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Amtrak Agreements
Feb 29, 2024

Current BMWED - Amtrak Agreements

BMWED - Amtrak NEC Agreement - Work Rules - January 18, 2008
PRLBC - Amtrak arbitration decision governing GWI and H&W cost-sharing for Amtrak NEC and Off-Corridor - March 25, 2014
BMWED - Amtrak Off Corridor Agreement
The Consent Decree, now incorporated into the Agreement
BMWED - Amtrak System Safety Agreement, and Voluntary Safety Reporting Policy
BMWED - Amtrak Training Agreement
BMWED - Amtrak NEC Special Construction Agreement
BMWED- Amtrak PTO Agreement
BMWED- Paid Parental Leave
August 29, 2023 Advance Overtime Commitments and Regional Force Account Qualification
August 28, 2023 - Agreement to establish and maintain seniority under more than one BMWE-IBT Collective Bargaining Agreement
March 23, 2023 - Tentative Agreement Between the BMWED and Amtrak
February 13, 2023 - Modification to Seniority Order Off-Corridor
December 1, 2022 - Agreement Providing a $5.00 per hour increase for a 36-month lock-in agreement for Appendix A.
November 3, 2022 - Workforce Stabilization Agreement - Memorandum of Understanding regarding a $5.00 per hour increase for select positions in exchange for a 36-month commitment and shift differentials anchored to multipliers.
February 1, 2022 - Agreement providing $7.00 increase to retain Electric Traction workers in the craft.
December 9, 2021 - B&P Tunnel Agreement
May 5, 2020 - Cinco de Mayo - Memorandum of Understanding regarding Construction and Maintenance of Acela2021 High Speed Rail North Storage Track Project in Ivy City Yard, Washington DC. Amtrak’s intent was using contractors to build tracks and catenary. A dispute erupted and was eventually settled.
January 27, 2020 - Our B&P Tunnel Agreement with Amtrak provides a no furlough clause while contractors are performing work in the tunnel, and until 1/1/2022.
March 14, 2018 - Wage and Benefit Agreement
April 6, 2018Empire Line and 72nd Street Yard Project 
April 6, 2018High Speed Rail Facility and Storage Tracks, Sunnyside Yard and Ivy City
June 27, 2017 - New York Penn Station Bonus Agreement. Amtrak is reducing its train service to permit the much needed repair of certain track infrastructure in Penn Station New York. Amtrak is offering its management in charge of these initial track repairs in Penn Station New York a bonus if they complete the projects assigned and full service is restored on September 5, 2017.
October 22, 2013 - Agreement to provide five dollars an hour more for Zone 6 track inspectors in exchange for being locked into the position for two years.  All positions will be abolished and re-advertised and the positions are still subject to displacement by senior employees entitled to a displacement right.
July 17, 2013 - The BMWED and Amtrak's agreement providing for the Pilot positions advertised to the New Jersey High Speed Rail Racetrack Project.
April 29, 2013 - Constant Tension Catenary Agreement for the New Jersey Racetrack Project.
December 22, 2011 - Per Diem Agreement increasing the current $40.00 per diem by $1.14 to $41.14 effective January 1, 2012.
February 1, 2011 - The BMWED and Amtrak reach agreement in connection with Safe-2-Safer. This agreement strengthens our existing safety (Right-2-Refuse) agreement and preserves our safety liaison positions while adding another layer towards eliminating workplace hazards, injuries, and deaths.
November 4, 2010 - Memorandum of Understanding between the BMWED and Amtrak Corridor and Off-Corridor in connection with fencing and guard-rail installation. Additionally this MOU addresses our BMWED/Amtrak per diem allowance and furloughs. Included is General Chairman Dodd's letter to the Amtrak Committee and a hypothetical example of future per diem adjustments.

November 17, 2009 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provide Amtrak an additional $850,000,000 for capital projects. Letter of understanding for various ARRA projects, such as Security Upgrades, Platform Lighting, and Right of Way Improvements.

