Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BLET ratifies Metra contract

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has ratified a new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Chicagoland’s Metra, affecting approximately 200 locomotive engineers, who operate trains in more than 100 communities at 241 stations in the Greater Chicago area.

The agreement, which more than 96% of voting BLET members ratified, provides for five general wage increases and two retroactive payments totaling a compounded value of 21.2% 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 contract provides for a 23.8% 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 elements include a 38% 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.