Salaries, Pay Scales, Pay                                              TT00026




03/26/01 20:56

Bob Montbriand

All this talk of the extravagant salaries being laid out by the RR in the   "early days" has stirred me to relate my personal tale of the high income   days. After some months of instruction at the hand of Nixon and others at   Gale Institute I signed on in 1949 as an Apprentice Telegrapher at the   princely sum of 30 cents per hour. After a short time on the job I was   informed that my salary was going to be more than doubled!!! No, it was not   my superior performance that led to this startling pay raise, it was rather,the enactment of the federal minimum wage act (75 cents per hour).   wages, minimum wage, Telegrapher , Gale Institute, Ron Nixon, 1949 Compiler  C Frissell

06/10/03 17:24

Bill Kuebler

NP engine and train crews were paid on a mileage basis, but  the mileage figure used for pay purposes had nothing to do  with mileposts. It had everything to do with the actual  mileage across the relevant district, and that figure was  kept up to date in Company documents. The Employee's  Timetable was usually up to date, for example. Whenever  there were line changes, changes in station location, etc.,  that resulted in a change in mileage across a district, the  ETT would be updated very soon after, if not on the date of  the change. The mileage across a district as shown in the  ETT was usually very close to the figure used for pay  purposes. There could still be some minor discrepancies in  mileage, however, account using the distance between  switches rather than between stations. ETT showed mileage  between stations.    The examples of Dickinson and Mandan terminals illustrate  these kinds of details. According the ETT of 4/26/64,  distance between Dickinson and Glendive was 105.6, but at  that time, a trip across that district was actually worth  105 miles. Pay was figured according to the distance between  the west switch DX and the east switch GI. Terminal delays  incurred by the crews could result in additional mileage  pay. (There were formulas for this--every so many minutes  worth of terminal delay was worth so many miles of pay.  There were other similar provisions in the labor agreements,  as well.) Mileposts DX to GI, however, would yield a  slightly different result, thus:    215.6 - 110.3 = 105.3    That 0.3 mile per trip may seem like an insignificant  difference, but when it came to pay, both the crews and the  management kept their pencils plenty sharp. Management  didn't want to pay one nickel more than necessary, and crews  wanted every nickel their labor agreement said they had  coming to them, just as it should be.    The Mandan-Dickinson district is an even better example of  the difference between MPs and mileage. In 1964, mileage  (and pay) was 100 miles. Incidentally, 100 miles was  generally the minimum mileage for a main line trip across a  district. (E.g., Missoula - Paradise via the High Line was  only about 71 miles, but it paid 100 miles. Dilworth to  Jamestown was 96 miles, but it paid 100.) Mileposts between  Mandan and Dickinson would yield:    109.0 - 0 = 109.0    The nine miles difference was caused by the 1947 line change  between New Salem and Glen Ullin. There is about a 9.5-mile  gap at MP 44. That is, MP 54 is located about a half-mile  west of MP 44. The NP did not change the MPs "downstream" of  the line change. As for pay calculations, railroads back  then were just like today's railroads (and airlines). You  can bet your entire paycheck that the most up-to-date  mileage figure was used, and actual pay calculations took  into account the new mileage immediately upon it going into  effect. On December 3, 1947, for example, the engineer of  the last Extra freight over the old line (X6011W) was paid  about nine miles more pay than the engineer of the first  Extra over the new line (X6010E), which was only a few hours  later.    To show you just how sharp the Company's pencils could be  when figuring costs (and the examples are probably endless),  here's an interesting story from June 1961:    In those days, the NP was running trains 3 and 4 with two  units between St. Paul and Jamestown, but with only one unit  between Jamestown and Mandan. Train 3 often (but not always)  had a car switched out of the train at JY and train 4 had it  switched back in there, so the train sometimes had five or  six cars east of JY and one car less west of there. In later  years, NP consistently ran two units on trains 1 and 2 when  they were five cars, so running two units on a five-car  train was nothing unusual. Running only one unit on a  five-car train was much less common. (A second unit also  afforded protection against on-road failures of a unit.)    In 1961, trains 3 and 4 turned at Mandan. The second unit  was taken off No. 3 at JY and stored in the roundhouse for  several hours, then added to No. 4 (same equipment as on No.  3) for the run east to St. Paul. Why? Well...the only  conceivable reason would have been to save a few dollars in  crew, fuel, and perhaps maintenance costs. It is interesting  that the NP did this, because the hassle of switching the  lone unit out of train 3 and then running it over to the  roundhouse, and the reverse procedure for train 4, seems  hardly worth it. They could have just as well left it on the  train and run the two units to Mandan. But...they could save  a few nickels--literally. Here are some real numbers from  the fireman, Glenn Hove, who worked train No. 4 out of JY on  June 2, 1961 with Engineer Emil Stumm--these are taken from  Glenn's time book:    Basic trip pay for his trip east on No. 4 on 6/2/61 was  $18.01 (He logged a five-minute terminal delay, which didn't  amount to much). That figure was based on two F-7/3s (6509C  and 6506A--the 6509C came off train 3 that morning and was  added to train 4 at JY early that evening). Pay is based on  mileage as well as on total weight on drivers of the  locomotive. I.e., all units in the consist count toward  this. F-9s paid a little more than F-3/5/7s account being  slightly heavier. The F-9 difference is a few cents per  hundred miles. Freight pay schedules were similar in this  regard.    Well, two mornings later, on June 4, 1961, Glenn Hove and  Emil Stumm made a trip from Jamestown to Dilworth on No. 26,  which had three units. All three were F-7s/3s, so the only  difference in pay as compared with his trip on No. 4 two  days earlier would have been based on the third unit, versus  two units. Mileage would have been the same for the two  trips. His trip pay on No. 26 was $19.01. That's $0.20  difference. For his engineer, the difference would have been  something on the order of perhaps double that amount, maybe  a little less. That's a total of no more than $0.60  difference in engine crew pay for having one more unit on a  trip, all other factors being equal.    As for fuel, I don't have exact figures on hand for what the  NP was paying for diesel fuel in June 1961, but an educated  guess would put it at about $0.10 per gallon. Average fuel  burn in a two-unit F- locomotive in that territory, assuming  summer time (minimal steam generation required) and a four  or five car train, works out to about 1.3 gallons per mile  per unit, and about 1.75 times that per-unit figure for one  unit, account having to use higher throttle settings more  often to handle the same train with a single unit. Using  round figures, total fuel savings by dropping a unit was  probably no more than about $9 for the trip from Jamestown  to Mandan. So, total savings works out to less than $10. (To  convert 1961 dollars to 2003 dollars, multiply by about 6.3,  according to an inflation calculator.)    That's not a big figure in the overall scheme of things, and  it's not like there were dozens of runs of trains 3 and 4 in  a day across the engine district. Granted, the NP's bottom  line during the years 1957-61 was less than sterling, but  even so, I'd say the NP was keeping its pencils rather  sharp, indeed. I find that unit-drop at JY to be very  interesting. The NP did not do that in earlier years, even  with the same train lengths, same schedules, same locomotive  rotations--etc. I have seen two photos of trains 25/26 in  1958 that show the train with only two units (11 cars!).  Train 26 was at Billings (an A-A pair, back to back) and  train 25 was at Fargo (an A-B pair). It is possible the  third unit was dropped from 25/26 account failures, but if  the third unit was dropped from those trains on the eastern  district (St. Paul - Livingston) for the same reasons as the  unit drop at JY for 3 and 4, that would be remarkable and  yet quite believable.     No wonder they figured mileage for pay purposes the way they  did... Sharp pencils, indeed!  fuel costs, F-units, Train 3, Train 4,  Train 26, Emil Stumm, Glenn Hove, Employee Time Tables, Mileposts, Mileage Compiler  C Frissell

06/10/03 17:35

Bill Kuebler

Basic trip pay for his trip east on No. 4 on 6/2/61 was  > $18.01       Meant to write $18.81.  fuel costs, F-units, Train 3, Train 4,  Train 26, Emil Stumm, Glenn Hove, Employee Time Tables, Mileposts, Mileage Compiler  C Frissell

06/10/03 20:59

Brad Slaney

During my tenure in the Accounting Dept of the Q in Chicago, I remember the payroll dept was always in turmoil. Timeslips all over the place. It's amazing anyone ever got paid. I suspect the NP was no different.  time slips, pay  Compiler  C Frissell