The Twin Cities Division of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway will establish
commuter rail service under contract with the Northstar Regional Transit Authority between Big
Lake and Minneapolis, Minnesota, with possible expansion to St. Cloud, Minnesota. The Carrier
and the Organization agree to the following rates of pay and conditions to apply to this new
service as follows:
It is agreed:
1. Under this present arrangement, the commuter passenger engine crew will
consist of one (1) engineer.
2. (a) Commuter passenger service crews operating between Big Lake and
Minneapolis will be home terminaled at Big Lake and/or Minneapolis.
Minneapolis and/or Big Lake will be the turnaround and layover point,
dependent upon the specific crew assignment and scheduling.
(b) When commuter passenger service is expanded to encompass the
territory between St. Cloud and Minneapolis, commuter passenger
crews may be home terminaled at St. Cloud and/or Minneapolis.
(c) Commuter passenger crews may be assigned to operate in short
turnaround service, traversing the entire, or segments, of this territory
with layover and turnaround points to be designated by the Carrier for
each crew assignment.
(d) Automatic release rules will not apply to commuter passenger crews.
3. To establish commuter passenger assignments, BNSF will issue a bulletin
for one (1) Engineer which will contain the following information:
(1) The train number or designation.
(2) The home terminal of assignment and layover point.
(3) The days of the week service is to be performed.
(4) The rest day(s) of the assignment.
(5) The on-duty time of the assignment.
(6) The date assignment will be established.
(7) The territorial limits of operation identifying:
a) Direction and line segment
b) Turnaround point
c) Train schedule
4. Commuter passenger assignments may be established to perform daily
service on five or six days during a calendar week. On five-day
assignments, the rest days will be consecutive. The on and off-duty point
for these assignments will be at the same point and location for each day
5. Relief engineer assignments will be established in addition to the regular
assigned positions established. Relief positions may be increased or
decreased on an as needed basis based on the projected number of vacancy
days due to layoffs, vacation and personal leave days.
When extra service is required by Northstar Regional Transit, BNSF will
notify the junior relief engineer ten (10) days in advance wherein his work
week and rest days will be altered in order to protect the additional service
at the straight time rate of pay. If a regular assigned engineer is used on his
assigned rest day to protect extra passenger service, he will be paid at the
punitive rate of pay. If additional passenger service is required on the sixth
or seventh day of the assignment and a buildup relief freight crew is used,
then that crew will be paid at straight time rate of pay.
Employees desiring to work extra passenger service will make application to
the appropriate Carrier Officer to have their name placed on the Extra
Passenger Working List. When an extra passenger engineer is needed, the
Carrier will call employees on this list on a first-in/first-out basis. The
Carrier will determine the number of employees necessary to staff the Extra
Passenger Working List. If an employee refuses to accept extra passenger
service when called, the employee's name will be removed from the list and
the employee will be restricted from the list for a period of thirty (30) days.
6. All positions, regular and relief assignments, will report for work on each
work day. The relief assignments will fill any vacancy on a regular
assignment that may occur due to layoff, vacation, or personal leave day. If
no vacancies occur on the regular assignments, then the relief assignment(s)
will work on the last assignment(s) departing the initial terminal that day in
addition to the regular assigned engineer(s).
7. All assignments, regular and relief, will have a one (1) year tie down period
at the beginning of each new fiscal year commencing with October 1 as the
start of a new one (1) year period. At the expiration of the one-year period,
an engineer may exercise seniority to another class of service subject to the
terms and conditions of the schedule agreement.
An engineer assigned a position in commuter passenger service under this
agreement will hold the position for the period assigned provided the
position is maintained during that period and will be immune from
displacement under the seniority rules while occupying such position
provided such engineer has sufficient seniority to remain in this commuter
passenger service on a regular or relief assignment. Employees in another
class of service cannot enter into this commuter passenger service until
October 1 of new tie down period or unless they are unable to hold a
position on their entire seniority district.
Bids for each new one (1) year tie down period will end in August in order
for new employees to the service to receive up to thirty (30) days training.
Employees with prior experience in this commuter passenger service will
receive training as deemed appropriate by the Carrier, if necessary. When
engineers are being trained, they will be paid at the appropriate Engineers'
Extra Board Guaranteed Daily Rate of Pay for each day in the training
period. An engineer training another engineer in this service will be paid 1.1
times the regular passenger rate of pay.
