Something that may be useful for negotiations coming soon. 


CSX has updated its vacation, holiday and parental leave benefits for management employees with more vacation days, more holiday flexibility, a new option to purchase additional vacation time and more time off for new parents.

“These exciting upgrades are part of our efforts to enhance the CSX employee value proposition and strengthen our ability to attract and retain outstanding employees on the Team of Tomorrow,” said Cressie Brown, senior vice president and chief administrative officer. “Employees have told us that work-life balance is important to them, and we responded with these significant enhancements.”

The changes in the vacation, holiday and parental leave policies do not apply to union-represented employees, whose benefits are determined under negotiated labor agreements.

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, management employees at all levels of tenure will receive five additional days of vacation. New hires will receive 15 days total instead of the previous 10. Employees with five years of service will now have 20 days; 10 years of service, 25 days; and 20 years of service, 30 days. (Note that the previous top tenure tier was 25 days.)

Vacation days will not carry over from year to year, and management employees who leave the company for any reason will receive payment for any regular vacation days they accrued but did not use under the vacation policy. Employees who at the time of hire negotiated vacation time outside of the standard vacation policy can retain those arrangements.  Negotiated vacation time will not exceed the number of weeks of vacation available under the new schedule.

Vacation Purchase Program

Another major change to the vacation policy is an option for employees to purchase up to five additional vacation days. The Vacation Purchase Program allows employees to elect to purchase the additional days during the Open Enrollment period each year. This year, employees can purchase additional days for 2017 during Open Enrollment from Oct. 10 through Oct. 31. To be eligible for the program, employees must be full time and have at least one year of service as of January 1, 2017.

Employees are strongly advised to discuss their intentions with their manager. The process for using purchased vacation days is the same as it is for scheduling time off using regular vacation days, so employees should be sure to talk with their manager about any upcoming projects or circumstances that might impact their ability to take their extra vacation days as they intended. Final approval of vacation purchases will be at the discretion of department leaders; employees will be notified of their approval status before January 1, 2017.

The cost of purchased vacation days varies by employee and is based on each employee’s base pay. The extra vacation time is purchased using pre-tax dollars that are deducted from an employee’s paycheck throughout the year, similar to the way other elected benefits are currently purchased. Only whole vacation days can be purchased, and purchased days that are not used during the calendar year will be forfeited.

Holiday and parental leave enhancements

The holiday policy enhancement gives management employees additional flexibility for the 11 paid holidays provided by CSX. Presidents Day can be exchanged for any other federally observed holiday not currently on the CSX calendar, which includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day. Also, Good Friday and Christmas Eve will continue to be treated as flex days, so employees can choose to observe other cultural and religious holidays instead.

For new parents, the enhanced benefits include an increase in paid leave for birth mothers, to 10 weeks from the current six to eight; two weeks of paid leave for all non-birth and adoptive parents, which had been available only to qualifying employees under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act; and no requirement to use up vacation days first before taking unpaid leave to reach the combined total of 12 weeks of leave, paid and unpaid, established by FMLA.

Complete information on all of the benefit enhancements will be available on beginning with the kick off of Open Enrollment. Among the resources is a Q&A on the Vacation Purchase Program, which details the cost formula and provides an example. Answers to additional questions can be obtained by calling CSXConnect at 1-800-633-4045.