• << January 2023 >>
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    Labor Headlines

    US labour news headlines from LabourStart

    Alta-Bates Summit nurses to hold strike in Oakland and Berkley
    UC intends to dock pay of workers who went on strike
    Teamsters approve new contract with City of Cleveland
    With claims of mass workers shortages and layoffs in the US, we must read between the lines
    Orange County Convention Center hospitality workers avoid potential strike, win big raises and pension in new contract
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      Retroactive Wage Increases Under National

      As all BRS members are now aware, our national agreement was signed into law by President Biden on December 2, 2022.  In accordance with the clear language of the imposed agreement, the Carriers have 60 days from the date of signing to pay the retroactive portion of the wage increases. This means retroactive wage payments should be received no later than January 31, 2023.
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      Health Insurance Cost Share Increase

      As all are aware, the issue of employee monthly cost sharing for the National Health and Welfare Plan was at the core of this round of bargaining.  In the end, the imposed contract provides for no increases in annual copays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket maximums.  The plan design changes enacted consist of expanded coverage for autism spectrum disorder, hearing aids and speech therapy.
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      MCT Positions Coming Soon

      As noted in a previous edition, pre-testing for MCT positions began in September, pending final approval of the MCT Agreement.  That Agreement has now been finalized and positions will begin being posted by the Carrier very soon in the areas they are needed.  It is important to note, these positions will constitute a new classification under Rule 2.
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      BNSF Foreman Hourly Conversion 1/1/23

      After many months of negotiations, and a few years of grievances for underpaid foremen, an agreement was reached to convert Signal Construction Foremen to an hourly rate.  This conversion goes into effect on January 1, 2023, and there a few items all should be aware of.  The hourly rate as of 1/1/23 will be $41.46 and will apply to Signal Construction Foremen only.
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      BNSF Mechanical Detector Agreement Cancelled

      In September 2016, this committee entered into an Agreement with BNSF to try and secure additional scope-covered work for BRS employees.  The Agreement was established to have BRS employees maintain non-scope-covered mechanical detectors.
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      Updated BNSF Pay Rates Posted

      The recent round of national bargaining resulted in a contract being imposed by Congress.  The imposed contract includes general wage increases for 2020-2024 totaling 22%.  Appendix L of the BNSF/BRS Agreement is where the current rates for all classifications described in Rule 2 can be found.
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      BNSF 2022/2023 Hiring

      As stated in a previous edition of this newsletter, like most of the rail industry, the BNSF signal department is having difficulty recruiting new employees. And that is evident by the hiring numbers in 2022. In the early fall of 2022, the BNSF increased its target new hire number for the year to 158.  This was due, in part, to the rapid increase in attrition rates among signalmen.
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      BNSF 46H and 48E Adjustments

      As indicated in Rule 46 H, “the daily allowance for employees assigned to mobile crews, while working on their home seniority district, will be adjusted semiannually on June 1st and December 1st.” The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2022 was 847.663 and the October 2022 CPI was 872.767.
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      KCS Pay Rates

      As mentioned in a previous article, the recent round of national bargaining resulted in a contract being imposed by Congress which includes general wage increases for 2020-2024 totaling 22%.  Despite the fact our KCS members fall under four separate agreements, all receive their GWI’s under the terms of the National Agreement.
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      KCS/CP Implementing Agreement

      In our last issue, it was reported that an implementing agreement was reached with the CP, contingent on its securing STB authorization to assume control of KCS operations.  The Agreement was further predicated on CP modifying or consolidating work performed by its DM&E employees and certain identified KCS employees (including the GWWR).
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      DTO Tentative Agreement out for Vote

      As stated in a previous newsletter, we entered this round of bargaining with a robust list of needs and desires which were presented in our initial proposal to the Carrier.  That was our starting point.  The Carrier’s starting point, as you can imagine, was on the opposite end of the spectrum.
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      MRL Lease Termination Update

      As all members on the MRL are no doubt aware, we reached an Implementing agreement with BNSF which preserves the existing MRL CBA after its acquisition of MRL is complete.  That process has yet to be completed but all signs indicate the transition of MRL back to BNSF ownership will occur by mid-2023.
      Read More...


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      BRS Efforts to Obtain Emergency Sick Leave
      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the lack of sick leave afforded our members, the Organization attempted to get out in front of the impending certainty coming our way – infections and/or exposure quarantines of our members.


      Download: GCA Letter to Carl Ice Re COVID-19 (3-16-2020) (1).pdf
      Download Our App

      Available on both the Apple Store and Google Play for Android!

      CLICK THE APPROPRIATE ICON BELOW FROM YOUR APPLE OR ANDROID MOBILE DEVICE.

       

      BRS Efforts to Obtain Emergency Sick Leave
      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the lack of sick leave afforded our members, the Organization attempted to get out in front of the impending certainty coming our way – infections and/or exposure quarantines of our members.

      Download: GCA Letter to Carl Ice Re COVID-19 (3-16-2020) (1).pdf

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