BMWED Amtrak MOW Employees Ratify New Contract

Published: May 1 2018 10:49AM

Amtrak members of the BMWED-IBT have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the railroad that raises wages by a compounded 18.8 percent over the life of the contract, resolves health insurance benefits, and protects work rules.

The final vote was certified this week by the American Arbitration Association. Of the 2,963 ballots mailed to BMWED Amtrak members, 1,419 were returned (48 percent). Of those, 1,371 voted to ratify, with 46 voting against and two voided. Ratification of the CBA passed on 95 percent of the returned ballots. The Brotherhood expects the new pay rates and retropay to go into effect by the end of June.

Reaching agreement and achieving ratification was a great success for the BMWED, which was lead by Penn Fed General Chairman Jed Dodd, along with BMWED President Freddie Simpson and General Chairmen Dale Bogart (NESF), Louis Below (USD), Jason Graham (CRSF), Hayward Granier (ICGF), and Dennis Albers (Allied).

In a political environment that is increasingly difficult for collective bargaining, this ratified agreement protects work rules, is not overbearing on the members in the form of health insurance cost-sharing, and provides for modest but consistent wages raises. It also avoids additional mediation and/or a potential Presidential Emergency Board, as well as a repeat of binding arbitration, which settled the last bargaining round on Amtrak in 2014.

"Overall, we protected the members against the vicious and sustained assault Amtrak management pursued through most of the bargaining round," Penn Fed General Chairman Dodd said. "While it isn't every single thing we wanted, our wage increases are not eaten up by increases in healthcare cost-sharing, co-payments or deductibles. Our work rules, which Amtrak has aggressively targeted are unchanged and protected for at least another 3-1/2 years."

The rates of pay increases are as follows:

1.25 percent effective July 2015
1.5 percent effective July 2016
1.5 percent effective July 2017
2.75 percent effective July 2018
3.0 percent effective July 2019
3.75 percent effective July 2020
3.75 percent effective July 2021