The following understanding is to describe the process the parties have agreed to utilize on a trial basis to handle claims at the Local and General Committee level for handling claims other than discipline or protective claims. This understanding applies only to claims filed on a Ticket in the BNSF Computer System, by the Local Chairman, Individual Claimant or Crew.


1. Memorandum of Agreement EN 4/20/79 between Burlington Northern and Brotherhood or Locomotive Engineers for handling Claims and Grievances at the local level is amended only to the extent provided herein, all other provision remain in effect and will be otherwise handled as set forth herein; (a) the claim must be submitted within 60 days from the date of the occurrence and (b) the Carrier must decline or pay within 60 days of the claim being filed.

2, When a claim has been properly declined by the Cattier pursuant to Section (c), it is understood that the Local Chairman will no longer appeal a claim to Comp System (currently George Wong), but, (a) the claim must be discussed in conference with the designated Local Carrier Officer and, (b) if declined, the General Chairman must within 180 days of the Carrier’s original decline, docket the claims for conference with Labor Relations.

3. The General Chairman and Labor Relations will discuss those claims in conference, If the claim cannot be resolved, the General Chairman must formally appeal the claim within 120 days after the date of conference.

4. If the claim involves an issue that has already been identified by the General Chairman with Labor Relations as a lead case, those claims do not need to be conference by the Local Chairman but can be automatically sent to the General Chairman who will list as held in abeyance of the identified lead case. For example, the claims for GN Yard engine inspection could be listed as held in abeyance.

5. Prior to listing ongoing claims to a lead case, the General Chairman will advise the highest designated officer of the Carrier in writing of its intention to identify the issue as a lead case that similar and analogous claims will be tied to it.

6. Any so called letter claims or those claims not associated with a BNSF Ticket Number will be handled according to the applicable Agreement as in the past.

This understanding is to become effective March 1, 2009 and may be cancelled by either party serving a 25 day’s written notice on the other party.

Side Letter 1
(Claim Handling Agreement dated March 1, 2009)

During our discussions of the claims handling agreement signed this dare, the Organization voiced concern that it does not provide adequate directive or guidance to Division officers designated to conduct local conferences. It was therefore agreed that;

1. The designated local Carrier Officer(s) will work with local union officers in an effort to schedule and conduct local conferences expediently, and with consideration to individual work schedules.

2. Local conferences will be conducted with the intent of handling all merit claims presented by designated union officer(s). Separate conferences will not be required to handle merit claims precipitated by other departments (e.g., Operating, crew calling, etc.), and the local Carrier officer conducting the conference(s) will exercise authority to settle all merit claims presented.

Should the local parties be unable to resolve any dispute rising from the interpretation or application of this agreement, it will be referred to the General Chairman's office and Labor Relations for resolution.