligible for benefits in the following benefit year.

Visit the Railroad Retirement web site and learn more about Unemployment Benefits for Railroad Employees.






 


Pay Rates
Jan 02, 2009

BMWED - Amtrak Rates of Pay

The following table illustrates pay rates resulting from the March 25, 2014 PRLBC/Amtrak arbitration. This is a general list representative of the most common BMWED positions. The agreement provided a 1.5% increase effective July 1, 2014, and a 3% increase (compounded) effective January 1, 2015.

POSITION
7/1/09
4.5% 
7/1/14
1.5%
1/1/15
1.5%
1/1/15
1.5%
 Asst. Track Foreman SD
$22.49
$25.48
$25.86
$26.25
 Asst. Track Foreman DWT
$23.54
$26.64
$27.04
$27.45
 B&B Foreman NSD
* $27.44 
$31.06
$31.53
$32.00
 B&B Inspector
* $27.44 
$31.06
$31.53
$32.00
 B&B Structural Inspector SD * $29.41  $33.29 $33.79 $34.30
 B&B Asst. Foreman Gang $24.57 $27.82 $28.24 $28.66
 B&B Mechanic ND $23.94 $27.08 $27.50 $27.91
 B&B Mech. Foreman SD * $27.44 $31.06 $31.53 $32.00
 B&B Foreman ND * $27.77 $31.44 $31.91 $32.39
 B&B Bricklayer SD $23.99 $27.17 $27.58 $27.99
 B&B Cabinetmaker SD $23.99 $27.17 $27.58 $27.99
 B&B Mechanic SD $23.68 $26.83 $27.23 $27.64
 Dock Bridge Tender SD $21.70 $24.57 $24.94 $25.31
 Drawbridge Operator ND $22.76 $25.77 $26.16 $26.55
 EWE “A” SD $24.75 $28.01 $28.43 $28.86
 EWE “B” SD $23.68 $26.83 $27.23 $27.64
 EWE “C” SD $23.31 $26.38 $26.78 $27.18
 EWE “A” DWT $24.74 $28.00 $28.42 $28.85
 EWE “A” NEC $24.90 $28.18 $28.60 $29.03
 EWE “B” NEC $24.17 $27.35 $27.76 $28.18
 EWE “C” NEC $23.83 $26.98 $27.38 $27.79
 Foreman NEC * 29.08 $32.92 $33.41 $33.91
 Foreman NEC * $27.37 $30.99 $31.45 $31.92
 Foreman NEC * $26.99 $30.55 $31.01 $31.48
 Foreman Repairman DWT * $29.03 $32.87 $33.36 $33.86
 Machine Operator $22.49 $25.48 $25.86 $26.26
 Machine Operator TLS $22.62 $25.61 $25.99 $26.38
 Machine Operator ND $22.28 $25.21 $25.59 $25.97
 Machine Operator DWT $22.49 $25.48 $25.86 $26.25
 MW Foreman Track SD * $26.53 $30.03 $30.48 $30.94
 MW Welder Foreman SD * 27.08 $30.66 $31.12 $31.59
 MW Rep. Foreman NEC * $29.08 $32.92 $33.41 $33.91
 MW Repairman DWT $25.59 $28.98 $29.41 $29.85
 MW Repairman SD 24.92 $28.22 $28.64 $29.07
 MW Repairman NEC $25.73 $29.13 $29.57 $30.01
 MW Rep. Foreman SD * $27.44 $31.06 $31.53 $32.00
 MW Truck Driver DWT $23.64 $26.77 $27.17 $27.58
 MW Truck Driver SD $23.64 $26.77 $27.17 $27.58
 MW Welder SD $23.99 $27.17 $27.58 $27.99
 MW O/A Welder DWT $23.99 $27.17 $27.58 $27.99
 B&B Plumber SD $23.99 $27.17 $27.58 $27.99
 Portal Drawbridge 1st $22.76 $25.77 $26.16 $26.55
 Portal Drawbridge 2nd and 3rd $23.02 $26.07 $26.46 $26.86
 Structural Welder ND $24.19 $27.37 $27.78 $28.20
 Structural Welder NSD $24.23 $27.43 $27.84 $28.26
 Technician Gangs $26.52 $30.02 $30.47 $30.93
 Trackman DWT $21.44 $24.27 $24.63 $25.00
 Trackman SD $21.42 $24.25 $24.61 $24.98
 Trackman NEC $21.55 $24.40 $24.77 $25.14
 Truck Driver – Bear $25.00 $28.32 $28.74 $29.17
 Truck Driver NEC $23.81 $26.96 $27.26 $27.77
 ET Cable Splicer BAL $25.12 $28.44 $28.87 $29.30
 ET Lineman NEC $24.74 $28.00 $28.42 $28.85
 Electrician $24.74 $28.00 $28.42 $28.85
 Electrician ET SD $24.61 $27.86 $28.28 $28.70
 Electrician Bonder 3rd Rail HRO ** $27.64 $31.29 $31.76 $32.24
 Electronic Tech SD $29.27 $33.14 $33.64 $34.14
 ET Lineman HRO $27.64 $31.29 $31.76 $32.24
 Foreman ET SD * $30.87 $34.95 $35.47 $36.00
 ET Electrician Gang Foreman SD ** $29.14 $32.99 $33.48 $33.98
 Line/Grdmn 3rd Rail $24.26 $27.46 $27.87 $28.29
 3rd Rail Welder NY ** $25.05 $28.37 $28.80 $29.23
 3rd Rail Electrician ** $24.74 $28.00 $28.42 $28.85
   
 

* Foreman rates have been adjusted to reflect a $1.00 per hour increase effective with the August 1, 2009 Memorandum of Understanding.

** Certain Electric Traction department rates have been adjusted to reflect increases effective with the February 1, 2010 Memorandum of Understanding.

view and print current rate chart


BMWED Job Codes and the corresponding positions for Amtrak's Mid-Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions


Paying Newly Hired Employees

In conjunction with Amtrak’s probationary periods, new hires are further discriminated against by reduced vacation entitlements, vesting periods for unemployment and sickness annuities, and entry rates of pay.

Railroad employers have fought long and hard to choke the earnings of workers. One method of suppressing advancement of the working class is to provide limited wages to newly hired employees. This draconian practice pre-dates Amtrak, carried over from the steam era, the industrial age and beyond. Railroad managers rationalize that new workers don’t know as much as older, more experienced workers and are therefore less valuable. At Amtrak, the value is expressed in paychecks.

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right of the working class. Our Union continuously bargains against entry rate reductions and were successful in improving the 5-year/75% entry rate scale (meaning it would take a new worker 5 years to reach 100% pay in yearly 5% increments).

Following is Rule 97 that currently governs entry rates on the Amtrak NEC

RULE 97 - ENTRY RATES

(a) For the first 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 90% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).

(b) For the second 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 95% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).

(c) At the conclusion of the second period specified in (b) above, employees will be paid at 100% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).

