SMART - TD Local 306

Sioux City, Mason City & Eagle Grove on UPRR Former C&NW Lines


Local Elections Update - 10/10/2014

Local Elections Update  (10/10/2014 update)

At the close of October 8th SMART-TD Local 306 business meeting, there was only one nomination made for each office.  This means that the member so nominated will be declared elected on the day set for the elections.  This will take place at the November 12th meeting, 2000 hours at Eagle Grove Godfather's Pizza.  Please contact a Local Officer with any questions.

Local Elections Update - Nomination and Election Procedures  (9/23/2014 update)

Elections for SMART-Transportation Division (UTU) Local 306 will be held in November for both Local Officers and Local Committees of Adjustment.  Per SMART Constitution Article 21B, nominations must be filed with the Secretary no later than the last meeting in October.  If nominating by petition, at least five (5) members eligible to vote shall sign the petition.

Please contact a Local Officer or refer to SMART Constitution Article 21B Sections 56-58 with questions regarding the nomination and election process.

The October monthly meeting will be October 8th, starting at 2000 hours at Godfather's Pizza, Eagle Grove, IA.

The November monthly meeting will be November 12th, starting at 2000 hours at Godfather's Pizza, Eagle Grove, IA.

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Healthcare open enrollment online until Nov. 1 - 10/2/2014

Healthcare open enrollment online until Nov. 1

Railroad employees covered under National Railway Carriers/UTU Health and Welfare Plan or the Railroad Employees’ National Health and Welfare Plan were mailed a notification of the online open enrollment period that began Oct. 1, 2014, and ends Nov. 1, 2014. The information should be specific to the current enrollment for you and your eligible dependents.

The online enrollment capability provides the ability to view your personal information, add, delete and update dependent information, view enrollment materials, enroll in benefits for next year, and receive an immediate confirmation statement. There is no need to mail in a paper enrollment form. However, if you need assistance, have questions or require a paper enrollment kit, call Railroad Enrollment Services at (800) 753-2692.

The enrollment website can be found at https://www.yourtracktohealth.com (formerly known as the Railroad Information Depot).

You are encouraged to visit the online enrollment site and review all the information available. Use the log-in instructions at the end of this article to access and review your personal information and spend some time learning about the benefits and resources available on the site.

You will also be able to search medical provider networks.

It is required that covered dependent Social Security numbers (SSN) be provided to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Please supply the missing SSN on the Dependent Information screen.

If you are currently enrolled in the Health Flexible Spending Account, the election and yearly contribution will not rollover to the new plan year. You must enroll in your Health Flexible Spending Account every year.

  • Click “Login” located in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • If you have already registered, enter your username and password.
  • If you have not yet registered, select “New User?” at the bottom of the screen to complete your registration.

Once logged in, select the option to “Enroll Now for 2015,” located in the upper left corner of the screen.

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BNSF crew proposal was defeated by 5-1 margin - 10/1/2014

BNSF crew proposal was defeated by 5-1 margin

Of 3,679 ballots returned, 3,056 were in opposition to the crew consist agreement. Nearly the same number of ballots cast were in opposition to a wage and rule settlement offered by the carrier.

Under the proposal, engineers would have received a pay boost, and conductors would have been given the opportunity to become engineers. It also called for the creation a “master conductor,” who would be responsible for supervising multiple trains from a fixed or mobile location.

The railroad was seeking to operate most of its trains with a single engineer on trains equipped with positive train control, a collision-avoidance system mandated by Congress in 2008.

It maintained that trains carrying hazardous materials, including those with large volumes of crude oil or ethanol, would still have operated with two people on board.

Prior to releasing the complete vote count Sept. 29, GO 001 General Chairperson Randy Knutson had acknowledged earlier in September that the proposal had failed.

“Please be advised that we have completed the tabulation of ratification ballots for the tentative crew consist agreement and wage and rule settlement, and neither agreement was ratified. A more complete summary of the vote will be forthcoming in the next several weeks, but we felt it was important to provide our members with immediate notification that these agreements were not ratified,” Knutson said.

“Moving forward, this office will notify BNSF Labor Relations that we remain open to informal conversation regarding these matters, but will oppose any formal attempt by BNSF to serve notice to change our existing crew consist agreements prior to the attrition of all protected employees.”

The proposed agreement generated a lot of discussion from Transportation Division members around the country.

In a statement posted on the SMART Transportation Division’s website prior to the voting deadline, Transportation Division President John Previsich noted that, “Our constitution grants the general committees jurisdiction in this area and this organization has successfully defended that right over the years through litigation and arbitration. There are no grounds for any entity to interfere with that right and there will be no attack on that authority by this office or any subordinate body of this organization.

“Nonetheless, it should surprise no one that the proposed agreement is generating a great deal of discussion due to its potential impact beyond its own territory. This office will not interfere with the rights of all of our members to engage in that discussion.”

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End of line for railroad conductors? Not so fast - 9/29/2014

End of line for railroad conductors? Not so fast

WASHINGTON — How many people does it take to safely operate a freight train?

Two, say railroad labor unions, the Federal Railroad Administration and some members of Congress, arguing that having just one person in the cab of a locomotive was unsafe. They cite a series of deadly accidents involving trains with a solo engineer, including last year’s disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, where 47 people were killed after an oil train jumped the tracks.

One, argues the railroad industry, which counters that there’s no data to prove multiple-person crews are safer.

Read the complete story at The Fresno Bee.

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NTSB examines recent surge in rail worker deaths - 9/25/2014

NTSB examines recent surge in rail worker deaths

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board Sept. 24 issued a special investigation report on the recent increase in deaths of railroad and rail transit roadway workers on or near tracks and made recommendations to reduce the number of fatalities.

The Special Investigation Report on Railroad and Rail Transit Roadway Worker Protection provides details of 14 fatal accidents in 2013. Over the year, 15 roadway workers died. The number of deaths in 2013, the findings from investigations of those deaths and the increasing number of fatalities prompted the NTSB to look more closely at the issue of roadway worker safety and to recommend actions to address these issues.

Railroad and rail transit roadway workers are subject to on-the-job risks and hazards that are markedly different from those faced by other railroad employees. Of the fatalities in 2013, 11 resulted from 11 accidents on freight railroads and four were on commuter or transit railways. The average number of railroad worker fatalities has fluctuated but has remained about 6.4 per year from 1990 to 2013.

“Railroad roadway worker deaths have increased over the past three years,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “This trend is unacceptable.”

Among the report’s findings are that comprehensive job briefings could help prevent accidents and that national inspection protocols for work activities are necessary to ensure the safety of roadway workers.

The NTSB issued recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-Way Employees and Signalmen Committee. The recommendations call for additional training, harmonization of standards, a national inspection program and greater stakeholder participation in roadway worker fatalities, among other measures.

A summary of the special report is available at http://go.usa.gov/dZfj.

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SMART UTU Local 306

No job is so important, no service is so urgent that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely!

 

Your Local Officers are here to protect you - help us all by calling when you need assistance!  Don't settle for the carrier's attitutude toward you - be involved!

 

YOUR Union Meetings are:

Eagle Grove - 2nd Wednesday of each Month; Godfather's Pizza at 8:00 pm

Mason City - 3rd Wednesday in January, April, July, October; Pizza Ranch at 7:30 pm

Sioux City - As Needed 

 

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