February 1, 2010 Memorandum of Understanding establishing rates of pay for MW and 3rd Rail Electricians.
August 1, 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, raising Foreman rates, CDL incentives, etc. Commonly referred to as the "Tree Agreement"
June 21, 2004 - Holland Welding and GREX Slot Machine Transition agreements restoring our work and providing training security.
November 2, 2001 New York Pilot Agreement addressing the preservation of work for Amtrak's expansion projects at Penn Station New York as well as tunnels in that area, including the "Standpipe Project", "JO Interlocking", "Ventilation Project", "Long Island City and Weehawken Shaft", and "3rd Rail Replacement East and North River Tubes". This agreement was updated January 16, 2009.
October 5, 2000 - Amtrak Agreement to support the Right Care... Day One program on a system wide basis, including transitional work assignments.
March 31, 1988 - Motor Vehicle Work Agreement, Dated March 31, 1988

Safety Agreement - The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees are committed to a safe and healthful work environment, free from intimidation and harassment, that meets or, where possible, exceeds all applicable Local, State, and Federal Safety standards and to ensuing compliance with Amtrak’s Safety Rules. In recognition of the importance of equal partnership in this process, Amtrak and the BMWE have reached this agreement.

Voluntary Safety Reporting Policy - After long, difficult and acrimonious meetings which began several years ago we have reached an agreement with Amtrak over a series of safety reforms which we believe will help prevent future fatalities. They are a New Voluntary safety Reporting Policy, 60mph slow by’s for work areas, watchman placements, and reaffirmation of the many hot spots. View a descriptive summary of the Voluntary Safety Reporting Policy along with our cover letter.

Rule 4 - Filling Vacant Positions
Rule 17 - Order of Seniority - Time of Employement
Rule 18 - Reduction in Force - Retaining Rank on Roster
Rule 19 - Probationary Period
Rule 21A - Absent without Permission
Rule 48 - Holidays
Rule 70 - Written Statements
Rule 87 - Vacations
Rule 88 - Scheduling Of Vacations
Rule 89 - Northeast Units 
Rule 93 - Bereavement Leave
Rule 97 - Entry Rates

Past Agreements

2008 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1997 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1992 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1987 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1982 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement
1978 BMWE - Amtrak Wage and Rules Agreement

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Temporary Positions and Vacancies - Method of Filling

(a) A new position may be filled temporarily pending assignment. When vacancies occur, the senior available qualified employee working in the same or lower class shall be permitted to fill such position. Employees filling positions under this provision will be considered automatic bidders for such position as their first preference unless alternate preference ranking is indicated on their application for advertised positions.[1]
(b) An employee so assigned may be displaced by a senior employee working in a lower rated position or in the same grade or class, provided displacement is made prior to the starting time of the assigned tour of duty, by notice to the Foreman or other officer in charge. The latter employee will not be subject to similar displacement from such temporary assignment by a senior employee unless such employee is exercising seniority in accordance with Rule 18.
(c) Employees temporarily assigned in accordance with the foregoing will be governed by the starting time, headquarters, tour of duty and rate of pay of the position so filled.
The provisions of this paragraph (c) apply only when positions are filled by AMTRAK in accordance with paragraph (1) of this Rule 4, and when an employee in the exercise of seniority displaces a junior employee.
The provisions of this paragraph (c) do not apply to employees assigned by AMTRAK to fill vacancies or new positions pending assignment after they have expressed a desire not to be so assigned.
(d) Temporary vacancies which are not advertised will be filled in like manner.
(e) The word "senior" as used in this Rule 4 means the senior qualified employee on the roster involved and then on any seniority roster in the same sub-department, and then on any seniority roster.
[1] paragraph (a) amended August 1, 2009

Download a copy of Rule 4

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Order of Seniority - Time of Employement

"The order in which the names of employees who enter service on the same date and in the same class shall be shown on the seniority rosters on the following basis:

  1. Length of previous service in the same class.
  2. Length of previous service in other classes covered by these Rules.
  3. Length of previous service on former railroad on positions not covered by these Rules.
  4. In alphabetical order."

