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BLET members ratify new contract at Metra

CLEVELAND, June 10 — Over 96% of voting members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Metra on May 19. The agreement covers approximately 200 members.

The agreement provides for five general wage increases and two retroactive payments totaling a compounded value of 21.2 percent over the life of the agreement, which runs through January 1, 2019. Members will also receive a $3,000 signing bonus. Wage increases will become effective July 1, 2014, and include retroactive payments for affected employees to July 1, 2012.

The agreement also governs numerous work rules and employee health and welfare benefits. The BLET secured a 23.8 percent increase to the membership’s deferred compensation plan, and Metra’s contribution will increase to $10.40 per member, per day by the end of the agreement.

Other improvements include a 38 percent increase in certification pay for locomotive engineers to $18 per day. Also, members will now be allowed to bank personal leave days accumulated while working in other crafts prior to earning promotion to locomotive engineer.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked the BLET’s Metra membership for their participation in negotiations and their strong turnout in the ratification process. He also commended the members of the negotiating team, which included General Chairmen C. E. Craddock, P. M. Semenek and M. A. Taylor, as well as National Vice President S. J. Bruno.

“This new contract with Metra ensures that our members will continue receiving fair and equitable compensation,” President Pierce said. “Our members were involved throughout the negotiating process, and we negotiated the best possible contract with wage and bonus increases and maintained our level of excellent benefits.”

“I would like to thank the local officers and especially the members for their determination and unqualified support for our negotiating team during these negotiations,” Vice President Bruno said.

The BLET’s 200 Metra locomotive engineers serve more than 100 communities at 241 stations in the Chicago area.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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