SMART - TD Local 306

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


Nigro: Dialogue is a two-way street - 10/23/2014

Nigro: Dialogue is a two-way street

 

By Joe Nigro, 
SMART General President – 

The First SMART General Convention represented a new beginning for all of us. So, now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity and begin forging a path to ensure the dialogue between the leadership and convention delegates at our convention extends to an open communication between our membership and their elected leaders.

As a first step, we have to recognize that a dialogue can only exist when both parties participate and the quickest way to harm an organization is by ignoring the voice of the membership.

I believe our members can and will speak up when they trust that their voices will be heard.

The only way to build that trust is through transparency and accountability. If members feel they can trust their leaders, they will lend their support to the organization and make meaningful contributions to the discussion.

A quiet membership eventually devolves into an ailing union. A quiet membership becomes disinterested and apathetic, allowing its leaders to do as they please without any accountability.

Without involvement by the membership, the dues a member pays become nothing more than another unwanted deduction. That will not become the legacy of this organization.

I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to attend local union meetings, ask questions of your leadership, and learn about the ways your union can assist you and how you can assist your fellow brothers and sisters. The more active and aware you become, the better our union will represent you.

Also, keep in mind that within any organization news travels fast, but is often not always accurate. Sometimes rumors and innuendo are advanced by individuals on the outside whose goals do not align with yours.

Let your leaders know when you hear something that doesn’t seem right. Getting answers before we pass something on can stop those who wish to divide us and will show them we are a united union.

Let’s squash those rumors and get moving on making this union as strong and as vibrant as possible.

Finally, if you’re unhappy with the direction of the organization on any level, or feel you are not receiving the representation you deserve, call your leadership and let them know how you feel.

I strongly believe in having an open door policy that allows members to voice their concerns. I also believe that when it comes to leadership, I hold myself to the same standards that I expect of other elected representatives in this organization, along with our staff.

This is why I am including my telephone number here – (202) 662-0800 – so you can contact me with any of your questions or complaints.

You may not like my answers or what I tell you, but I do promise, you will at least have a voice.

Always remember, this is your union.

Fraternally,

Joseph J. Nigro
SMART?General President

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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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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!

 

2015 Vacation Bid Forms are available in the 'Downloads' section under 'UTU Documents' - turn in completed forms to your Local Chairman - please contact a Local Union Officer with questions.

 

 

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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