BNSF and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) on Aug. 1 reported agreeing to a tentative deal on paid sick leave and other work/rest options for approximately 7,500 railroaders.
This “breakthrough” tentative agreement, which includes up to eight paid sick leave days, comes after several months of negotiations, according to the organizations. It would allow for more predictable scheduling and enable engineers to take paid sick leave without any penalty, they noted, which will contribute to more consistent service for BNSF’s customers and aid in the recruitment and retention of employees.
BNSF and BLET said that the agreement also introduces work/rest options that can be implemented in every pool. Locomotive engineers would have the opportunity to earn an “Earned Day Off” (EDO) quarterly. Additionally, all BLET-represented engineers at BNSF will be provided individual paid sick days. A ratification vote is scheduled for September.
“The cooperation between BLET and BNSF marks an important step forward in supporting the well-being and satisfaction of locomotive engineers, ensuring a more balanced and efficient work environment,” BNSF and BLET said.
In a related development, BNSF on May 24 announced on LinkedIn that it has reached new tentative agreements with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division (SMART-TD) granting individual paid sick days. BNSF also reported reaching paid sick leave agreements with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers on April 20; with the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) on April 17; and with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) on March 17.