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Agreed-upon statement of principles to be incorporated into a unification agreement and constitution of a new organization

The Statement of Principles contained in this document shall be submitted for approval to the BLE Advisory Board and the UTU Board of Directors no later than Wednesday November 25, 1998. Upon approval, the Oversight Committee will appoint five (5) BLE and five (5) UTU representatives to constitute the Joint Drafting Committee which shall function under the Oversight Committee's supervision. The Joint Drafting Committee will commence to function as of January 1, 1999, and shall complete its activities (as described below) by October 1, 1999, at which time the two organizations will submit a new Constitution and Unification Agreement to their respective memberships for ratification to be effective January 1, 2000.

The Joint Drafting Committee shall be responsible for drafting and preparing a Unification Agreement and a Constitution for the new organization. In doing so the Joint Drafting Committee shall incorporate the provisions from this agreed upon Statement of Principles.

A complete list of Exhibits will be published next month in a Special Edition of the Newsletter

Commencing upon the approval of this Statement of Principles as of November 25, 1998, the Oversight Committee has agreed to continue to be bound by the commitments set forth in AFL-CIO President John Sweeney's March 24, 1998 letter.

Exhibits referred to herein are those contained in the binder provided by BLE at the Washington, DC meeting of the parties on November 7-8, 1998, as supplemented.

1. The new constitution will provide that the new organization will be in the form of a single union with craft autonomy protected as set forth in Exhibit F.

2. The working name of the new organization will be the North American Rail & Transportation Union ("NARTU") subject to ongoing review by the Oversight Committee.

3. The ATDD and RCTC will be covered by the terms of the unification agreement and constitution as set forth in Exhibit Z.

4. The September 1, 1998 proposals of the BLE/UTU Media/Public Affairs Committee are adopted and incorporated herein by reference, subject to non-substantive drafting (Exhibit A).

5. The August 7, 1998 report of the BLE/UTU Legislative Committee (Exhibit B) is adopted and incorporated herein by reference, subject to non-substantive drafting.

6. The August 27, 1998 and September 2, 1998 Agreed Upon Joint Recommendations of the BLE/UTU Structure and Constitution/Unity (Agreement) Committee(s) (Exhibits C and D) are adopted and incorporated herein by reference, subject to non-substantive drafting.

7. The September 15, 1998 and September 28, 1998 Agreed Upon Joint Recommendations of the Constitution/Unity (Agreement) Committees are adopted and incorporated herein by reference, subject to non-substantive drafting.(Exhibits E and F)

8. The funds of all subordinate units other than Local Divisions shall be held by the new international union as advance funds in trust subject to the legitimate demand for payment(s) therefrom by said subordinate units, with Canadian funds to pay the obligations of Canadian subordinate units of the new union to be held in Canada for administrative purposes.

9. Existing BLE Divisions and UTU Locals will receive new charters as Local Divisions from the new international union on unification date and shall hold said charters for a period of 18 months from that date without regard to membership. After the expiration of 18 months from that date, and an additional year to promote voluntary consolidations, said local divisions must have 25 full dues-paying members in order to retain their charters.

10. Each Local Division shall elect one (1) Delegate to the international convention. Delegates will be paid the Vice President pay rate for the five (5) days of the convention and two (2) travel days, plus seven (7) days per diem at the maximum allowable IRS rate for the convention location, and a mileage allowance at the maximum rate allowable by the IRS for travel to and from the convention site.

11. For the first two international conventions of the new organization a majority of delegates from each of the former organizations must approve any and all matters coming before the convention except housekeeping matters.

12. Delegates may be instructed by their Local Divisions as to all issues coming before the convention.

13. Membership in existing General Committees of Adjustment of both organizations shall not change for a period of 12 months after unification date. Thereafter, General Committees of Adjustment holding jurisdiction over the labor agreement(s) the members are working under shall have the membership of said members transferred to them. GCAs holding agreements for engineers will at that time acquire jurisdiction over the former UTU agreements for firemen, hostlers, and trainees.

14. There shall be two (2) Boards of Appeals in the new organization. One board shall be comprised of five (5) members with engine service seniority from the former BLE, with jurisdiction over the equity issues and appeals from GCA's with jurisdiction over engine service agreements. The other board shall be comprised of five (5) members from the former UTU with jurisdiction over equity issues and appeals from all other GCA's. The boards shall meet semi-annually for a maximum of five (5) business days each session, unless extended by the International President because of their caseload.

15. The positions of General President, International President, President-BLE and President-UTU in the new union will be as described in Exhibit G attached hereto, adopted and incorporated herein by reference. The salaries of all full-time International Officers of the new organization shall be at the salary levels of the former UTU positions, which are comparable to the positions in the new organization at the time of unification.