(d) An employee will be credited with a "month of employment" if the employee retains seniority in that month.

(e) Employees who have had an employment relationship with Amtrak and are rehired will be paid at established rates after completion of a total of twenty-four (24) months of combined service.

(f) Service in a craft not represented by the BMWE shall not be considered in determining periods of employment under this rule.

(g) Employees who have had a previous employment relationship with a carrier in a craft represented by the BMWE and are subsequently hired by Amtrak will receive credit toward completion of the twenty-four (24) month period for any month in which compensated service was performed in such craft, provided that such compensated service last occurred within one year from the date of subsequent employment.

(h) Entry Rates will not be applied to Maintenance of Way Repairmen.

Download a copy of Rule 97

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Unions have a substantial impact on the compensation and work lives of both unionized and non-unionized workers. While only 14 percent of nonunion workers have guaranteed pensions, fully 68 percent of union workers do. More than 97 percent of union workers have jobs that provide health insurance benefits, but only 85 percent of nonunion workers do. Unions help employers create a more stable, productive workforce—where workers have a say in improving their jobs.

  • Unions raise wages of unionized workers by roughly 20% and raise compensation, including both wages and benefits, by about 28%.
  • Unions reduce wage inequality because they raise wages more for low- and middle-wage workers than for higher-wage workers, more for blue-collar than for white-collar workers, and more for workers who do not have a college degree.
  • Strong unions set a pay standard that nonunion employers follow. For example, a high school graduate whose workplace is not unionized but whose industry is 25% unionized is paid 5% more than similar workers in less unionized industries.
  • The impact of unions on total nonunion wages is almost as large as the impact on total union wages.



"An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


Claims
Jan 02, 2009

Claiming BMWED Contract Violations on the Amtrak Property

What is a Grievance (or time claim)?

According to the Railway Labor Act, Sec. 152, Sixth - "In case of a dispute between a carrier or carriers and it's or their employees, arising out of grievances or out of the interpretation or application of agreements concerning rates of pay, rules, or working conditions..."

What's on this page?

  • Rule 64 Claims for Compensation and Time Limits for Filing, a copy of the rule governing submitting claims on Amtrak's NEC.

  • Amtrak's Designated Officers, a discussion of Rule 64(b) and the importance of delivering your claim to the correct Amtrak officer who's designated to receive it.

  • What Is A Grievance, a look inside the claim and grievance process.

  • The Do's and Don'ts of Grievance Handling, what to do and obviously what not to do.

  • The Three Part Formula, a brief article discussing the three part grievance format which is standard in railroad arbitration. This article deals with the Statement of Claim, the Statement of Facts, and the Position of the Employees.

  • Seperating Opinion from Fact, facts are facts and with support will strengthen a claim. Opinions cannot be verified like a fact. A fact can be supported by written record, statements, copies of time sheets, awards, records, etc. Claims, whether at the initial level or during appeals, will consider facts and not opinion.

  • Sample Grievance, using the three part formula

  • Claim Forms, prepared claim forms that will help furnish the necessary information that must be contained in a claim. Download, print, fill in the blanks, and mail. Included is a sample.

  • March 10, 1976 Informative letter written by BMWE Vice President Fred Wurple, wherein Grievance handling is addressed

  • My Claim was Answered, Now What? A continuing discussion on Rule 64(b).


BMWED/Amtrak NEC Agreement

Rule 64 - CLAIMS FOR COMPENSATION TIME LIMITS FOR FILING

(a) All claims and grievances alleged to be due made by or in behalf of employees must be presented, in writing, within sixty (60) days from the date of the occurrence on which the claim is based in accordance with the following provision of this Rule, except:

(1) Time off duty on account of sickness, leave of absence, suspension or reduction in force, will extend the time limit as specified in this Rule 64.
(2) When a claim for compensation alleged to be due is based on an occurrence during a period employee was out of service due to sickness, leave of absence, suspension or reduction in force, it must be made, in writing, within sixty (60) days from the date the employee resumes duty.

(b) All claims or grievances must be presented in writing by or on behalf of the employee involved, to the designated officer of AMTRAK authorized to receive same, within sixty (60) days from the date of the occurrence on which the claim is based.

Should any such claim or grievance be disallowed, AMTRAK shall, within sixty (60) days from the date same is filed, notify whoever filed the claim or grievance (the employee or his representative), in writing, of the reasons for such disallowance. If not so notified, the claim or grievance shall be allowed as presented, but this shall not be considered as a precedent or waiver of the contentions of AMTRAK as to other similar claims or grievances.

(c) If a disallowed claim or grievance is to be appealed, such appeal must be in writing and must be taken within sixty (60) days from receipt of notice of disallowance. Failing to comply with the provision, the matter shall be considered closed, but this shall not be considered as a precedent or waiver of the contentions of the employees as to other similar claims or grievances. It is understood, however, that the parties may, by agreement, at any state of the handling of a claim or grievance on the property, extend the (60) day period for either a decision or appeal, up to and including the highest officer of AMTRAK designated for that purpose.

(d) The requirements outlined in paragraphs (b) and (c), pertaining to appeal by the employee and decision by Amtrak, shall govern in appeals taken to each succeeding officer, except that in cases appealed to the highest officer designated by AMTRAK to handle claims or grievances on appeal the sixty (60) day time limit for decision shall run from the date the appeal is heard.

All claims or grievances involved in a decision by the highest designated officer shall be barred unless within one hundred eighty five (185) days from the date of said officer's decision, proceedings are instituted by the employee or his duly authorized representative before the appropriate division of the National Railroad Adjustment Board or a system, group or regional board of adjustment that has been agreed to by the parties hereto as understood, however, that the parties may by agreement in any particular case extend the one hundred eighty five (185) days period herein referred to.

(e) A claim may be filed at any time for an alleged continuing violation of any agreement and all rights of the claimant or claimants involved thereby shall, under this Rule, be fully protected by the filing of one claim or grievance based thereon as long as such alleged violation, if found to be such, continues. However no monetary claim shall be allowed retroactively for more than sixty (60) days prior to the filing thereof. With respect to claims and grievances involving an employee held out of service in discipline cases, the original notice of request for reinstatement with pay for time lost shall be sufficient.

(f) This Rule recognizes the right of representatives of the Organizations, parties hereto, to file and prosecute claims and grievances for and on behalf of the employees they represent.

(g) This Agreement is not intended to deny the right of the employees to use any other lawful action for the settlement of claims or grievances provided such action is instituted within nine (9) months of the date of the decision of the highest designated officer of AMTRAK.

(h) This Rule shall not apply to requests of leniency.

(i) When claims are allowed, the employee and his duly accredited representative, as defined in Rule 83, shall be advised, in writing the amount involved and the payroll on which payment will be made.

(j) The officers of AMTRAK referred to in this Rule 64 are as designated in writing by the Carrier.

Download and Print a copy of Rule 64

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Amtrak's Designated Officers for NEC claims , grievances, and appeals

Amtrak's Labor Relations Department will periodically, formally and officially notify the BMWED as to where to send our claims and grievances. Amtrak has contracted with the BMWED to appoint and designate the officer with whom the claim must be filed in the first instance (1st level). This agreement includes the requirement that if the officer disallows the claim, he must do so in writing and give his reasons therefor. Thus, his decision has been contracted for and may not be brushed aside by higher level officers. Rule 64(b) clearly states:

(b) "All claims or grievances must be presented in writing by or on behalf of the employee involved, to the designated officer of AMTRAK authorized to receive same, within sixty (60) days from the date of the occurrence on which the claim is based."

This simple paragraph contains three key elements concerning claim submission.

  1. "All claims or grievances must be presented in writing by or on behalf of the employee involved...." From this language we understand that all claims must be written, not verbal, and that an individual employee can submit his/her own claim, or a claim may be submitted on behalf of an employee by a BMWED grievance officer who is authorized to do so. So I can submit my own claim, as long as it's written, but I can't submit a claim for John unless I'm authorized by the union as a grievance person. For a list of who's authorized to submit claims, please contact your local committee or District Representative.

  2. "... to the designated officer of AMTRAK authorized to receive same..." meaning only those managers who Amtrak selects can receive our claims and grievances. A claim sent, for example, to your supervisor or Assit. Division Engineer will fail the proceedural requirements of claim handling and the claim will be denied.

  3. "... within sixty (60) days from the date of the occurrence on which the claim is based." We have 60 days to submit a claim to Amtrak's designated officer, meaning the claim must be in the hands of whoever is designated to receive it within 60 days of the violation. Let's say that on Saturday May 1, 2014, Amtrak assigned a junior employee to work overtime instead of you. You are the senior employee, are qualified to perform the work and were available had you been called. Your written claim must be delivered to the correct designated Amtrak officer before June 29, 2014, or within 60-days of May 1, 2014.

This is the most important piece of the complicated process of claims and grievance handling. Your claim must go to the correct Amtrak officer, within 60 days of the violation, and be in writing. Emails and faxes don't count. Claims should be delivered either personally, or by US Certified Mail with a return receipt requested (green card). If you hand deliver your claim, make sure to have it date stamped as received, and retain a copy for your records.

Here is the current list of Amtrak's Designated Officers, including their names and the addresses of where to send your claims, grievances, and appeals.

Still not sure where to send your claim? Use the "Contact Us" link on the left in the Main Menu bar.

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What is a Grievance?

A grievance is a complaint or dissatisfaction arising from the interpretation or application of a contract. It is not necessarily a mere personal difference or problem affecting an individual worker. Two questions determine whether a dissatisfaction is a grievance:

Has the contract been violated?
Has the Company acted unfairly?

Grievances involve such things as discharge and discipline of employees, seniority rights, discrimination on personnel, racial or religious grounds, safety or sanitation of work places, defective tools or machinery, treatment of workers by supervision and wage rates.

The term “grievance thus includes a great variety of controversial differences between employees and employers. Many grievances merely represent differences of opinion on interpretation and do not imply any serious argument. However, the accumulation of these minor disputes has often led to major conflicts between employees and employers. Hence, there is a need for understanding individual disputes as they arise and settling them in a just and speedy manner.

The grievance procedure provides the individual worker with the means of enforcing the terms of the contract and with a democratic method of appeal against any one person’s decision affecting the worker’s wages and working conditions. It thus protects the rights of the individual worker in industry. The grievance procedure is linked to the local lodge system, the election of local grievance people is at the subordinate lodge level.

The most important job performed by local grievance people is handling grievances. They are the representatives of the workers of their subordinate lodges in their dealings with the Company. Secondly, they give leadership to the rank and file union members in their department because they are the officers closest to them.

Many grievances can be settled at the subordinate lodge level, thus the better equipped and trained local grievance people are, the more cases they will be able to settle. Local grievance people should receive assistance in order to do their work properly. They should be supplied with a copy of the current Agreement, National Division and System Bylaws, and policies provided for by the Contract. It is essential that they become thoroughly acquainted with the Contract, Constitution and By-Laws and grievance procedures.

In view of the personalities involved, and the lack of precedence for solving some problems, local grievance people must be skilled diplomats. They must also be impartial judges in order to get the facts separated from the feelings and opinions.

The grievance shall be presented, in writing, by the employee and/or the local grievance person or the duly accredited representative, to the employees Division Engineer or designated Carrier representative, with a copy for the District Chairman, the local grievance person, and a copy retained by the employee. Grievances will be proceedurally denied for delivery to incorrect Company Designated representative. Know what the grievance entails and who to send it to.

Local grievance people hold key positions since they are the first people to deal with a grievance. They must have sound judgment for they are likely to get complaints on every aspect of working conditions from “I can’t work with red heads”, to real problems such as speedup on the job. They will have to sift justifiable complaints form unjustifiable ones, and will have to tactfully discourage habitual “bitchers”. If the worker is in the wrong, local grievance people should help the worker come to that realization rather than have a Company Officer do it.

“Know the Contract” is the first commandant for local grievance people. In order to know whether or not the Company and the Union are living up to their Agreement, local grievance people must know what it provides. If they do not know, they cannot tell the worker who brings in a complaint whether they are right or wrong. Local grievance people should keep up to date on arbitration decisions and new interpretations of the Contract clause.

The duties of local grievance people are, briefly, to see that the provisions of the Contract are enforced, to take up individual grievances with Management, to promote general Union policies, to encourage members to join the Union, and stress the need to attend local lodge meetings. To do a thorough job, local grievance people should have a complete knowledge of the department they represent.

The following general rules should be kept in mind by local grievance people:

  • Check all the facts. Don’t be afraid to tell a worker if a claim is unjustified. Plan on how you will present the case to the Carrier Official before you meet with him.

  • Keep cool. A lost temper is a lost argument.

  • Show respect for the Official and make it clear that you expect similar respect. If he tries to talk you down, be firm without using abusive language.

  • Stick to the point. Don’t let the issue be sidetracked. For example: If you are trying to get safety goggles for Welders, don’t let the discussion swing to whether workers in the Track department wear safety gloves.

  • Try to put the burden of proving the case on the Official. If you are sure he is wrong, the weak link in his argument will be seen. Be a good listener, and when it is your turn, demand that your case be heard through.

  • Maintain the Union’s position unless it’s proven wrong. Remember you are the workers Representative.

  • Insist on prompt action in the handling of grievances. If you believe that the grievance cannot be settled by the Officer, proceed to the next stage of adjustment. If, because of company policy, the Officer is not authorized to handle some grievances, don’t let him stall in such a case.

  • As many grievances as possible should be handled at the first level. This aids in rapid settlement and helps to maintain good relations.

  • Keep track of a grievance which has been handed over to a District Chairman. In an appeal case, follow developments closely. It is important that workers be informed that you are not neglecting their grievance even though the direct responsibility has been given to the District Chairman, Vice Chairman or General Chairman.

