Below you will find the latest article 9 served to Spokane by the carrier. This is in regard to our turning down the offer for Route C on the Pasco/Wenatchee pools. An implementation date is not known at this time. I would assume sooner rather than later.

There was a revised offer for the route C agreement that conceded 10’30” for a van to be at the yard office as well as the crew to move onto route C. That modified agreement will be voted on at the next meeting . It is not known if the carrier will still sign onto it or if they intend to move forward into the new article 9.

Steve Snyder


BNSF Railway
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

Pursuant to Carrier’s Notice dated October 11, 2023, and in accordance with Article IX of
Arbitration Award 458, dated May 19, 1986, the following will govern the operation of a pool to
work intraseniority district service headquartered at Spokane, WA.

  1. Establishment of New Service

A. A single-ended pool of engineers will be established and maintained to handle traffic
between the home terminal of Spokane, WA and the away-from-home terminal

  • Pasco, WA
  • Wenatchee, WA (only as outlined in Paragraph B below)

This ID pool will protect freight service, in all directions, within this territory,
including all routes and side trips.

B. Engineers in this service may deadhead between the away-from-home terminals of
Pasco and Wenatchee at the end of a tour of duty to rest at Wenatchee, and then
operate a train from Wenatchee to Spokane (known as Route C); or at the beginning
of a tour duty to operate a train from Wenatchee to Spokane in continuous service
(known as (Route B). Engineers will not be tied up more than once at an away-from-
home terminal. This service will be compensated as outlined in Paragraph 8 below.

C. BNSF reserves the right to implement a fatigue management system such as, but not
limited to earned rest, rest cycles, call windows, etc. that would govern the handling
of the ID through freight service established herein.

D. Pool engineers working in this service will receive a two (2) hour call at the home and
away-from-home terminals.

E. This pool will operate under GN Agreement rules.

  1. Through Freight Service

A. Except as otherwise provided in this agreement, engineers will be called first-in, first-
out at each terminal provided that the first-out engineer has had full rest under the
Hours-of-Service Act. Should there be no engineers who are fully rested, then an
extra engineer may be called to operate for one round trip under the provisions of this

2 of 6

BLET Spokane Article IX 2023

B. Engineers working under the terms of this Agreement will be positioned at the home
terminal based upon their tie-up times.

C. Engineers working under the terms of this Agreement will be positioned at the away-
from-home terminal of Pasco based upon home-on-duty times.

D. If engineers in this service are used to operate Route C service to Wenatchee, they
will be placed on the away-from-home terminal board at Wenatchee based upon tie-
up time.

E. When two pool engineers are to be called for the same train (one to work and one to
deadhead) if one of the engineers is not rested and the other one is rested, the rested
engineer will work the train and the unrested engineer will deadhead. Otherwise,
applicable GN BLET Schedule Rules will apply.

F. Engineers in this service may be deadheaded via van or train, unless emergency
conditions warrant another mode of transportation.

NOTE: Emergency conditions include acts of God, wrecks, washouts, derailments,
fires, floods and mudslides which interferes with the operation of trains.

G. Pool engineers called in this service to operate to a distant terminal will not be tied up
between designated terminals, except when their movement is prevented (e.g., derailment
of their train), or their route to destination is obstructed or impassable (e.g., wrecks or

i. When an engineer is required to report for duty or is relieved from duty at a point
other than the on and off duty locations established for this service, BNSF will
authorize and provide suitable transportation and lodging.

H. An engineer who is turned back to the home terminal short of the distant terminal for any
reason (other than laying off) will be paid a one-way trip rate of applicable route (subject
to all future GWI and COLA) with overtime commencing after eight (8) hours
(regardless of miles run).

i. If the engineer is tied up at the home terminal, they will be placed to the bottom of
home terminal board based on their tie-up time.

ii. If the engineer is tied-up at the away-from-home terminal, they will be placed first
out (available after rested).

3 of 6

BLET Spokane Article IX 2023

  1. Hours of Service Relief/Short Turnaround Service

A. Short Turnaround Service, in all directions, at Spokane will be performed under Rules
13(c) and the 2005 Letter of Understanding regarding short turn around service.

B. The Spokane extra board will be the primary source of supply for this service and if
the extra boards are exhausted, then pool engineers may be used.

i. Pool engineers used to perform turnaround service will be paid a one-way trip rate
of the route traversed with overtime commencing after eight (8) hours (regardless
of miles run).

C. This does not eliminate or modify any “not called” claim from a pool or extra
employee who should have been used when an on-duty pool crew performing hours
of service/shuttle service is used in violation of the short turnaround restrictions
contained in existing GN agreements.

D. This does not preclude BNSF from using its already established right under existing
agreements to use, for instance, yard engineers to perform such work.

