Road-switcher agreement

BN 4/14/88    OPS

and the
(Former CB&Q, NP, GN and SP&S)

Whereas the parties recognize that opportunities will present themselves on the Burlington Northern to promote new business and preserve existing business by providing more efficient and more expedient service, it is the parties mutual objective to provide this improved service by making changes, as may be necessary, in operations and with agreement rule exceptions and accommodations in specific situations and circumstances.

The patties recognize that attracting new business and retaining present business depends not only on reducing service costs, but also on improving service to customers.

The parties sincerely believe that cooperation between the management and the employees will result in more business and Job opportunities and better service which will insure the industry’s future strength and growth.


1. Road-switcher assignments (excluding Interdivisional operations) may be established to provide improved switching service under the following conditions. It is recognized that the home terminal of such assignment must be at a location where suitable lodging and eating facility are available, in accordance with BN Labor Agreement OPS 30-8O, affective August 1, 1988, or suitable transportation thereto will be arranged and provided at the Carrier’s expense.

2. To establish assignment for engineers in this service, the Carrier will issue bulletins which will contain the following information

(1) nature of service and territorial limits of assignment
(2) train number or designation
(3) home terminal of assignment
(4) days at the week service is to be performed
(5) rest day(s)
(6) on-duty time
(7) the office to which corrected job selection cards will be sent and
(8) the date assignment will be established. Assignment must be made on a turnaround basis with on-duty and off-duty point being the same.

Assignments will be established for either five, six or seven days per week. On five-day assignments, the rest days will be consecutive.

3. Engineers assigned to road-switcher service as provided in this agreement may be run back and forth over the territory within the limits of the assignment, and into, out of, and through assigned terminals without pay in addition to that specified in this agreement. In the event an engineer on a road-switcher assignment does perform service beyond the territorial limits of such assignment, he shall be entitled to an additional day’s pay for each such instance,  with the understanding that the time consumed outside the limits of the assignment will be deducted from the total time an duty. Rules covering terminal switching and terminal delay will not apply in road-switcher service.

4. Engineers working in assigned or unassigned service, other than road-switcher assignments, may perform any service within road switcher limits without penalty occurring by reason of this agreement. Nothing herein shall be interpreted as establishing “road-switcher" as a different class of service within the meaning of the more than one class of service rule.

5. Engineers working road-switcher assignments established under provisions of this agreement shall be paid the five-day yard rate of pay based on weight-on-drivers of the locomotive consist used. However, none of the other rules and/or working conditions of the agreements in effect between the Carrier and its yard engineers are applicable to engineers engaged in road-switcher service.

6. Eight hours or less shall constitute a day’s work. Time shall be computed continuously from the time required to report for duty until released from duty, with overtime after eight hours computed on a minute basis at a rate per hour of three-sixteenths of the daily rate. A reasonable meal period will be allowed engineers in this service without deduction in pay in accordance with prevailing schedule rule.

7. The national holiday agreement provisions shall apply to road-switcher service without regard to mileage operated.

8. An assigned road-switcher engineer who is required to work less than the bulletined number at days of the assignment will be guaranteed a yard day’s pay, at last service rate, for each day not worked to a maximum of six days per week. If traffic is temporarily interrupted because of snow blockade, washouts, wrecks or similar track obstruction, and it is impossible to perform regular service, the guarantee does not apply.

9. Road-switcher assignment in existence on the effective date of this agreement will not be abolished and re-established under the provision of this agreement unless the territorial limits of an existing road switcher assignment must be increased to meet customer service requirements.

10. Except as specifically provided heroin, nothing contained in this agreement shall be construed as modifying, amending or superseding any of the provisions of schedule agreements between the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and this Carrier.

This agreement will become effective as of the date signed.


March 31, 1988

File: JG 6(b)-18(b) NP-GN-SPS-CBQ

Mr. W. C. Keppen
General Chairman
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
333-On-Sibley Street, Suite 410
St. Paul, MN 55101

Dear Bill:

RE: Road Switcher Agreement

This refers to your letter of March 11,1988, File Sys.Rd.Swt.Agmt., and our subsequent discussions concerning certain assurances in connection with the proposed road switcher agreement.

Attached is a side letter containing all of the assurances we can agree upon. If it is satisfactory, attached the letter to the proposed agreement and return it with the signed road switcher agreement.

Mr. R. E. Cassity
Asst.VP-Labor Relations
Burlington Northern Railroad Co .
3000 Continental Plaza
777 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
March 11, 1988
File: Sys.Rd.Swt.Agnt.

Dear Mr. Cassity:

We have recently concluded negotiations for a system Roadswitcher Agreement as provided for in Arbitration Award 458. During the negotiation process we discussed all aspects of the agreement and how Burlington Northern's customers could expect to benefit through enhanced switching service. As a result of those discussions, I believe that we have a clear understanding of the scope and intent of the agreement. Nevertheless, as a result of questions raised by our members during the ratification process, and the fact that this service will be implemented by local carrier officers, who were not present during the negotiations, I believe it is imperative that we concur on several details of the agreement.

Roadswitcher service is not new to the majority of the Burlington lines. It differs from through freight and local freight service because of one unique feature: it may operate into, out of, and through terminals, without regard for a terminal release. Simply stated, leaving a terminal on a second and subsequent trips does not start a new day for engineers in roadswitcher service. The value of this feature easily translates to reduced costs to customers, if the service is properly implemented. Although we did not place a general mileage restriction upon roadswitchers established under the term of this agreement the goal of improve service could not be achieved if assignments were required to operate over extended distances. With that in mind, we recognize that this agreement was not intended to allow local carrier officers to replace through freight, transfer, and local service with roadswitchers when the terminal release service feature is not consistent with the needs of our customers.

