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8/24/2006



Rail News: Passenger Rail

BLET-represented SEPTA engineers ratify five-year contract



After months of negotiations and an assist from President Bush, 195 locomotive engineers at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) have a new contract. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET)-represented workers recently ratified a five-year collective bargaining agreement.

The contract provides engineers a $1,000 signing bonus and annual wage increases of 3 percent. Beginning in August 2008, workers will pay 1 percent of their weekly wages to cover health-care costs.

“In addition to wage increases, we won a significant change in the pay awarded to engineers for the their federally required certification,” said Richard Dixon, general chairman of the union’s SEPTA general committee of adjustment, in a prepared statement. “Instead of a $4 a day flat fee, they will now receive a 50 cent per hour increase for the certification.”

Last month, President Bush established an emergency board to help settle a collective bargaining dispute between SEPTA and BLET, which had been ongoing since August 2005. The agency and union reached an agreement after one meeting with the board.


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