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Reduction in Force - Retaining Rank on Roster

Abolishments, etc

(a) When the force is reduced, employees affected shall have the right, within ten (10) days after the effective date of such reduction, to elect to take furlough or to exercise seniority to displace junior employees in accordance with the following provisions of this Rule.
An employee displaced in reduction of force who elects to exercise seniority may exercise seniority onto any position for which he is qualified by bid or displacement without loss of seniority. The requirement to exercise in class is deleted.
(b) The Carrier may force assign the junior qualified employee in a working zone as defined in Rule 14 who is working in a lower class on the same shift to a vacancy in the same working zone which has gone no bid. A qualified employee is considered an employee who is qualified on the position to be filled and who has established seniority in the class of that position. Force assignment shall be made in writing to the affected employee and a copy of such written notice shall be promptly furnished the General Chairman. An employee who refuses to fill such assignment will forfeit seniority in the class of the position refused and all higher classes on the same seniority roster.
(1) The Carrier will not force assign an employee to a position in a work zone if another employee in the work zone possesses the necessary qualifications for the position although not having established seniority and has made application for such position.
(2) Temporary vacancies will not be filled by the force assignment procedure.
(3) Employees will not be forced to vacant positions for which they have no seniority.
(4) Employees not working in gangs covered by Rules 89-90 at the time furloughed will not be forced to cover positions in gangs established pursuant to those rules.
(c) If a vacancy cannot be filled in accordance with (b) above the appropriate Assistant Chief Engineer, or his representative will promptly meet with the appropriate General Chairman or his representative to determine how to fill the vacancy. However, the time required to fill the vacancy shall not be more than ten (10) days or the Carrier may assign the junior qualified employee in the working zone in a lower class.
(d) It is not the desire of Amtrak or the Organization to reduce the total compensation of anemployee force assigned under this rule. Upon written request by an employee force assigned under this rule, or his representative as designated in Rule 83 to the Division Engineer, with copy to the General Chairman, these respective officers, or their representatives, shall promptly meet for the purpose of determining if there are mutually agreeable ways to minimize any loss in total compensation.
(e) A position filled by force assignment under this Rule shall continue to be advertised inaccordance with the provisions of Rule 3 until filled through the normal advertisement and assignment process or abolished. The incumbent of such position shall be allowed a displacement in accordance with this rule should the position to which the incumbent was force assigned be subsequently awarded to another employee in accordance with Rule 3.
[5] (f) An employee furloughed as the result of reduction of force, desiring to be recalled to active service shall file his name and address, as well as subsequent notice(s) of change, in writing, with the officer(s) designated by the Carrier. The employee will prepare three (3) copies of such notice and/or change notice(s), retaining one copy and filing two (2) copies with the officer referred to. One copy of such notice will be forwarded by AMTRAK to the General Chairman.
In the event an employee fails to file notice as set forth above, Amtrak may request, by certified mail to the employee's address of record, that the employee file such notice. Failure to comply with such a request may result in the application of Rule 21-A.
Amtrak shall not be subject to financial liability for failure to recall employees who do not file their name and address as required above.
The requirement for filing name and address will not apply to an employee who exercises seniority in reduction of force to another position covered by this Agreement.
[5] revised December 9, 1997

Download a copy of Rule 18

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Absent Without Permission

"(a) Employees who absent themselves from work for fourteen(14) consecutive days without notifying their supervisor shall be considered as having resigned from the service and will be removed from the seniority roster unless they furnish the Carrier documented evidence of either physical incapacity or that circumstances beyond their control prevented such notification. In the absence of the supervisor, the employee shall notify the office of the Division Engineer of the division on which last assigned.