  • Be a good loser. If you have lost a grievance with the Company Official, remember that your agreement allows for a higher appeal.

  • Be a good winner. Don’t crow over the Company Official when you have won a case.

  • Maintain a united front when accompanied by other workers or Committee people. If there appears to be some disagreement among your Committee, request a recess and settle it outside. Don’t show discord to the company’s Official.

  • Settle every case on it’s own merits. A record of similar cases settled in your department will be helpful in preparing your case. This is important to maintain the respect of both workers and Management for adjustment of grievances by a worker’s representative.

  • Local grievance people should not sit waiting for grievances to come to them. They should be on the alert to notice infractions of the Contract, voluntary or involuntary. If the Agreement specifies that adequate drinking facilities must be provided, a single cup beside a cold water tap does not meet this provision. If the work requires provision of safety gloves for all workers in their department, they will not hesitate to ensure that the new worker, who started only a few weeks ago, has the necessary equipment.

  • Local grievance people should remember that the Collective Agreement places definite responsibility with the Union. The Company has a right to expect that workers will:

1) Observe Company rules.
2) Do a fair day’s work
3) Be punctual, and not be absent without just cause.

  • Local grievance people should provide leadership in seeing the Company’s rights are respected. They should see that the workers keep their part of the bargain.

To sum up: The purpose of a grievance procedure in a contract is to provide a method of dealing promptly with the grievances of the workers. Grievances are affected by human relations and human characteristics. Fairness, ability to cooperate, and prejudice, are examples of the human element that will have a bearing on settlement.

It has been stated, quite accurately, that prejudice is a man’s number one problem in getting along with others. Prejudice closes minds to facts which should enable people to work together in friendship and avoid unnecessary disputes.

It may take nothing more than an unfair or overbearing boss, or a fellow worker with a bad working habits, to stir up fear or jealousy. These are emotions and disordered emotions should not replace the facts that are needed to back up a just grievance. They can only serve to confuse the issue. No one should enter a grievance with the thought of revenge or out of a “chip on the shoulder” spirit. Such complaints are generally not in the interest of the workers, and only tend to disrupt the grievance machinery. Also, demands should be reasonable. To demand more than is necessary to settle the grievance, is unwarranted.

Friendly cooperation between Union and Management helps greatly in settling grievances and often prevents them. Laws and Union-Management Agreements exist governing the handling of grievances, but unless both parties are eager to cooperate fairly, there will not be industrial peace. In producing an atmosphere of cooperation, the part of local Grievance People is vital. It is important that in carrying out this job, they act with speed as well as intelligence, and that both these qualities be matched by good will.

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The DO's and DON'Ts of Grievance Handling

DO's

DON'Ts

Observe and enforce time limits
Don't waive time limit, except for good reason, then only in writing
Get facts and evidence into the record and consider any claim as a potential Board case
Don't generalize or rely on oral information, expecting quick settlement
Name claimant when possible
Don't say “a check of timecards will show”, or “I’ll name them in conference”
Obtain written statements
Don't ignore it or tell Carrier Official to check it’s files
Shift burden of proving a positive defense to employer
Don't just say it has been this way
Remain consistent
Don't just argue “yes we have” when the employer says “no you haven’t”
Rebut employer’s argument
Don't change your position or amend a claim
Confer at top level, and have conference confirmed in writing
Don't ignore something asserted as a defense, or discrepancy in alleged facts
Promptly correct errors
Don't fail to hold or confirm a conference, or say it will be futile
Refer to disputed work as regular work or overtime work
Don't wait until let time limits expire
Include facts supporting your argument Don't wait until next level to add facts
In dismissal, ask for immediate restoration to service with lost pay and all rights and benefits
Don't refer to a situation as an emergency.
Cite relevant rules(s) quoting word for word portions that specifically apply to the claim Don't use words like "gross misconduct" or "accident prone"
Show that the employer violated a rule or enforceable practice
Don't ask for reinstatement ‘at some early date”
Raise the procedural issue immediately
Don't just say “you should not have done that”
Submit to the correct Carrier officer
Don't rely on the General Chairman or Grand Lodge to do it
Name the Rule(s) involved
Don't just say “Agreement was violated”
Use the phrase “loss of work opportunity”
Don't use the word “penalty”
Explain the specific work
Don't just say “It’s our work”

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The Three Part Formula

The formal claim or grievance probably is the most common form of written Union communication.

Understandably, many Union reps hate to write letters; words are sometimes hard to come by and then there is the thought of putting something down on paper for all the world to see. But grievance writing is not something to be afraid of or to avoid like the plague; and, like it or not, grievance writing is a big part of your job as a union rep. It is a skill which can be acquired through study and practice. If you can argue your point verbally---and none of you would be Union reps if you couldn’t---then you can learn to write effective formal grievances.

The major focus of grievance preparation and writing is to produce a grievance which will present the BMWED's position in the best way so as to convince any reader that you are right. Essential to the process is an understanding of the basic elements of a grievance, i.e., what you absolutely must include. You cannot even begin to write a grievance without knowing what it has to contain and in what order.

Let’s start at the very beginning of the grievance writing process. That’s what goes on in your head before you put pen to paper or hit the keyboard. First, gather all the facts. With the passage of time, witnesses retire, move to other locations or otherwise become unavailable. Likewise, evidence disappears and documents get destroyed, so it is critical that you do a thorough job of fact gathering at the outset. After you have gathered all the facts, you must define the issue, determine what rules of your agreement apply, who the claimant is and what he or she is entitled to should the claim be paid.

But how will you know what information is required? A good way for you to clarify what information you need to include in a grievance is for you to adhere to the grievance format which is standard in railroad arbitration. Most importantly, you should learn to arrange your thoughts in terms of this standard format because this format is required by the National Railroad Adjustment Board. Each and every grievance is composed of:

*Note that we only show three elements. That is because there are only three main parts to a grievance and every last thing you write in support of the claim has to fit into one of those three categories.

Of course, you also need to remember to include the date, the file number, your signature and to direct copies of the grievance to the appropriate parties. Copies can be particularly important if a copy of the grievance is used to notify a carrier officer that his or her decision is being rejected, as required in many grievance rules. This standard claim format is logical and will help you, as a union representative, to better understand what information and argument is required for you to produce sustaining claims. Adherence to the format also makes it easier to convert thoughts into words. You must also remember that each of the three elements is linked to the others, and no claim is likely to be sustained if any element is defective or is just plain wrong.

There are other reasons why the use of this standard claim format makes good sense. First, if your claim is to be taken to arbitration it absolutely must be in this format. This means that your General Chairman or whoever writes submissions for your Board must make all the information in your claim fit into the three categories. This can be very difficult to do if a claim is written free style---that is, in letter form, without regard to format. It is also very time-consuming and tedious, and there is always the chance that a very valid or important point that you made will get left out of the submission. Picture someone having to transfer several pages of free style text sentence by sentence into this format.

