FRA Certification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

The BLET has reached a tentative contract with SEPTA, and ballots were mailed today to eligible members who operate regional rail trains for the transit agency. The tentative three-year contract would run from March 3, 2023 to March 2, 2026. Among other gains, the three-year tentative agreement would compress the wage ladder from 15 years to 7.

BLET General Chairman Don Hill told the Philadelphia Inquirer: “SEPTA’s locomotive engineers have been among the lowest paid locomotive engineers in the country employed in commuter rail. Wage ladder compression, combined with the agreed to annual raises, similar to what TWU 234 recently received, will bring us closer to our peers in the industry and help SEPTA recruit and retain the engineers needed to keep the trains moving.”

Prior to the tentative agreement reached this week, it would take a SEPTA engineer 15 years — three to five times longer than any other railroad in the country — to achieve their full rate of pay.

Additional improvements in the proposed deal include:

• COVID bonus of up to $2,200 for eligible members;
• Juneteenth added as a holiday with 8 hours compensation; and
• Addition of four weeks of pregnancy/parental leave.

The tentative agreement does not change work rules or the members’ health and welfare plan. BLET has been in negotiations with SEPTA for more than two years. The contract became amendable in March 2022.

Voting will begin on June 29, and ballots are due by 3:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 17. Members who have not received a ballot by July 8 should request a replacement ballot by calling the BLET National Division at (216) 241-2630, ext. 222. When connected with the extension, please leave the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number;
  • The division to which you belong;
  • The railroad you work for;
  • Your date of birth;
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number; and
  • Your email address.

Please note: All replacement ballots will be distributed via email. It’s important that any SEPTA member who requires a replacement ballot include their email address in their voicemail; otherwise, they will not be able to participate in the ratification vote.