16. A national negotiating committee will be appointed by the International President and General President that includes a representative(s) of each of the crafts affected by the national handling issues. The negotiating committee will conduct the bargaining on behalf of each of the crafts. The negotiating committee will have the authority to reach tentative agreements but any such agreements shall be subject to rank and file approval on a craft by craft basis ­ i.e. no tentative agreement shall be considered ratified unless a majority of the valid ballots cast by the members in each craft are in favor of ratifying. The national negotiating committee will have authority to prepare Section 6 notices, amend them, and handle them to conclusion under the Railway Labor Act, along with all carrier proposals and counterproprosals. The International President may authorize a strike if national negotiations cannot be satisfactorily resolved upon the approval of 2/3 of the General Chairpersons involved in the movement, who shall poll their Local Chairpersons prior to voting.

17. The agreed-upon relationship of UTUIA to the new organization is described in New Exhibit R.

18. The international dues structure of the new organization shall be determined as described in Exhibit DD.

19. The consolidation of State/Provincial Legislative bodies shall be as stated in Exhibit AA.

20. The incumbent General Secretaries and Treasurers of both UTU and BLE on the unification date will become General Secretaries and Treasurers of the new organization with identical duties as described in the current BLE and UTU Constitutions. They shall have identical salaries at the level of the former UTU General Secretary and Treasurer's salary at the time of unification. Before the first convention of the new organization, a vacancy in the office of the General Secretary and Treasurer from the former BLE shall be filled by the Alternate General Secretary and Treasurer of the former BLE at the time of unification, and in order to maintain a representative from each of the former organizations a vacancy in the office of the General Secretary and Treasurer from the former UTU shall be filled by the members of the Executive Council from the former UTU. The two positions of General Secretary and Treasurer will attrite to one (1) position of General Secretary and Treasurer at the first convention of the new organization.

21. The incumbent National Legislative Director of UTU at the time of unification shall become the National Legislative Director of the new organization on the unification date. The incumbent Vice President ­ National Legislative Representative of the BLE at the time of unification shall become the Vice President ­ National Legislative Representative of the new organization on the unification date. The salaries of both positions shall be at the rate of the salary of the National Legislative Director of the former UTU at the time of the unification. In the event of a vacancy, the alternate National Legislative Director of the former UTU at the time of unification shall succeed to the position of National Legislative Director prior to the first convention of the new organization. In the event of a vacancy, the alternate Vice President ­ National Legislative Representative of the former BLE at the time of unification shall succeed to the position of Vice President ­ National Legislative Representative prior to the first convention of the new organization. At the first convention of the new organization, the positions of National Legislative Director and Vice President ­ National Legislative Representative shall be consolidated into one position which shall be titled National Legislative Director. Further, the two alternate positions shall attrite to one (1) alternate position at the first convention of the new organization. All of the positions described in this paragraph shall be directed in the performance of their duties by the General President, subject to the advice and consent of the International President.

22. Upon the approval of this agreement by the UTU Board of Directors and the BLE Advisory Board, UTU's and BLE's National Negotiating Committees (the National Wage and Rule Panels) will coordinate their activities, including health and welfare, to the maximum extent permissible under their constitutions by jointly requesting the NCCC to recognize a joint UTU/BLE Negotiating Committee (National Wage/Rule Panel). That committee shall jointly prepare section 6 notices and jointly engage in national handling thereafter under the Railway Labor Act to the extent their constitutions permit.

23. The new constitution shall include a provision whereby, upon the approval of a majority of delegates to any convention, the new union shall be authorized to affiliate, merge or unify with another labor union, subject to ratification by the membership.

24. Initiatives circulated by the Executive Council of the new union must be approved by the majority of votes cast by the active membership.

25. The issue of regional or district chairs shall be determined by GCA by-laws.

26. The unification agreement and the constitution of the new union shall have an introductory provision stating that throughout those documents the terms "Chairperson(s)", "Chairman/men" and "Chair" are intended to be gender neutral to be used interchangeably.

27. The body within the new organization that will have the same jurisdiction as the current UTU Board of Directors and the current BLE Advisory Board shall be known as the Executive Council, which shall be composed of an equal number of full-time International Officers from the former UTU and former BLE at the time of unification, but not less than fourteen (14) such officers from each of the former organizations. The Executive Council shall meet the first Monday of April and the first Monday of October annually. The International President, with the advice and consent of the General President, may call special meetings of the Executive Council at any time. The Executive Council shall be the chief policymaking body in between conventions of the new organization. The duties of the Executive Council shall be more completely set forth in the constitution of the new organization. In hearing appeals to the Executive Council, neither the International President, nor the General President shall be entitled to vote.

28. The BLE International, GCA's and State Legislative Boards may participate prospectively in the consolidated pension plan for their officers and employees. (Consideration also may be given, if fiscally responsible and feasible, to inclusion of a provision to fund contributions from the unit involved for past service credits of up to five years.) UTU GCA's which are not currently participating in the UTU pension plan may do likewise.

Dated Nov. 19, 1998
at Longboat Key, Fla.
 
Clarence V. Monin
BLE International President
 
Edward Dubroski
BLE First Vice President
 
Charles L. Little
UTU International President
 
Byron A. Boyd Jr.
UTU Assistant President
 
 

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