Another reason for using the same format in all your grievances is the growing use of personal computers. If any of you use word processing programs, you know that it is a simple process to copy or cut and paste text from one document to another. It is also very easy to edit documents. If you have your own computer, you may also find it convenient and a great time-saver to store files containing the text of various rules or even “canned” arguments in a central directory so you can call up and insert text into your grievances in the appropriate place. So it just makes good sense to put the claims in the same format every time. And if you have a number of repetitive claims, using the standard format will save you a lot of precious effort; just call up the basic format and change the specifics. You can’t do that as easily with a free style letter.

Statement of Claim

The first element of the formal grievance is the Statement of Claim. This portion of your claim is critical because it is the foundation of your claim and it is time-sensitive. Here you must set out:

  • When and where the Carrier did something wrong which violated the Agreement and affected the member

  • What the Carrier did

  • The Claimant’s name and the remedy requested

The Statement of Claim must be an affirmative assertion that the carrier violated the Agreement on a certain date when its actions adversely affected the named claimant, and that as a result the claimant must be awarded a specific remedy.

The remedy may be money or it may be a particular act, such as requiring the carrier to award a position to the claimant. It should also be in line with contractual entitlement. In other words, it serves little purpose to claim a $100,000 penalty for a one-shift overtime runaround claim. Don’t short the Claimant, but keep the claim in line with what we call the “make whole” philosophy. In plain terms, ask that the Claimant be compensated for what he would have earned had the Agreement not been violated. You may demand in a scope/classification of work claim that some disputed work be returned to the Claimant, but you should know that many arbitrators are hesitant to do this, believing that they have no power to tell a carrier how to run its business. Instead, most arbitrators prefer to rule that the carrier must pay a price for each day or tour that it violates the Agreement, thus stopping short of ordering the carrier to reestablish a position, etc.

The Statement of Claim has to be 100% correct. If not, and if it is not corrected within the time limits provided for in the Agreement, the General Chairman cannot correct the error and salvage the claim. For example, if you make a material error in the Statement of Claim---let’s say you claim the violation happened on April 1st---and later you discovered it actually happened on April 3rd,---and your Agreement contains a 60-day time limit provision, if you attempt to correct the improperly filed claim you are in effect filing a new claim and can only do so within the sixty (60) days specified by Rule 64 of the Agreement.

You also may discover after having filed a claim that the magnitude is much greater than you thought, involving more claimants or occurring on more dates than you originally specified. This is one of the main reasons why you have to promptly and thoroughly research your claims so you do not file for the wrong date or the wrong claimant. Therefore, the utmost care and attention must be devoted to preparing your Statement of Claim because it may not be altered or expanded once the time limit for filing claims has passed.

Generally speaking, the identity of the claimant should be readily discernible from the carrier’s records. That does not mean that you always have to specifically state the individual names of the claimants. The term “senior welder” or “senior available employe” has been used in railroad arbitration proceedings for decades and is especially appropriate in cases where the relief requested extends over a lengthy period of time and involves different employes on different dates.

If you do name a claimant, make sure you have the right one. You cannot amend a specific claimant’s name after the time limits have expired for filing the initial claim.

BMWED-IBT claims sometimes name several specific Claimants, such as a list of furloughed employees or the craft employees who would have been assigned the work in the absence of contractors. It is perfectly OK to name several Claimants and to state the amount or portion of the relief to which each is entitled, if you are able to do so.

Statement of Facts

The Statement of Facts is the second of the three component parts of a grievance. The Statement of Facts is simply the story of what happened. And like any story, it helps to begin by introducing the cast of characters.

First, start with the claimant, identified by seniority date, assigned position, working hours and rest days, etc. If other employes are involved, their seniority dates and assignments (if pertinent to the dispute) should be stated. Then give a chronological statement of what happened. Be brief and factual. This is not the place for allegations or arguments; just the facts. Unlike the Statement of Claim, the Statement of Facts can be expanded during the handling on the property.

Note that we specify during the handling on the property. It is important for you to remember that when the General Chairman dockets a claim for arbitration at the Adjustment Board or a Public Law Board, that action closes the record. You can make amazing discoveries about the case and develop fantastic new facts and evidence, but once the record is closed, such information is barred from the case---even from the arbitration proceeding. Again, once the claim has been docketed for arbitration, the opportunity to present facts is gone. But so long as the parties continue to attempt to resolve the claim on the property, either side may present additional facts supporting their position.

When you write the Statement of Facts, keep in mind that Board members and the neutral referee will have never heard of the case, and that the clarity with which they first learn of the case will materially contribute to their impressions as to the appropriateness of the claim. Nothing is more irritating to a referee than to read a statement of facts and not have any idea of what the claim is about. He or she will then probably look through the correspondence on the property and settle on the Carrier’s version, which is usually well set out in its final denial letter on the property. This, we do not want to happen, so you must learn through practice and experience what to include.

The Statement of Facts is also a good place to introduce evidence which sets up the case. But you must know enough about the grievance to have an idea as to what facts the arbitrator will need. In a scope rule case, for example, you might identify the Claimant and state that he is “assigned to position so-and-so and a copy of the bulletin establishing his position is attached as Exhibit “A.” Another example might be the introduction of a carrier instructional bulletin with which you take issue. You might also introduce in a non argumentative manner your version of a conference you might have had with Carrier prior to filing the claim. The key is to limit this element of the grievance to stating the facts as you understand them. Do not call names, and do not be argumentative or sarcastic.

A good grievance writer knows how to present the facts in a manner so as to draw the conclusion that the agreement has been violated before the position of the employes has even been read. While it takes a some practice, it is possible to present even inarguable facts in a manner which complements the BMWED’s position. The argument comes next.

The Position of Employes

The final component of a grievance is the Position of Employes. This is your opportunity to present argument to support your claim. As with the Statement of Facts, this component of the claim can be refined during the handling on the property. Here you should cite the relevant rules, quoting word for word those portions which specifically apply to the claim.

If you have them, you may also want to try your hand at quoting from arbitration awards which interpret the Rules in support of your position. Arbitral support, when available, will be added by the System or Joint Protective Board in subsequent handling, but if you have an award on point or if similar claims have been paid in the past, the inclusion of this information adds professionalism to your claims. and forces the carrier to address the awards you cite. Your arguments and any citations designed to prove the intent, purpose and effect of the Rules on which you rely must be sufficient in detail so as to be convincing. Remember, it is not sufficient to merely quote from awards which you think sound good; no, you have to establish that the awards decided cases which were similar or identical in facts and rules to the claim you are writing. And read the whole award before you cite any language. Some award language may look great on page 2, but on the final page the Board denies all facets of the claim. Also, make sure you are citing from the Opinion of the Board, not a partisan position.

The Position of Employes must link directly to the facts which you established in the Statement of Facts. There is no point in arguing long and hard or quoting from various awards on an issue which you didn't even mention in your Statement of Facts. What you must do is link by argument, evidence or award citation the rules which have been violated with the circumstances which you set out in the Statement of Facts.

There you have it: the three key elements of a grievance. And remember, we are not talking about invisible separations of thought and expression: you must actually write on the paper and underline Statement of Claim, Statement of Facts, and Position of Employes, just as we show in the following sample claim and grievance.

If you can present your case to a local carrier officer in a written grievance which is positive, professional and convincing, he or she might just decide to settle the claim, particularly where the grievance is so well set out and so clearly in violation of the agreement as to prove embarrassing if appealed to the next higher level. Even if the grievance is not settled locally, a well-written initial claim is essential to those who might progress the claim.

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Seperating Opinion from Fact

Facts are Facts !

  • A fact can be verified.

  • A statement which cannot be verified is NOT a fact. Only exceptions to this rule lie in past events.

  • Facts should exclude personal opinion and inference as much as possible.

  • A fact is a statement of a thing done, having happened, or existing.

  • A fact is a report of reality or actuality.

Opinions are Opinions !

  • Opinions cannot be verified like facts.
     
  • They are personal in nature.
     
  • Opinions can be based on facts, or partly on facts.
     
  • An opinion is the belief or view you have of a person or situation and is generally based on inference or judgment.
     
  • There is no positive way of determining which of two opinions is best. If the opinions relate to forecasting a future event then the test of which is the best opinion will only be known when the event occurs.
     
  • An opinion does not become a fact because you agree with it.
     
  • An opinion does not become a fact because a lot of people agree with it, it is not necessarily a good opinion.

You Are Expressing An Opinion When:

  • You try to define motives of a person’s behavior.

  • You try to predict future events.

  • You try to predict what people will do.

There Are Different Kinds Of Opinions

1.Inference

It is a statement about the unknown based on the known, e.g., from observation of clouds and thunder to say “It is going to rain”.Inference is a conclusion from given data.

It is a guess, and may be an informed or uninformed guess.

It goes beyond the facts of the case.

2. Judgment

An operation of the mind, involving comparison and discrimination.

Involves an expression of approval or disapproval of the person, object, or situation. Statements beginning “I think...”, or “It seems to me...” are of this type.

Judgment, like inference, goes beyond the facts of the case.

Judgment may be sound and logical but it may not.


Some words themselves constitute a judgment. For example:

Scab....................Prince
Radical.................Conservative
Crackpot...............Sound Man

The judgment implied in any of the above types of words varies according to the way it is used and the situation in which it is used.

Facts, Facts, Facts !

Fact finding is difficult and time consuming

It is sometimes impossible to get all the facts.

There is no substitute for the facts.

Get as many as you can.

Accuracy demands work, you can’t get out of it but it is worthwhile.

Don’t Depend on Hearsay

For Example:

Instead of accepting what a person says his work record is, check the record yourself.

Instead of taking a workers or foreman’s word that a certain condition constitutes a hazard, go examine the condition yourself.

It is impossible to avoid the use of inference or judgment for all of the facts are not always obtainable. We should always be sure that our opinions are as objective as possible. Always obtain as many facts on a situation as you can and make sure that your opinion fits as close to the facts as possible.

It can be difficult, sometimes, to interpret facts. If you don’t see the significance of the facts, they are of no value to you.

When dealing with facts DON’T:

Don’t select only facts which support your point of view.

Don’t take the view that the facts which disagree with your point of view are irrelevant or unimportant.

Don’t look at just some of the facts in a situation.

Don’t try to distort the facts, let them speak for themselves.

Examples showing the difference between fact and opinion

1. Opinion:    Superintendent Smith lied to us.

Facts:     Superintendent Smith told us he didn’t have the report with him. Later, when he opened his briefcase, the report fell out onto the table.

Reasons:    To say that Superintendent Smith lied is to make several assumptions.

That he knew the report was in the briefcase.
That he was deliberately attempting to deceive.

The facts are what actually happened.

The opinion is a judgment, because we think that his action is wrong, and we express disappro
val

2. Opinion:    Superintendent Anderson became angry at the hearing.

Facts:     At the hearing, Superintendent Anderson swore, became red in the face, and thumped the table.

Reasons:    We are inferring here that the Superintendent was angry on the basis of observing his actions. But, he may have been putting on an act. In this particular case, the inference may be pretty safe, but it is nevertheless an inference. It also might involve judgment, i.e., if we think getting angry is good or bad.

When arguing and debating, distinguish clearly between Facts and Opinion.

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Sample Claim and Grievance
File: CY-31-09(B)

Mr. John Brown, Superintendent
Egregious Railroad Company
1234 Railroad Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19999

Dear Sir:

Presented here for your consideration and adjustment is a claim arising at Coach Yard, Philadelphia, PA.

STATEMENT OF CLAIM:

1. Carrier violated the BMWED Agreement at Coach Yard, Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday, July 20, 2009, when it failed to call and use B&B Painter J.C. Smith to perform the work of painting the Coach Yard Shop manager's office, instead assigning the work to employes of Acme Maintenance Company, an outside contractor.

2. Carrier shall now be required to compensate J.C. Smith one day’s pay (eight hours) at the time and one-half rate of the B&B Painter position ($296.88) for Saturday, July 20, 2009. which he would have received had he been properly called.

STATEMENT OF FACTS:

During the time frame relevant to this dispute, Claimant J.C. Smith, seniority date July 13, 1978, was regularly assigned to the position of B&B Painter, Gang C012 headquartered at Coach Yard Shop, Philadelphia, PA, with assigned hours from 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M., Monday through Friday. This is a five-day position and is not relieved on rest days of Saturday and Sunday, The bulletined duties of the position of B&B Painter include the following: "Paints, sizes, glazes, stains, tints or decorates with paint, or a substitute for paint, on structures and preparation of such surfaces for painting." See Job Bulletin 318-MAT-0708 dated July 17, 2008, attached.

On Saturday, July 20, 2009, the first of Claimant’s two regularly scheduled rest days, Mechanical Manager Wood determined that his office at Coach Yard could not wait until the following Monday to be painted. However, rather than call Claimant to perform the necessary painting duties which he performs during his normal work week, Carrier contracted the services of Acme Maintenance Company (AMC) to perform the painting work. An AMC two-man crew performed the disputed duties from 7:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. on Saturday, July 20, 2009, as reflected by AMC’s invoice No. 902035, copy attached, billing Carrier for such service.

See also attached statement of J.C. Smith and R.L. Green attesting to the foregoing facts.

POSITION OF EMPLOYES:

It is the position of the Employes that Carrier violated the Scope and Classification of Work rules when it failed to call and use Claimant to perform painting duties which it deemed necessary on Saturday, July 20, 2009. Scope and Classification of Work rules provides as follows, in pertinent part:

(a) Positions or work within the scope of this Agreement belong to the employes covered thereby and nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to permit the removal of positions or work from the application of these rules.

The work in dispute is assigned to Claimant by both Scope and Classification of Work rules and by bulletin, as well as custom and practice, and Claimant has historically performed such work. The work of painting offices which was performed by AMC on Saturday, July 20, 2009, is clearly and inarguably work coming under Scope and Work Classification rules of the Agreement and the performance of such work by AMC constitutes a removal of work which is expressly forbidden by the literal language of the Agreement.

Claimant was available on Saturday, July 20, 2009, and was entitled by Rule 55 to be called to perform the painting work in dispute. Had Claimant been called as required, Rule 44 provides that such service would have been at the time and one-half rate. Employee records reflect eight man-hours of work performed and Claimant must be made whole for his loss of work opportunity in the same eight hour quantum.

Please advise as to pay period in which claim will be settled.
 

Yours truly,
Local Chairman
 

cc: J.C. Smith, Claimant


Forms

Time Claim Form, to submit 1st level or initial claims, print out this form, fill in the blanks, and mail or hand deliver to Amtrak's designated officer. You will need a certified mail receipt  and return request card readily available from any Post Office prior to completing this form. There is a space on the form to include the certified mail number. This number and receipt is important. Without it, there will be no proof that Amtrak received your claim. Be sure to keep a copy of the claim and any enclosures you might attach with it, such as pay stubs, rosters, qualification cards, statements, etc.

Remember, this is your claim, these are your assertions, this is your complaint. Somehow Amtrak violated the agreement and caused you a dissatisfaction or a missed work opportunity. You are speaking up when you file a claim. You should file simple claims on your own behalf not only because you were there when the violation took place and you know the circumstances, but because you'll know when you submitted the claim and when to expect Amtrak's answer. You'll know that the claim was submitted within the sixty (60) days required by Rule 64, and you'll know if Amtrak answered your claim within their response time limits. Would you let someone else bid a job for you? Doubtful. File these simple claims. It's as easy as bidding a job.

Download and Print Time Claim Form

View a sample of a completed basic Time Claim form


Time Claim Information form is available to download, print, and complete when you are not sure if there has been a violation of the agreement and you would like to have the issue investigated or an interpretation of the contract. This form along with your separately written statement is then given to your Local Grievance Chairman so it can be determined if a claim should be developed. Please include other information with the form such as written statements of witnesses, co-workers, pictures, if any, job briefings, or any relavant information. Your Claim Information form will not be investigated or processed without your written statement accompanying the completed form.

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BMWE Vice President Fred Wurple's letter

March 10, 1976 Informative letter written by BMWE Vice President Fred Wurple, wherein Grievance handling is addressed. While this letter might seem dated, the content is just as relavant today as it was in 1976. This letter serves as a guide for submitting claims on railroad properties. Facts are facts and while they can be argued against, it it diffucult to dispute facts that are supported with documentation. Remember, the only bad claim is the one that wasn't submitted.

OFFICE of the VICE PRESIDENT
NORTHEAST REGION
BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYEES

March 10, 1976

General Chairman
Vice Chairman
District Chairman
Local Chairman
Northeast Region

Dear Sirs and Brothers,

In the manner of handling grievances it is very important that all basic facts are investigated and known to be true. In my experience of handling grievances before the Railroad Management and Adjustment Board, I find that in many cases the weakest part of our claim is that our facts are not complete. Therefore, it is a must that there be a thorough investigation to develop pertinent data and facts.

In general, the Chairman of a Grievance Committee or Representative responsible for the institution of a grievance should keep in mind the following very important questions, namely: WHO, WHAT , WHEN, WHERE, and WHY? His letter filing a complaint of a violation with the railroad official in the first step of the grievance channels should have an answer to those questions named above. However, after the claim is denied, if it is so denied, the appeal taken to the next highest officer should be more specific in that it should name names, specify dates, even time of day and all such other information which is so important when the case reaches the highest state of adjustment, namely, a hearing before the Board or before a Referee. Once a case is denied and is appealed to the higher officials on the railroad, it should be assumed that the dispute is then a potential Board case. With that thought in mind, the following steps or points will without a doubt be helpful in the handling of such disputes.

Be very specific. Do not say with references to a claimant or other person involved, “an employe in the Track Department” or “a B+B employe”. Name him by name and gang number, if possible.

Give the exact date the violation of Agreement occurred. Do not say “sometime in June of 1973”, for instance, but rather say “on June 15, 1973”. Further, if possible state the time of day, AM or PM, 5:00 o’clock or what ever the case may be.

Do not presume or assume as to what occurred but get a detailed explanation of the happening from someone who either was involved or was an eyewitness so that there will be no difficulty about establishing just exactly what occurred. All these details and descriptions of an occurrence are very important in the later handling of the case.

If the dispute concerns seniority, such as the seniority on one employee has against the seniority of another, do not say that John Doe was senior to Sam Smith, but rather say, in addition, that the current seniority shows “John Doe with a seniority date as Carpenter and specify his date while the same seniority roster shows Sam Smith with a seniority date as Carpenter and specify his date exactly”.

If, in the initial stages of filing a case, it develops that there is some controversy over the exact happenings, then and then promptly, statements from witnesses or others to be involved, by either affidavit or signed statements, are very necessary to be obtained and placed in the file. Going back to the parties involved after a lapse of a year or two is not always desirable because in many instances the employees forget the happenings, are a little hazy on some of the facts, and sometimes even reluctant to reveal the facts, or even dead in some cases. Also a referee in handling a case is a little reluctant to accept a bona-fide statement, one that was obtained just prior to the date of the hearing. It is much more acceptable as evidence in the case if the signed statement of witness or others involved, or the affidavit of those concerned, is approximately dated during the time period when the case itself was being progressed in the field. It carries much more weight.

If you allege that the BMWE Agreement was violated and/or the Rules were violated during the handling on the property (before it goes to the Board) the rule or rules must be identified to Management and so indicated in the proceedings. Claims have been dismissed because the Organization failed to identify any rule or rules violated during the handling on the property.

If an Officer of the Railroad in the early stages of the handling of a dispute should inject into the picture some reason for his declination, which is not a part of the initial claim, then by all means in progressing the appeal either the Grievance Chairman or however is handling the case in the appeal stage should make some explanation or reference to what the railroad official has said. In other words, do not leave it hanging in midair without any explanation or any recognition taken of some new angle injected into the claim by the railroad officer.

If there are any claims that have been paid similar to the one then being progress, reference should be made to such other claims if known and if possible, a quotation from the letter of settlement should be made.

Many of our grievances are based upon what is called “common practice” or “past practice”. The past practice of a rule in the Agreement is controlling in the eyes of the majority of Referees as being the interpretation of the rule. However, such past practice must be firmly established by examples and references of what has been done in the past. A mere assertion of past practice is not sufficient.

Give as many details a possible to make the case plain to those who may at the time the claim arose be far removed from it and be in a position to not fully understand the situation. For instance, if the claim is for a call to work overtime hours, the availability of the claimant should definitely be shown. The location of where the man was at the period of time he was to be called, the phone number, if possible, at where he could have been reached, his address or whatever other pertinent information may be obtained.