(b) If the Carrier refuses to accept such documented evidence, the employee or his representative may appeal such action in accordance with the appeal procedures of Rule 74 - DISCIPLINE."

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BMWED - Amtrak Bereavement Leave

This negotiated benefit helps ease the pain when the tragedy of death strikes. Bereavement leave is paid leave that an employee is entitled to because of the death of a family member as defined by the terms of the BMWED collective bargaining agreement.The BMWED/Amtrak agreement Rule 93 can be viewed here.

Download a copy of the Bereavement Leave Rule with Q+A

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BMWED - Amtrak Holidays

New Years Day
Personal Holiday*
Washington's Birthday
Veteran's Day
Good Friday
Thanksgiving Day
Memorial Day
Christmas Eve
Fourth of July
Christmas Day
Labor Day

*  Such day will be selected by the employee, consistent with the requirement of service, upon 48 hours advance notice to the Corporation.  The "personal holiday" request must be made before October 12 of each year.  Failing to do so, such "personal holiday" will be assigned by management.

View a text version of Rule 48-Holidays (NEC Agreement)


In the spring of 2009, without advertising as a training opportunity, Amtrak began to give new hires NORAC Training as part of new hire orientation. This violates Article 12 of the January 17, 2008 Consent Decree Agreement. Employees must have an equal opportunity to apply for properly bulletined training. Claim and settlement follows.

Claim and Settlement

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Probationary Period

"Applications for newly-hired employees shall be approved or disapproved within 90 calendar days after applicants begin work.  If applications are not disapproved within the 90 calendar day period, the applications will be considered as having been approved.  Applicants shall within 90 calendar days from date of employment, if requested, have returned to them all documents which have been furnished to the Company.  In the event an employee's application for employment is disapproved in accordance with the provisions of this rule, he shall be notified, in writing, by the Company of such disapproval."

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Rule 70 - Written Statements

"An employee who is required to make a statement prior to the trial in connection with any matter which may eventuate in the application of discipline to any employee may, if he desires to be represented, be represented by the duly accredited representative. A copy of his statement, if reduced to writing and signed by him, shall be furnished to him by AMTRAK upon his request and to the duly accredited representative when requested."

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The December 17, 1941, National Vacation Agreement, together with amendments and interpretations, is adopted as the AMTRAK-Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Vacation Agreement. Prior continuous railroad service of employees accepting AMTRAK employment in this craft and class, who are affected by an assumption of function, will be credited for such prior service to determine length of vacation.

How much vacation time does this negotiated benefit provide? You would not get any vacation if the Company had their way. Fortunatly the National Vacation Agreement has held up even after vicious attacks by Railroad Robber Barons. Paid vacations for rail workers are a hard-fought victory. Currently unionized workers receive 26% more vacation time and 14% more total paid leave (personal leave and holidays) then their non-union counterparts.

A synthesis of the (M. of W.) National Vacation Agreement generally provides the following vacation accrual:

One Week
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred twenty (120) days during the preceding calendar year.
Two Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred ten (110) days during the preceding calendar year and have two (2) or more years of continuous service.
Three Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less that one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have eight (8) or more years of continuous service.
Four Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have seventeen (17) or more years of continuous service.
Five Weeks
You must have compensated service on not less than one hundred (100) days during the preceding calendar year and have twenty-five (25) or more years of continuous service.

