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:
1. Under this present arrangement, the commuter passenger train crew will
consist of one (1) conductor.
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.
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.
(c) Automatic release rules will not apply to commuter passenger crews.
3. To establish commuter passenger assignments, BNSF will issue a bulletin for
one (1) Conductor 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 conductor 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.
If trains in this service exceed eight (8) passenger cars, the parties agree to
meet to discuss the duties of a passenger conductor as contained in this
Agreement. If trains in this service exceed ten (10) passenger cars, an
Assistant Conductor will be added to that assignment and will be paid the
same rate of pay as the Conductor.
When extra service is required by Northstar Transit, BNSF will notify the
junior relief conductor 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 conductor is used on his
assigned rest day to protect extra passenger service, he will be paid at one
and one-half times the daily 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.
If extra passenger service is required and no relief conductor is available, the
vacancy will be filled in the following manner:
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 conductor is needed, the
Carrier will call employees from 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, the relief conductor shall
work with one of the regular assignments to assist the regular employees
and to remain familiarized with each assignment. During a week when there
are no vacancies, the relief conductor shall work varying assignments,
splitting time equally with each assignment and assisting each conductor as
specified in the Northstar Service Manual
In certain situations, due to training efforts, special projects, or emergencies, the
relief conductor may occasionally work with the regular assignments or fill
vacancies at other than hisher home terminal. For these infrequent, but necessary
situations, the relief conductor must be notified of hisher assignment no later than
the previous day. The provision to use a relief conductor at other than his/her home
terminal is to be used only on an exceptional basis and is intended to protect
emergency situations; thereby, enhancing the quality and safety of this passenger
Examples of situations whereby a relief conductor could be utilized at other than
his/her home terminal:
- To assist with training programs
- To become familiarized with the entire Northstar commuter
territory to prepare for future assignments which traverse St.
Cloud to Minneapolis
- To assist with special projects such as multiple conductor fare
- To fill vacancies on an emergency basis
- To remain territory qualified for emergency evacuation of
Minneapolis in the event of terrorist activity
- Emergency service due to severe weather and/or landslide
- Disabled train assistance
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,
a conductor may exercise seniority to another class of service subject to the
terms and conditions of the schedule agreement.
A conductor 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 conductor 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 a 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 on August 31 and
become effective on October 1 in order for new employees to the service to
receive up to thirty (30) days training immediately prior to entering this
commuter passenger service. Employees with prior experience in this
commuter passenger service will receive training as deemed appropriate by
the Carrier, if necessary. When conductors are being trained, they will be
paid at the appropriate Conductors' Extra Board Guaranteed Daily Rate of
Pay for each day in the training period. A conductor training another
conductor in this service will be paid 1.1 times the regular daily 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.
Conductors in this service may change assignments within the group every
sixty (60) days via an internal bid process. Each assignment will be
bulletined for seven (7) days taking effect on the tenth (l0th) day.
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 which consist of safety steel toe or
fiberglass/composite toe shoes. Conductors 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. To maintain a professionally
laundered and pressed uniform, conductors will be allowed a daily laundry
allowance of $4.00.
Conductors will be allowed a daily meal allowance of $3.50.
9. Passenger conductors will randomly check for valid passenger tickets and
issue citations in event of fare violations. No passenger tickets will be sold
nor fares collected by passenger conductors.
10. Passenger conductors 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
11. Employees may, in addition to the above, perform the following work in
connection with their assignment without additional compensation:
a). Handle any switches;
b).Move, turn, spot, and supply cars and locomotives;
c).Inspect all equipment plus remove debris from coaches;
d).Start or shutdown locomotives or other equipment;
f).Make walking test of all equipment;
g).Remove and/or place rear-end device on equipment;
h).Prepare required reports while on duty;
i).Operate any communication devices to include copying track warrants,
bulletins, or other messages.
12. Computation of passenger conductor pay will be as described in Articles 3
and 4 contained in the former Northern Pacific Conductors Schedule
Agreement. Once service have commenced, the parties will meet to discuss
alternative compensation arrangements for this service consisting of trip
rates or hourly rated assignments.
13. Special allowance payments contained in Article 16 of the December 5,
1980 Crew Consist Agreement, modified by the May 20, 1993 Crew Consist
Agreement, will be paid to each passenger conductor (including Assistant
Conductors) and will not be used in the calculation of Northern Lines
14. Article 17 of the December 5, 1980 Crew Consist Agreement, modified by
the May 20, 1993 Crew Consist Agreement, will also apply to this service,
whereby, one (1) productivity fund share will be allowed to qualified
employees for each tour of duty in this commuter passenger service;
however, BNSF will not be required to make any $48.25 payments into the
productivity fund account.
15. 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 December 5, 1980 Crew Consist Agreement; however, the
number of personal leave days that each employee 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. Employees entitled to
ten (10) personal leave days will be allowed up to eleven (11) days total
when personal leave days are combined with holidays in accordance with
Award No. 14 of Public Law Board No. 441 9 and Supplemental Award No.
2 of Public Law Board No. 401 6.
Vacations will be assigned in seniority order with the selection of vacation
periods made amongst the train service employees in this commuter
16. 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 conductor assigned
to this service.
Employees tied up at the layover point for four (4) or more hours will be
provided lodging as defined in BN Labor Agreement 7116180-OPS-27-80.
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 for the employees.
Until such time that Northstar crews commence regularly scheduled
multiple round trips (2 or more) within a tour of duty, conductors 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.
17. Except as specifically provided herein, nothing contained herein shall be
construed as modifying, amending or superseding any of the provisions of
schedule agreements between UTU (C&T) or this Carrier, and the Merger
Protection Agreements as implemented between this Carrier and the UTU