The forgoing points are not in themselves complete, but only a guide to show to those who are responsible for the institution of grievances in the early stages that they should obtain all the facts necessary to the case and even a surplus of facts. Too many facts or too much explanation will not harm a case but most certainly too little information and too few facts can lose a case. Referees, in general, assume that the person or party that brings the claim up is the party upon whom the burden rests to produce and prove their claim. In most instances it is the employees who bring the claim to the Referee’s attention and he, therefore, relies upon the Employees to supply the facts of the case with supporting data. Otherwise, he simply dismisses the claim as being one in which the employee did not prove their case.

Referees, no matter what their personal feelings may be, are in the position to sustain only claims in which there is no basis for so sustaining. They will not go out on a limb to sustain a case because they feel that there is some inequity or injustice concerned. They will, however, sustain a claim and be happy to do so, provided it is supported by documentary evidence in the file which will give them a basis for sustaining such claim.

In the processing of claims or grievances, the Chairman of the Grievance Committee should request the aid of the Vice Chairman, keeping in mind the more facts and information we present to support the claim we are making, the better the opportunity we will have for it being sustained.

Claimants should be encouraged to use a prepared claim form as a guide in furnishing the necessary information.

With best wishes, I am

Fraternally yours,
/s/ FRED WURPLE, JR.

Fred Wurple, Jr.
Vice President


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My Claim was Answered, Now What?

I received a letter from Amtrak saying my claim was denied. Can they do that? And if so, how long does Amtrak have to answer? And what if they don't answer my claim?

The first paragraph of Rule 64(b) tells us how, when, and were to send our claims. Now the second paragraph of Rule 64(b) will tell us how claims are answered and what if the claim(s) is not answered. Rule 64(b) continues by stating:

"Should any such claim or grievance be disallowed, AMTRAK shall, within sixty (60) days from the date same is filed, notify whoever filed the claim or grievance (the employee or his representative), in writing, of the reasons for such disallowance. If not so notified, the claim or grievance shall be allowed as presented, but this shall not be considered as a precedent or waiver of the contentions of AMTRAK as to other similar claims or grievances."

The second paragraph or Rule 64(b) contains important details in connection with Amtrak’s response to our claim.

1. “Should any such claim or grievance be disallowed, AMTRAK shall, within sixty (60) days from the date same is filed, notify whoever filed the claim or grievance (the employee or his representative)…” You mailed your claim US Certified Mail with a return receipt. The green card from that mailing was returned to you indicating that the claim has been received. The date that's stamped or written in Box C of the green card is a good starting date to begin the countdown. The correct Amtrak officer or his authorized agent received the claim and Amtrak now has 60-days to respond to the claim. In the case of hand delivery, the date received stamp or other such indication will act as support.
2. “… in writing, of the reasons for such disallowance.”  If the claim is to be denied, that denial must be in writing and must provide clear reasons as to why.  Simply stating the "claim is denied" is not enough. The reasons given for the denial must be evaluated to determine whether or not there is disagreement as to the facts. If the reasons given for denying the claim are frivolous, intentionally vague, or obviously incorrect, Amtrak officers on appeal will find it diffucult to rationalize the basis for the initial denial.

3. “If not so notified, the claim or grievance shall be allowed as presented” The claim was submitted to the correct Amtrak officer over 60 days ago, as proved by the return receipt from the US Postal Service showing that Amtrak signed for and received the claim. The claim has not been answered. The language of Rule 64(b) is clear in meaning and intent. Claim allowed as presented. NRAB Award 3-36047 held: “We therefore conclude that the claim must be sustained on the ground that the Carrier defaulted by not timely denying the claim that had been filed with the Division Manager... This decision is based solely on the procedural violation by the Carrier, and we express no opinion on the merits of the claim, including the Carrier’s argument that payment at the overtime rate is excessive.”


RULE 83 - ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVE
The term "duly accredited representative" as used in this Agreement, shall be understood to mean the representative or System Officer of the organization signatory hereto.

"An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


Snitch

Next to a scab, a snitch or an informer is one of the lowest forms of humanity. All we have is our ability to stick together. Statements given to railroad management and their agents will only be used against you.

Management is not interested in the truth and is only interested in protecting their money at our expense. Be careful what you say and never volunteer any information.

Remember, nobody likes a snitch. No one can say you saw something that you did not see. This includes but is not limited to injuries, investigations and accidents of all kinds.


Forms
Jan 02, 2009

 


Amtrak Bid Sheet
Furlough Form, for BMWED members on Amtrak's NEC, also see Rule 18(f) and Rule 21 of the NEC Agreement
Request to Demonstrate Qualifications form, pursuant to the Consent Decree, Section A, Article 5
 Holiday Change request form
Direct Deposit form
Cancel Direct Deposit form
Rail Pass Application
Lost Rail Pass

NEW HIRES - Pursuant to our "Union Shop and Dues Check-Off Agreement" with Amtrak, monthly BMWED dues are automatically deducted from earnings. Please complete and submit the Dues Authorization Form prior to the completion of your 60th day of service. Failure to submit this form will result in complications with your union status.

INITIATION FEE - Article XV, Section 2 of the BMWED Bylaws state: "Initiations for new members shall be $100.00, the entire amount of which will be collected in every instance. No portions of this fee to be returned to applicant or any dispensation granted doing away with same except on roads, portions of the roads, or employers where there is no organization, where the BMWED has become depleted, where dual organizations hold contract or where the BMWED is being seriously threatened by new organizations."

Questions regarding Union dues, initiation fees, and lodge affiliations are best answered by your District Representatives, who can be contacted by using the “Office Locations” bar under Main Menu on the left.

 

 

Amtrak Jobs - You can find out about current job openings at Amtrak, including position summaries and required qualifications, by calling Amtrak's Job Line or checking Amtrak's web site:

1-877-AMTRAK1 (1-877-268-7251)

jobs.amtrak.com


"An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


SNITCH

Next to a scab, a snitch or an informer is one of the lowest forms of humanity. All we have is our ability to stick together. Statements given to railroad management and their agents will only be used against you.

Management is not interested in the truth and is only interested in protecting their money at our expense. Be careful what you say and never volunteer any information.

Remember, nobody likes a snitch. No one can say you saw something that you did not see. This includes but is not limited to injuries, investigations and accidents of all kinds.


 


Negotiations
Jan 02, 2009

2015 - BMWED - Amtrak Contract Negotiations - amendable January 2, 2015


2010-2013 BMWED - Amtrak Contract Negotiations - Here we go again, the Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition, made up of both the BMWED and BRS, are pitted against Amtrak and it's newest tactic, insisting that we accept the same crappy contracts thrust upon other weaker unions.


2000-2008 BMWED - Amtrak Contract Negotiations - A history of the past round of negotiations beginning with Amtrak's stonewalling and culminating with a Bush appointed Presidential Emergency Board and settlement. Included are articles, communications, reference materials and assorted items arranged in reverse cronologic order.





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