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Tentative Agreement Reached Between BMWED and NCCC

Published: Sep 11 2022 12:00PM

September 11, 2022
Sent Via Email

RE: Tentative Agreement Reached Between BMWED and NCCC

Brothers and Sisters:

I am proud to announce that the BMWED and the National Carriers Conference Committee have reached a tentative National Agreement for this round of National Negotiations.  

The tentative National Agreement contains general wage increases of 22% over the term of the agreement (24% when compounded), with retroactive pay (often referred to as “backpay”) for all straight time and overtime hours.  The tentative agreement also includes five $1,000 annual service recognition bonus payments, $3,000 of the service recognition bonuses will be paid along with retroactive pay upon ratification of the agreement, with two additional $1,000 service recognition bonus payments in 2023 and 2024.  Additionally, the tentative agreement provides for an additional paid day off that can be used as a personal day, vacation day or on the employee’s birthday.     

The tentative National Agreement also contains National Travel Allowances and Away From Home Expenses improvements that provide for reimbursement for all miles traveled for work at the IRS business rate (currently $.625 per mile).  Reimbursement will also include any tolls necessary for travel, a daily per diem equal to the Standard GSA CONUS per diem rate (currently $59 for work days and $44.25 on travel days) and lodging reimbursement for a single occupancy motel/hotel room up to the GSA Standard CONUS lodging rate (currently $98 per night plus taxes) for nights when the carrier does not provide lodging.  The tentative National Agreement also requires carrier-provided single occupancy motel/hotel rooms, and eliminates the use of camp cars or carrier-provided trailers for lodging except in limited emergency circumstances.  Also, the tentative National Agreement ends the railroad’s practice of not reimbursing employees the cost to move their personal vehicle during worksite changes, midweek moves, etc.  The General Chairpersons are negotiating with each respective railroad to determine whether they desire to elect the new National Travel Allowances and Away From Home Expenses structure, maintain the existing arrangements and structure on the specific railroad property, or negotiate an alternative arrangement.  Absent an agreement to retain current arrangements or negotiation of alternative arrangements the National Agreement concerning travel allowances and away from home expenses will apply.   

The tentative national agreement also provides for improvements to health and welfare benefits, including a substantial increase to hearing aid benefits and coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism without age limitations.  The Agreement does not have any changes in copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums: they remain the same.  The Agreement does increase the employee monthly-cost share for health and welfare benefits (currently $228.89 per Employee per month), setting it at 15% of the monthly payment rate for healthcare benefits. The PEB effectively reset the cost share rate to the level it had been at the start of the last two national agreements (because of health care cost inflation the employee share had dropped to 12%).   However, the cost increases are more than offset by the service recognition bonuses alone, and there is an opportunity to drive down health and welfare plan costs through rebidding the National Health and Welfare Plan.   

I believe that the tentative agreement will substantially improve all BMWED Members wages and working conditions, and it will put an end to the 65 year battle to bring BMWED Members travel allowances and away from home expenses to a rationally based structure.  This structure  automatically adjusts itself (based on the changes to the IRS business mileage rate, and GSA Standard CONUS Lodging and Meal and Incidental Allowance Per Diems) that more appropriately covers the costs to work away from home.  But BMWED Members are ultimately the individuals that must decide if they accept or reject the terms of the tentative agreement. BMWED Members will get the opportunity to cast their vote in favor or against the Tentative National Agreement in the days ahead.  Further information regarding will be forthcoming as we work with the American Arbitration Association to coordinate Membership voting.    

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the PEB’s recommendations and this bargaining round in general, and there has been a lot of confusing information regarding the status of National Negotiations. The BMWED has focused our efforts on understanding the PEB’s recommendations and working towards reaching a tentative agreement so that we could end the speculation and provide the Members with facts.   We will be posting the tentative National Agreement later today, and over the next several days, BMWED National Division will provide clear and concise information explaining the tentative National Agreement. This information will be placed on our webpage, www.bmwed.org and the BMWED Facebook Page. We will be sending text and emails as well.  Zoom Town Halls will be scheduled and held, with dates to be announced in the coming days.  

Please take the time to review the information about the tentative National Agreement as it becomes available to begin familiarizing yourself with it so that you will be prepared to promptly cast your vote in the days ahead.  Again, further information will be forthcoming and please continue to review our BMWED webpage and the BMWED Facebook page for more information.


Tony D. Cardwell 
BMWED National Division President