View a synthesis of the National Vacation Agreement, as amended December 17, 1984

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Vacations - Scheduling Of

In addition to the provisions of the Vacation Agreement of December 17, 1941, Interpretations and Amendments Thereto, the following will apply:
(1)24Effective January 1, 1998, employees shall be permitted to take one week of their vacation allowance per year in less than 40 hour increments, provided that such vacation days will be scheduled in accordance with existing rules on Amtrak applicable to the scheduling of personal leave days.
(2) Except as provided above, all vacations will start on the first day of the employee regular scheduled work week.
(3) In gangs of ten (10) men or less (not including Foreman) only one (1) employee will be permitted to be on vacation at a time during the months of June, July, August, and September.
(4) In gangs of more than ten (10) men (not including Foreman) two (2) employees will be permitted to be on vacation at one time during the months of June, July, August and September.
(5) One (1) Track Foreman on a Supervisor's Territory will be permitted to be on vacation at one time. (6) Employees desiring to split their vacation period may request same in accordance with the following:
Employees entitled to:
1 week (5 days) vacation
No split
2 weeks (10 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
1 week remaining months
3 weeks (15 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
1 week remaining months.
4 weeks (20 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
3 weeks remaining months
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months.
5 weeks (25 days) vacation
1 week - June, July, August or September.
4 weeks remaining months
2 weeks - June, July, August or September.
3 weeks remaining months
3 weeks - June, July, August or September.
2 weeks remaining months.
Vacation schedule will be prepared jointly by the General Chairman and Chief Engineer, or by their authorized representatives, and signed by the General Chairman and Chief Engineer.
Request for change in scheduled vacation dates must be by written request to the Chief Engineer, with a copy to the General Chairman. Any agreement to change a scheduled vacation will be writing by the Chief Engineer and General Chairman.

Download a copy of Rule 88 - Vacations - Scheduling Of

Rule 88 Still Under Construction

Entry Rates

In conjunction with Amtrak’s probationary periods, new hires are further discriminated against by reduced vacation entitlements, vesting periods for unemployment and sickness annuities, and Entry Rates of Pay.

Railroad employers have fought long and hard to choke the earnings of workers. One method of suppressing advancement of the working class is to provide reduced wages to newly hired employees. This draconian practice pre-dates Amtrak, carried over from the steam era, the industrial age and beyond. Railroad managers rationalize that new workers don’t know as much as older, more experienced workers and are therefore less valuable. At Amtrak, the value of experience is expressed in paychecks, and the disparity of entry rates perpetuates animosity between brothers and hatred towards the railroad.

Equal pay for equal work is a fundamental right of the working class. Our Union continuously bargains against entry rate reductions. In 1986 we successfully improved the then 5-year/75% entry rate scale (meaning it would take a new worker 5 years to reach 100% pay in yearly 5% increments) to our current 3-year scale. This improvement in entry rate scales was thought by many to be a victory, however it's not enough and we can not rest until all workers are treated equally.

No Justice, No Peace.

(a) For the first 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 90% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
(b) For the second 12 calendar months of employment employees will be paid 95% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
(c) At the conclusion of the second period specified in (b) above, employees will be paid at 100% of the applicable rates of pay (including COLA).
(d) An employee will be credited with a "month of employment" if the employee retains seniority in that month.
(e) Employees who have had an employment relationship with Amtrak and are rehired will be paid at established rates after completion of a total of twenty-four (24) months of combined service.
(f)    Service in a craft not represented by the BMWE shall not be considered in determining periods of employment under this rule.
(g) Employees who have had a previous employment relationship with a carrier in a craft represented by the BMWE and are subsequently hired by Amtrak will receive credit toward completion of the twenty-four (24) month period for any month in which compensated service was performed in such craft, provided that such compensated service last occurred within one year from the date of subsequent employment.
(h) Entry Rates will not be applied to Maintenance of Way Repairmen

Download a copy of Rule 97

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 "An Injury To One Is An Injury To All"


Next to a scab, a snitch or an informer is one of the lowest forms of humanity. All we have is our ability to stick together. Statements given to railroad management and their agents will only be used against you. Management is not interested in the truth and is only interested in protecting their money at our expense. Be careful what you say and never volunteer any information.

Remember, nobody likes a snitch. No one can say you saw something that you did not see. This includes but is not limited to injuries, investigations and accidents of all kinds.

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United Passenger Rail Federation BMWED-IBT
190 South Broad Street
Trenton, NJ 08608

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