Employees will be permitted to return to BNSF's freight service (road or
yard) prior to the expiration of the one (1) year tie down only upon the
condition of a hardship case, (i.e., a serious illness of a family member) or
due to the employees' failure to discharge their duties in a manner which
reflects a positive image to the Northstar Regional Transit Authority. Such
cases will be handled locally by the Superintendent Commuter Operations
and the respective Local Chairman. If the issue can not be resolved at this
level, then it will be referred to Labor Relations and the respective General
Chairman for disposition.
Engineers in this service may change assignments within the group every
sixty (60) days via an internal bid process.
8. Uniforms will be provided to all crew members, who will be responsible for
their appearance and upkeep. Proper footwear will be required as part of the
uniform requirements in accordance with the provisions of BN-BLE
Memorandum of Agreement dated November 5, 1981, Ops. 63-81.
Engineers will be expected to maintain and wear the prescribed uniform as
defined in the Northstar Regional Transit Service Manual to assure that
BNSF employees are professionally dressed and recognizable to the general
public. In order to maintain professionally laundered and pressed uniforms,
engineers will be allowed a daily laundry allowance $4.00.
Engineers will be allowed a daily meal allowance of $3.50.
9. Passenger crews will deploy and assist passengers, open and close doors on
all cars prior to departure from each station. All employees, train or engine,
in this passenger service shall perform their respective duties as required in
connection with this passenger operation and will obey all rules applicable
10. Engineers may in addition to the above perform additional work in
connection with their assignment without additional compensation as
provided in Article VIII, Section 3 of the May 19, 1986 BLE Arbitration
Award No. 458.
Article XVII, Section 2(b) of the May 19, 1986 BLE Arbitration Award No.
458 will not apply to this passenger service.
11. Rates of pay contained in the former Northern Pacific Engineers Schedule
Agreement will apply to this service. Once operations have commenced, the
parties will meet to discuss alternative compensation arrangements for this
service consisting of trip rates or hourly rated assignments.
12. Passenger engineers will be paid the Special Pay Differential rate of $28.01,
modified herein for this service only, as provided in Article XV of the June
1, 1996 BNIBLE Agreement for each working trip or tour of duty. They
will, also, be entitled to the $5.00 certification allowance per Arbitration
Board No. 564 dated March 12, 1997 for each working trip or tour of duty.
Effective July 1, 2009 and thereafter, the $5.00 certification pay will be
subject to any general wage increase and/or COLAS in accordance with
Article 7 of the June , 2007 Memorandum of Agreement between BNSF
13. Employees assigned to this commuter passenger service will be
compensated for paid holidays which are observed by Northstar Regional
Transit Authority. They will also be allowed to take personal leave days as
provided in the May 3 1, 1996 BLE Core National Agreement; however, the
number of personal leave days that each engineer is entitled to shall be
reduced by the number of paid holidays (or pay in lieu thereof) received by the employee from any source throughout the year.
Vacations will be assigned in seniority order with the selection of vacation
periods to be made only amongst engineers in this commuter passenger
14. Employees assigned to this commuter passenger service will be provided
secure parking for their personal automobiles, at no expense, in the vicinity
of their on- and off-duty points.
Individual lockers and adequate washroom facilities will be provided at the
home terminal and the respective layover point for each engineer assigned to
Employees tied up at the layover point for four (4) or more hours will be
provided lodging as defined in BN Labor Agreement 8/1/80-OPS-30-80. When lodging is more than % of a mile from the off-duty point,
transportation will be provided in both directions. If employees are tied up
at the layover point for less than four (4) hours, lodging will not be required;
however, a ready room will be provided by the Carrier for the employees.
Until such time that Northstar crews commence regularly scheduled
multiple round trips (2 or more) within a tour of duty, engineers will be
allowed a payment of $5.00 in lieu of using the provided lodging facility in
Minneapolis. The transportation/lodging allowance will cover the costs
associated with operating an employee's personal vehicle between work and
home to receive proper rest during the midday respite period.
15. Except as specifically provided herein, nothing contained herein shall be
construed as modifying, amending or superseding any of the provisions of
schedule agreements between BLET or this Carrier, and the Merger
Protection Agreements as implemented between this Carrier and the BLET.