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Western Railroad Discussion > Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F


Date: 09/21/22 17:52
Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: Pacific5th

In case anyone remembers 6 and a half years BN$F implemented Grand Pools around many parts of the Northern Lines including Spokane and Superior. Well today after over 6 years the BLET prevailed and a nutraul arbritrator threw out every single part of them! This is a huge win for Spokane and Suprerior engineers. and should be a big moral boost for the employees. 

In a nutshell...

Combining three pools together (Pasco, Wenatchee, Whitefish) did not constitute new service

changing work rules such as call times, self relieving the pools instead of using a extra board, and deadheading crews from Pasco to Wenatchee were all illegal under a article IX decision. 

PLB 7991 is the case number.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/21/22 17:52 by Pacific5th.



Date: 09/21/22 18:02
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: skinem

Congratulations! Nice to hear something good.



Date: 09/21/22 18:17
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: TAW

Pacific5th Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> In a nutshell...
>
> Combining three pools together (Pasco, Wenatchee,
> Whitefish) did not constitute new service
>
> changing work rules such as call times, self
> relieving the pools instead of using a extra
> board, and deadheading crews from Pasco to
> Wenatchee were all illegal under a article IX
> decision. 
>
> PLB 7991 is the case number.


YES!

TAW



Date: 09/21/22 18:23
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: DevalDragon

Nice to see the good guys win for a change!



Date: 09/21/22 18:53
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: irhoghead

It's about time!



Date: 09/21/22 19:23
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: Drknow

Congratulations to my brothers and sisters on BNSF!

SOLIDARITY AND REGARDS

Posted from iPhone



Date: 09/21/22 19:27
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: JasonCNW

Outstanding!
JC

Posted from Android



Date: 09/21/22 22:26
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: Ritzville

Glad to hear that good news!!

Larry



Date: 09/22/22 01:01
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: funnelfan

Glad to hear that got resolved. 6 years seems far too long to have that issue resolved. BNSF should have to pay a penalty to every employee that was affected, otherwise they might try some BS like that again if there is no penalty.

Ted Curphey
Cheney, WA



Date: 09/22/22 05:54
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: Pinlifter

Well...  BN$F will!  Lots of other terminals had their pools combined.  Lots of claims were put in regarding this.  This is AWESOME news to wake up to!  :-)
funnelfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BNSF should
> have to pay a penalty to every employee that was
> affected, otherwise they might try some BS like
> that again if there is no penalty.



Date: 09/22/22 11:12
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: King_Coal

I'd love to hear some context on this. What was the operation put in place? Why did the BNSF want to do it? Why was it objectional to the Union?



Date: 09/22/22 11:22
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: skinem

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'd love to hear some context on this. What was
> the operation put in place? Why did the BNSF want
> to do it? Why was it objectional to the Union?
Not specific to Spokane/Superior, but the Carriers' wet dream is to have the largest boards available comprised of everyone to make it easy for them to use anyone, anywhere, on any train they choose. Makes their lives sooooo much easier. You can guess who suffers from their 'convenience'. 



Date: 09/22/22 11:48
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: TAW

skinem Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Not specific to Spokane/Superior, but the
> Carriers' wet dream is to have the largest boards
> available comprised of everyone to make it easy
> for them to use anyone, anywhere, on any train
> they choose. Makes their lives sooooo much easier.
> You can guess who suffers from their
> 'convenience'. 

The arrangement also induces a permanent amateur situation. Efficient railroading should be second nature. Safe railroading must be second nature. It is possible to "know" the territory enough to be "qualified" asnd still need to figure out where you are and where you're going to be, and what will happen or what you need to do when you get there. If an extra board is one of the two on the engine, chances are much greater in a standard pool arrangement that the other guy has been on the territory for a while and a half and actually knows it, recognizes where he is by landmarks, and is able to anticipate. It is easier to look at the landmarks and know where you are in trouble than trying to remember every milepost you passed.

The same thing applies to what they call train dispatchers who are "qualified" on 20 or so territories.

Effectively, this makes the employees no more skilled than the computers management wants to replace them with.

(Funny thing about that.)

TAW



Date: 09/22/22 12:20
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: Pacific5th

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I'd love to hear some context on this. What was
> the operation put in place? Why did the BNSF want
> to do it? Why was it objectional to the Union?

Alright, this all goes back prior to 2015. We used to (and soon will again) have individual pools. SPO-PAS, SPO-WEN and SPO-WHI. Now it used to be if you took a day off on a pool you had to wait for you turn to go out of town with a extra board employee, come back and work its way to the top before you went to work again. When that was the case guys on the pool could not afford to layoff much because you lost 2-4 days each time you did that. Sometime in 2013-14 the carrier decided to implement what they we call 24 hour mark up. Basically the same pool guys if they called in were marked back up 24 hours later. You could also mark up early. So laying off in a pool didn't hurt very much as you were not off as much. What this caused was the pool guys to lay off more and it made the extra board spin and they would run out of extra board guys. (by the way we all knew this would happen, they were told and we were ignored).

With the individual pools they can not force a guy from say the Wenatchee pool to work the Pasco pool. So while they Pasco pool and extra board may be out of guys the Whitefish and Wenatchee pools would have plenty. This drove the company nuts. So in 2015 they told us they were gonna use a Article IX which is a way for the carriers to create new service and make what they called a Grand Pool. Basically combine all three pools into one big pool. Of coarse we all screamed and the union told them this was illegal so they came up with a Pilot Agreement where we would keep all three pools but when the extra board was exhausted that they had to protect each other. The pilot lasted all of two months because the carrier started to cut the extra board and the pool guys were going everywhere, which may not have been a big deal if they had paid the Wghitefish and Wenatchee guys the higher rate of pay to go to Pasco. They wouldn't though so instead of taking a lower paying trip they just called in too. Soon on weekends there was no one going anywhere. The unions cancled the Pilot and we were Article IX'd in January or 2016.

Now why they lost. The arbitrator agreed with the unions that a Article IX can be used to create new service. Just combining three pools into one combo pool did not create or change any of the actual runs. In fact when we are called you get called on a legacy pool turn. The Arbitrator also agreed with the unions that it clearly states in a Article IX you can not change work rules. One thing they did was make the pool self regulating, IE no extra board. If a guy lays off the next turn moves up to cover the spot. They lost that. I cant tell you how many times I've moved up 12 to even 24 hours unexpectedly. They also changed some call times and lost on that and the last big thing they lost was making us deadhead from Pasco to Wenatchee to cover spots on the Wenatchee pool. They literally lost everything about this article IX.



Date: 09/24/22 07:22
Re: Spokane/Superior Grand Pools BN$F
Author: RollinB

All of these posts, especially Pacific5th's are spot on.  Decisions like the combining of the pools and eliminating extra boards are made by operating managements comprised of people who never had to make a living on the road or used hard earned seniority to hold better jobs as seniority improved.  The far out positions were then backed up by labor relations officers who were either not qualified to properly guide operating executives to sane decisions supported by agreements or were too subservient to tell the operators they were way out in left field.  My only surprise through all of this is that this offensive and contorted attempt to apply new service provisions of the national agreement to long standing operations lasted as long as it did.  I have been retired as long as this dispute has existed but intend to find out just why it was not adjudicated much sooner.   



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