E. Nothing contained in this agreement is intended to prohibit these ID pool engineers
from being used on trains that traverse only part of the specified territory, provided
engineers are then handled forward to the destination terminal called for, or paid as if
they had been. Likewise, nothing in this agreement is intended to prohibit these
engineers from combining trains or exchanging trains with other engineers destined to
the same terminal

  1. Called and Released

A. Engineers who are called and released will be handled in accordance with Rule 38 of
the GN BLET Schedule.

  1. Vacancies and Lay Offs

A. When engineers in this pool layoff or a turn is unoccupied, that turn will be removed
from the board. When the engineer returns from layoff, their turn will be placed at
the bottom of the working board.

NOTE: Layoffs resulting in permanent vacancies as defined by applicable CBA will
continue to be handled by the terms outlined in those CBA.

B. Temporary vacancies in this pool shall be protected by the next following rested pool
turn. If there are no available rested pool turns available, BNSF will call an extra
board engineer on a “cut in” turn that will operate for one round trip and then be
removed from the pool upon tie-up at the home terminal.

4 of 6

BLET Spokane Article IX 2023

C. Engineers in this pool will not be allowed to lay off at an away-from-home terminal,
except in case of emergency, such as illness or injury.

  1. Pool Regulation

A. This pool will be regulated on starts rather than mileage. A start is defined as any
outbound start made in a pool (from the home or an away-from-home terminal),
including deadhead, turnaround trips, etc. made by either a pool turn or make-up turn
in a pool.

B. The monthly start regulation range of a specific pool will be determined jointly by the
appropriate BLET General Chairman and BNSF Labor Relations.

C. Once set, the determined monthly starts targets may be modified by mutual

  1. Qualification/Familiarization

A. Once qualified/familiarized, engineers will be required to maintain that qualification.

  1. Compensation

A. Engineers will be compensated the following trip rates, subject to National Agreement

Engineers Straight Flip
Spokane to Pasco $388.47 $798.58
Route B $742.13 N/A
Route C $690.91 N/A

Note 1: These trip rates will remain subject to all future GWIs and COLAs.
Note 2: All overtime thresholds remain subject to the trip rate “overtime extender”.

B. Any required familiarization trips will be compensated in accordance with existing

C. Engineers will be compensated for any side trips or lapbacks not included in the
current trip rates in accordance with GN Schedule Rules

  1. Lodging and AFHT Meals

A. Suitable lodging (as defined by the 8/1/80 CPS-30-80 BN/BLE Lodging Agreement)
shall be provided for engineers tied up at their away-from-home terminal.

B. Engineers who are performing this intradivisional service will be allowed payment
for meals at the away-from-home terminal in accordance with national agreement
provisions, as amended.

5 of 6

BLET Spokane Article IX 2023

  1. Meal Period

A. In order to expedite movement of trains operating under this Agreement, engineers
will not stop their train to eat. All meal allowances will be included in these trip rates,
so no additional compensation is due for a meal enroute.

Note: This does not preclude an engineer from seeking food items at retail
locations in close proximity to where they may be standing in the clear
awaiting other rail traffic, or for unforeseen reasons, so long as this does
not create undue delay to the operation. It is understood that the
engineers will be required to obtain permission from the dispatcher prior
to leaving the train to obtain food. Should this request be denied, no
penalty is due.

  1. Protection

Any engineer adversely affected as a result of the application of this agreement shall
receive the protection afforded under Article IX, Section 7 of Arbitration Award No. 458
dated May 19, 1986.

  1. Modification Clause

Except as specifically modified herein, the provisions of this Agreement shall not be
construed as modifying, amending or superseding any Schedule Rule or the Merger
Protective Agreements as implemented between BNSF and the BLET.

This agreement shall take effect on ___________________2023, and shall remain in effect until
modified or changed in accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act, as amended.

For BNSF Railway Company: For BLET

S. Macedonio K. Psota
AVP, Labor Relations General Chairman, BLET

M. Beasley Coke
General Director, Labor Relations

6 of 6

BLET Spokane Article IX 2023

Side Letter #1 – Implementation

BNSF will provide BLET with at least 5-days’ notice prior to implementation of this new pool.
The following will apply when this new pool is implemented:

A. Engineers in the existing pool at Spokane, WA will be moved to this new pool. If the
employee wants to exercise seniority to a different position, the employee will be
obligated to contact the Crew Manager and Crew Manager and identify where the
employee wants to exercise their seniority – if an employee is unable to identify a
new position, that employee will be marked up in the new Spokane-Pasco pool and
exercise seniority thereafter consistent with existing agreement(s):

a. Any remaining vacancies will be filled in accordance with the existing CBA.

Leave a Reply