A tentative contract between the United Transportation Union and major U.S. railroads will give UTU members a record pay increase compared with expected inflation, the union’s president said.
“In the 41-year history of the UTU, this wage increase is the highest in excess of the current and projected consumer price index," said Mike Futhey, President of UTU International, in a statement.
The UTU represents train conductors and some other workers. The union and the railroads’ National Carriers' Conference Committee agreed to terms on a new five-year national rail agreement in April, but at the time did not release details. Now, as the union prepares for a ratification vote by members, it is highlighting the terms.
The accord is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010, extends through Dec. 31, 2014, and covers about 38,000 UTU workers. Railroads covered under the deal include BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, Canadian Pacific’s Soo Line U.S. subsidiary and some smaller carriers.
The UTU said the agreement provides a 17 percent pay hike, includes a cost of living increase from January and keeps a $200 monthly cap on health care cost sharing but pays for it with some health plan co-payment changes.
Futhey said the contract terms mean that "a UTU member earning $80,000 in 2007 will be earning about $112,000 on the same job by 2015."