COLA for national rail contract 2011 wages

A cost-of-living adjustment will be made Jan. 1 to UTU-member wages governed by the national rail contract.

The amount of the COLA, based on a formula contained in the national rail contract, is three cents per hour.

The COLA reflects a low rate of consumer inflation. By contrast, Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits will be frozen at the 2010 level in 2011 owing to the low-rate of consumer inflation as calculated by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national rail contract also provides that healthcare-insurance cost sharing will increase slightly in 2011. Effective Jan. 1, the employee contribution will be $202.90 monthly for operating craft employees, and $202.71 for yardmasters. The difference is due to the straight-time equivalent-hours component in the national rail contract formula that determines health-care-insurance cost sharing.