The Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. is crying foul at what they are calling a flawed procurement process that included few substantial conversations, a complaint lodged with the MBTA before the Globe reported Saturday that the T will recommend that the company’s sole competitor be awarded the state’s lucrative commuter rail operating contract.

In a statement from the company Sunday, accompanied by a letter that had been sent to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s general counsel Thursday, the company alleged that only one in-person discussion had been held between T officials and the MBCR during months of investigations and vetting — not enough, MBCR officials said, to provide the company with any real chance to explain the new ideas it had planned if it were to continue running the commuter train system.

Read the complete story at The Boston Globe.

BOSTON — Have you ever thought it would be nice to hear an employer give credit to the front-line workers who do the heavy lifting?

Well, such long overdue recognition came from Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) General Manager Hugh Kiley Jr. March 1, and he should know it didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.

In reporting a record on-time performance for Boston’s commuter railroad, whose conductors – the men and women who decide when the wheels turn and when they don’t — are represented by the UTU, Kiley said, “Credit must go to the 1,900 men and women who focus every day on the customer experience, as well as the union leadership, which has created a true partnership with management to provide excellent results for customers.”

Indeed. Trains don’t run on time on their own. It is the union-represented men and women on the front lines who ensure the trains run on time – and Kiley said what has long needed to be said by senior management.

Kiley took over as GM of MBCR in October 2010, following some 40 years of achievement with Conrail and Norfolk Southern, and as co-chair of a talented team that designed, in Chicago, a public-private transportation partnership to improve the efficient flow of rail freight and rail passenger trains through that congested region – the $3.2 billion Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency Program (CREATE).

Kiley began his railroad career as a brakeman on Penn Central.

As for the record performance, MBCR posted a record 94.7 percent on time percentage in February for its commuter trains – a continuation of a high-level of MBCR service that began in 2011.

In praising MBCR employees and their union leadership, Kiley also cited the hiring of additional train and engine crews and MBCR’s emphasis on training.

MBCR provides service to 40 million commuters annually to and from some 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

BOSTON — UTU-represented conductors and assistant conductors on Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) have ratified a four-year agreement covering wages, benefits and working conditions.

The agreement is retroactive to July 2009, and may be reopened for amendment in July 2013 under provisions of the Railway Labor Act.

BLET-represented engineers on MBCR also ratified a new four-year agreement. The UTU and the BLET negotiated jointly to reach those separate craft agreements, with the expectation that a better agreement for each craft would result if negotiations were held jointly.

Included in the UTU amended agreement with MBCR are retroactive pay, a signing bonus, a 13.7 percent overall increase in wages by July 2013, certification pay for conductors, a cap on health care cost-sharing, and a provision that discipline records will not be retained beyond a maximum of 36 months (other than substance abuse violations, which are subject to record-keeping under federal law).

The agreement also includes an increase in compensation for release-time — from the decades-old 50 percent of the full-time rate to 62.5 percent.

UTU International Vice President John Previsich, who assisted with the negotiations, commended General Chairperson Roger Lenfest and Assistant General Chairperson Dirk Sampson (both, Amtrak, GO 769), along with Local 898 Chairperson Don Wheaton “for their participation in securing substantial improvements to wages and working conditions in today’s difficult economic environment.

“It is through their extraordinary efforts that the negotiating team was able to add groundbreaking enhancements such as conductor certification pay and increased pay for release time,” Previsich said.

The Transportation Communications Union and shopcrafts previously were released from mediation with MBCR by the National Mediation Board, but the sides have returned to the bargaining table.

MBCR, operated under contract by Veolia Transportation, transports more than 131,000 riders daily between Boston and outlying areas.