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Rail News: Labor

BLET members OK new SEPTA contract


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) have ratified a new two-year contract with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the union announced yesterday.

Ratified by a 91 percent majority in late May 2016, the two-year agreement runs through March 2018 and governs rates of pay, work rules and health-care costs, according to a BLET press release.

Union members will receive general wage increases of 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017, in addition to increased pay for single-day vacations. Benefits relating to health care, pensions and the Family and Medical Leave Act were extended to same-sex spouses under the new agreement without increases in out-of-pocket costs or copays, BLET officials said.

Union members also approved a comprehensive change to SEPTA's locomotive engineer instructor program in which the union's SEPTA general committee of adjustment is contractually involved in the program's design.

In addition, the BLET and SEPTA agreed to change some work schedules from six-day assignments to five-day ones to address quality of life issues, union officials said.