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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.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/24/2006