All GCA 150 Local Chairmen and Members,
By now I’m sure many of you have seen the PEB recommendations. The BLET National Division has issued the following news statement below, which can be found at: https://ble-t.org/news/peb-250-issues-recommendations/
As you can imagine, our office has been busy having discussions not only with many of you but also with the National Division offices. I can assure all of you that many more Official BLET Communications will be forthcoming over the course of the next few weeks outlining where we are and the steps being taken.
For right now, we wanted to set a few of the topics straight which seem to be the most discussed at this time.
22% GWI (24% compounded) over 5 years with retroactive back pay
7-1-2020 – 3.0%
12-1-2020 - $1000 service recognition bonus
7-1-2021 – 3.5%
12-1-2021 - $1000 service recognition bonus
7-1-2022 – 7.0%
12-1-2022 - $1000 service recognition bonus
7-1-2023 – 4.0%
12-1-2023 - $1000 service recognition bonus
7-1-2024 – 4.5%
12-1-24- $1000 service recognition bonus
As a very general guide Backpay based on the 3.0% (2020) 3.5% (2021) and 7% effective on July 1, 2022. Note: all of these general estimations are inclusive of the $1000 Service Recognition Bonuses.
$100,000.00 = approx. $16,000.00
$120,000.00 = approx. $18,880.80
$130,000.00 = approx. $20,287.56
$140,000.00 = approx. $21,694.29
$150,000.00 = approx. $23,101.03
$160,000.00 = approx. $24,507.76
$170,000.00 = approx. $25,914.76
$180,000.00 = approx. $27,321.00
$190,000.00 = approx. $28.727.97
$200,000.00 = approx. $30,134.70
Health and Welfare
Cap removed from monthly employee contribution. Employee contributions will be 15% of the overall cost of the plans providing coverage to benefit participants.
Currently, we pay $228.88 which is about 12% of the overall cost of the plan. The rates are set for the plan each October. Based on current numbers the employee cost would be 287.46. As the cost of the plan increases or decreases the monthly rate that the employee will pay will be adjusted annually.
There is no retroactivity mentioned on the H&W employee contributions (No backpay to Carrier for H&W) You will only pay the new adjusted amount going forward, no give-backs.
$2000 in hearing benefits
It also removed age limits on speech therapy and provide coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis without age or dollar limits for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
No changes to copay, deductibles, coinsurance or Out Of Pocket (OOP)maximums
Added one (1) personal leave
Meals – The issue was remanded back to the Parties to bargain updated meal allowances. The PEB stated that there was insufficient evidence to show that the meal allowance we were asking for was appropriate. The PEB did not address this and sent it back for the parties to discuss.
Electronic Bid System (EBS), pools, extra boards and proposed work schedules – All were returned to the parties for further negotiations. All of these items are subject to binding arbitration.
There were also other items remanded back to the parties which were: Self-Supporting pools (i.e. Turn removal), Pool Regulation, and also Work Schedules. We are hopeful on the Work Schedules they will then be bound to discuss systems of predictive work and guaranteed days off.
The PEB recommended that Crew Consist be removed from the greater PEB discussion. This is good news for all of us who possess dual-seniority as Engineers and Trainmen. While the discussions on crew consist will continue, it will remain a localized issue and not a national issue under the PEB umbrella.
Q: So where do we go from here? A: BLET will meet with the Carrier and attempt to negotiate a contract from the PEB recommendation. The parties will either be able to reach an agreement proposal on the topics or they won’t. A lot of things are in play at this time. Whether the Organizations and the Carriers be able to move closer to an Agreement in their discussions is unknown, but GCA 150 will keep all of you updated as things progress. Q. Will the member see a proposal to vote on? A. I would tend to think so, but again it’s all subject to the ongoing conversations. My opinion is that the individual members should decide if this or any other proposal that stems from these recommendations (and the talks that follow) is acceptable to the members at large. It’s up to each of us to cast a vote one way or another. This could be the final, it could get modified slightly, I just don’t have that answer today. If it’s accepted it’s accepted, if not we continue the RLA processes that are already in place. Q. Will it go to Congress? Will they be the ones to decide? Again, while a possibility exists, that is unknown at this moment. All of it’s going to be dependent on how things shake out in the next few weeks.
I realize this is a lot of info to soak up all at once. We received the PEB recommendation no sooner than many of you did. But it is all a moving target at this point. There are so many ancillary things taking place in the background, many of which I don’t have the answer to, that it’s difficult to address them all. However, I want each of you to know we will do our best to keep you updated throughout the process as things develop.