Re: career options
Author: Steven D. Johnson
Date: 11-26-2006 - 12:30
1 and 2: Often, National collective bargaining agreements regulate minimum training standards. A graduate of a Tech School who gains employment would most likely be required to attend the carrier's training program also. Getting put to work immediately is highly unlikely. At the BNSF, the student is paid during their 13-week course. Senority is usually established during the classroom training period, and would certainly be established prior to marking up. Senority is gained from the first day upon picking; that can be regulated by class performance standard, birthdate, luck-of-the-draw, prior senority rights, craft transfer or other railway experience. When I transfered out of the Car Dept. into Train Service, I became No. 2 in my class, as all others were "off the street", except for one other, who had more craft senority than I.
3. BNSF's Availability policy assures your butt will be available most of the time. Yuo can also bid in a five-day yard job that no one wants or sit on the extra board and ride the varying tides of calls, lay-offs, weekend surges, etc.
4. Either 8 hours off the clock (not 8 hours of REST) or several days, depending on the job you bid in or the extra boards' fluctuations.
5. Mostly, collective bargaining agreements regulate trasfer time and travel. I have 5 days between senority districts, but no travel time except deadhead to outlying points.
6. Officially, Age Discrimination doesn't happen. Officially. BNSF has also embraced Diversity in its hiring practices...
7. Trying not to get killed or tear up the equipment. BNSF also has (due to collective bargaining) arranged so that new-hires are subject to "primary recall" at their first place of employment, up to 5 years, management deciding. This means if you mark up in point A, get cut off due to traffic patterns, then mark up 600 miles away in point B, do real well for 4 years, get marrried, buy a house, have kids; the crew caller can call you up and tell you you've been force assigned to point A due to whatever reason. Good times!
AND FINALLY, there is WAY more to this than what I've opined, and others may DISAGREE- and that's their right. Good luck- it's still better than digging ditches.