Several other issues directly related to roadswitchers assignments which may be established under the terms of this agreement are as follows :

1. Roadswitchers will not be required to switch at locations where yard engines are on duty.

2. Roadswitchers engaged in switching at locations where yard engines have been reduced under the terms of existing agreements would qualify for payment at the same rate applicable to other road service engineers . This would mean if, for example , the proper payment at the location was time and one-half the road switcher engineer would be allowed the time and one-half rate rather than straight time while engaged in switching at that location.

3. Roadswitcher will not be assigned with over lagging limits.

4. In the event that a similar agreement is not reached with train service personnel, engineers will not be subject to lesser earnings as a result of the hourly rather than mileage basis of pay.

5 . Finally, in no case will the hourly basis of pay serve to reduce an engineer's earning potential if and/or when It is practical to establish a "long mileage" road switcher.

In negotiating this agreement our intention was to allow timely establishment of this unique service so we are able to take advantage of existing and new business opportunities. This is an agreement founded on the principle that we can cooperate in certain areas to our mutual benefit, and in that regard, I trust the items I have mentioned properly set forth certain applications of the terms of the agreement we have negotiated.


March 31,1988

File: JG 6(b)-18(b) NP-GN-SPS-CBQ

Mr. W. C. Keppen
General Chairman
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
333-On-Sibley Street, Suite 410
St. Paul, MN 55101

Dear Mr. Keppen:

As a result of our discussion on March 28, 1988 concerning the establishment of a road switcher rule pursuant to Article VII, Section 2 of the Award of Arbitration Board No. 458, we agreed to the following:

1. Engineers assigned to road switcher service will not be required to perform switching within switching limits at points where yard crews are on duty, except to the extent any road crew is allowed to switch under the provisions of Section 1, Article VIII, of the Award of Arbitrator, Board No. 458.

2. Engineers assigned to road switcher service under the provisions of the new road switcher rule will not be required to run more miles in a single turnaround trip than the time-miles (175 miles) encompassed in a twelve (12) hour day.

3. If the conductors and brakemen in this service obtain an agreement through negotiation or arbitration that provides for additional earning not contained in this agreement, the parties will meet to discuss the differences.

This letter will become effective on the effective date of the road switcher agreement.


Date March 8, 2004
File: Road Switcher Agreement

Dear Sirs and Brothers:

Please find attached letter of understanding dated March 8, 2004 regarding engineer road switcher assignments. This settlement is a result of meetings between this office and the Carrier concerning OPS 1-88 (Road Switchers) Side Letter dated March 31, 1988 which states in section

"If the conductors and brakemen in this service obtain an agreement through negotiation or arbitration that provides for additional earnings not contained in this agreement, the parties will meet to discuss the differences."

During our discussions the Carrier agreed that since other members of the crew on former GN SP&S properties have obtained an enhanced rate of pay through arbitration the equivalent percentage increase will also apply to the engineers' rate of pay on these road switcher assignments. The Carrier has also agreed that the limits of all road switcher assignments under OPS 1-88 will not be less restrictive than those established for the other members of the crew under applicable agreements.

Please add this letter to your files for future reference and advise your membership affected to expect this resultant increase in the rate of pay and retroactive pay adjustments beginning October 1, 2002.



M. H. Siegele
2600 Lou Menk Drive
P. 0. Box 961030
Fort Worth, TX 76161-0030
March 5, 2004
File: OPS 1-88.
Road Switcher Agreement

Dear Mr. Siegele:

This is in reference to our conference concerning BLEtBN Labor Agreement BN 4-14-88, OPS 1-88 (Road Switchers). Pursuant to Section 3 of OPS 1-88 Side Letter dated March 31, 1998, the parties met to discuss the terms and conditions of Arbitration Board No 567 (UTU/BNSF former GN&SPS).

As a result of this conference, we reached the following understanding: Road Switcher rates of pay in effect for engineers on Julyl, 1997 on former GN/SPS territory will be increased by 4.85%. All permanent General Wage Increases and COLA increases found in the June 1, 1996, December 16, 2003 and subsequent BLE National or On Property Agreements in effect after July 1, 1997 will then be computed and applied to these rates in the same manner prescribed for a typical GWI or COLA. Retroactive payments will be calculated on this basis and will be allowed from October 1, 2002 forward.

It was also understood at our conference that engineers assigned in Road Switcher service under OPS 1-88 will not have assignment limits exceeding those limits assigned to other members of the crew.

If this reflects our understanding, please indicate so by signing below.

Signatures not reproduced.

Mr. Wilson:

This Memorandum is a result of our recent discussion concerning BLE/BN Labor Agreement BN 4-14-88, OPS 1-88 (Road Switchers), Pursuant to Section 3 of OPS 1-88 Side Letter dated March 31, 1988, the parties met to discuss the terms and conditions of the
recently ratified Road Switcher Agreement for Conductors and Brakemen of the former Great Northern and SP&S Properties dated June 22, 2010.

During our conference, we reached the following understanding effective March 1, 2011:

1. At terminals where there is an engineer extra board, four day relief or regular assignments may be bulletined and established, but in the event the assignment goes no bid, it will not be filled by force assignment, instead it will be filled from the extra board on a daily basis.

2. These assignments (including the Camas Road Switcher) will also be allowed a payment of thirty (30) minutes in lieu of eating. Engineers will be expected to carry their lunch and the Carrier will not be obligated to provide a real meal; however, the thirty (30) minutes will be payable whether the engineer is instructed to take a road meal or not.

If you agree that the above accurately reflects our discussions, please affix your signature below: