An arbitration board has ruled that the pattern health care costs apply to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in national bargaining. The freight railroads may recover health plan costs attributable to the delay in implementing pattern health plan design changes with respect to IBEW-represented employees.
In its July 17, 2018 award, the arbitration board agreed with the freight railroads that a portion of health care costs incurred by the railroads February through May, 2018 may be recovered from IBEW retroactive wages. This decision is consistent with the recent arbitration award involving the freight railroads, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.
With this award, the IBEW national agreement has been finalized and all IBEW open items in the 2015 negotiating round have been resolved. Eleven of the twelve unions in national bargaining have new national agreements with the freight railroads; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is still in mediation.