With 85 percent of eligible ballots returned, SMART Transportation Division conductors and assistant conductors on the Northern Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (known as Metra) have approved a seven-year mediation agreement governing wages and working conditions, through calendar year 2018.
Included in the agreement are lump-sum signing bonuses, general wage increases each year of the contract, retroactive pay, enhanced deferred compensation, conductor certification pay for assignments paying the conductor rate of pay, a new training/qualifying understanding, a modified short term disability plan and seniority retention provisions.
SMART Transportation Division Vice President John E. Lesniewski and SMART International Representative John Babler, who assisted with negotiations, commended GO 721 General Chairperson Barry Abbott for his “persistent and systematic attentiveness to the needs of our membership on his property.” In turn, Abbott offered his thanks to Lesniewski and Babler for “bringing a wealth of experience and an enduring commitment to the bargaining table. This was truly a team effort,” he said.
Metra is the commuter rail division of the Illinois Regional Transportation Authority. The system serves Chicago and its metropolitan area through 241 stations on 11 different rail lines.