Wage increase triggers new 'dues escalator clause'

BLET members working under the National Agreement will receive a 2.5 percent wage increase on July 1, 2004. The wage increase also triggers a new provision of Brotherhood law that calls for an automatic dues increase.

Beginning on July 1, National Division dues will be increased in accordance with Section 29(m)-National Division Rules (NDR) of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen.

This new provision of Brotherhood law is commonly referred to as a "dues escalator clause" and provides for increases in National Division dues tied directly to percentage wage increases under the National Agreement with freight carriers represented by the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC).

The dues escalator clause, however, applies to all active BLET members regardless of the contract they work under. In this case, the monthly dues increase will be 68 cents ($0.68) per active member; 40 cents ($0.40) per sub-standard member; and 30 cents ($0.30) per train-service member.

The new Section 29(m)-NDR was one of many changes to the BLET's Bylaws recommended by the merger subcommittees that were submitted to the membership for ratification as part of the merger documents mailed on October 20, 2003. An 81 percent majority of members approved the merger documents on December 5, 2003.

The subcommittees believed this was a necessary change to improve and modernize the Brotherhood. The bylaws of most labor organizations include some type of dues escalator clause to provide for a more predictable flow of dues income. It is anticipated that this new provision may help alleviate to some degree the need for substantial lump sum dues increases at BLET National Division conventions every four years.

This dues increase is not related to the per capita payable to the IBT every month. The per capita for 2004 and 2005 is being paid in full by the National Division.



© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen