SMART - TD Local 306

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


SMART Constitution available online, officers elevated - 11/14/2014

SMART Constitution available online, officers elevated

The official SMART Constitution, as amended by SMART delegates at the first SMART General Convention, is now available on both the SMART website at www.smart-union.org and the Transportation Division website at www.utu.org.

In January 2014, the SMART Sheet Metal and Transportation Division officers completed constitutional modifications required by the terms and conditions of the merger between the two predecessor organizations. That document incorporated the former UTU Constitution into the former SMWIA Constitution as Article 21B of the merged document. At that time, all conflicts between Article 21B and the remainder of the constitution were resolved in order to effectuate the merger.

Earlier this year, delegates to the Transportation Division convention proposed recommendations for amendments to the constitution. At the first SMART General Convention held Aug. 11-15, those amendments were debated and resolved.

The August proceedings in Las Vegas closed with a show of unity, cooperation and newfound strength.

Of significance to SMART’s Transportation Division membership, the amended constitution contained provisions for the addition of a second vice president to the division’s Bus Department and the addition of a member of the Aviation Department to the division’s board of appeals.

The Transportation Division’s board of directors selected former Alternate Vice President – Bus Calvin Studivant to serve as the division’s second bus vice president to serve the Bus Department’s growing membership.

A member of Local 759 at Newark, N.J., Studivant was born June 18, 1960. He served his country in the U.S. Army from 1982 to 1986. He has been employed at Community Coach Transportation in New Jersey since June 1993, where he served his local as both a general chairperson and delegate. He also served as a Transportation Division organizer.

To fill the vacant office of alternate vice president– bus, the board of directors elevated former board of appeals member Alvy Hughes to that position.

Hughes began his transportation career with Charlotte Transit in 1995. As a member of Local 1596 at Charlotte, N.C., Hughes has served as local vice president and as both secretary and general chairperson of General Committee of Adjustment GO TMM.

On Oct. 23, the Transportation Division’s board of directors selected Charlotte Transit GO TMD Vice General Chairperson Brenda H. Moore (1715) to fill the open position bus position on the board of appeals.

The board also chose Great Lakes Airlines Local 40 (Denver) President John Nolan to fill the position of aviation representative to the board of appeals.

The complete constitution, as amended, can be viewed here.

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Changes made to SMART Discipline Income plan - 11/12/2014

Changes made to SMART Discipline Income plan

SMART Discipline Income Protection Program has not increased its monthly assessment rates in six years. During that period, the amount that the DIPP plan disbursed in benefits has greatly exceeded the amount that it collected in premiums.

Since DIPP cannot continue to operate effectively at a deficit, the program’s trustees have increased the monthly assessment by five cents for each dollar of benefits – from 66 to 71 cents – effective Feb. 1, 2015, and have reduced the maximum days of benefits payable.

The new maximum-day limits will apply to eligible suspensions and discharges that occur on or after Feb. 1. Plan participants’ current daily benefit will remain in effect and the higher monthly assessments will automatically be deducted from their paycheck unless a participant submits the appropriate change form to modify the daily benefit he or she had previously selected.

The trustees have made additional changes to the DIPP, which are effective Nov. 1, 2014.

A participant now may change his or her monthly assessment no more frequently than every 12 months and any increase or decrease in that rate will only be effective for eligible suspensions or discharges that occur more than 90 days after the increase or decrease.

Benefits for disciplinary actions occurring prior to the expiration of the 90-day period will be paid at the old rate.

Even with these changes, DIPP offers much richer benefits than any of the other discipline income plans and remains the only one that is administered by your union, rather than a for-profit insurance company.

To view the maximum days of benefits payable, click here.

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FRA strengthens rail training requirements - 11/10/2014

FRA strengthens rail training requirements

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Nov. 7 issued a final rule that strengthens training requirements for railroad employees and contractors who perform safety-related work. The rule, which was mandated by the Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) of 2008, ensures safety-related employees are trained and qualified to comply with any relevant federal railroad safety laws, regulations, and orders.

“Safety is our top priority and this is just the latest step in our mission to ensure the safety of railroad employees, the public and the communities these railroads pass through,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The GROW AMERICA Act will help advance safety by harnessing technology and research, as well as implementing Positive Train Control and updating federal hours of service regulations.”

The rule improves training for all safety-related railroad employees, regardless of whether the person is employed by a railroad, a contractor or a subcontractor, by requiring:

  • Minimum training standards for each type of safety-related railroad employee;
  • FRA review and approval of each employer’s training program to ensure employees will be qualified to measurable standards;
  • Greater use of structured on-the-job and interactive training;
  • Methods for each employer to review and improve training programs annually with a focus on closing performance gaps; and
  • A streamlined, nation-wide approach that bolsters training for operators of roadway maintenance machines equipped with a crane that work across multiple jurisdictions.

“Quality training is fundamental to the execution of safety sensitive railroad duties,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “This regulation ensures the heightened professionalism of the workforce that keeps our railroads running safety and efficiently every day.”

Through the Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC), FRA is working to complete the actions mandated by RSIA, including developing a framework for the creation and implementation of performance-based programs that anticipate and reduce risk. An RSAC working group has developed recommendations for fatigue management provisions and the agency moving forward with rulemakings related to the transportation of crude oil and ethanol by rail – one focusing on the securement of equipment and the other on the appropriate crew size requirements when transporting highly flammable liquids.

Additionally, FRA is preparing a final rule amending its regulations related to roadway workers and is developing other RSAC-supported actions that advance high-performing passenger rail, such as proposed rules on standards for alternative compliance with FRA’s Passenger Equipment Safety Standards.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) mission is to ensure the safe, reliable, and efficient rail transportation of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future. The GROW AMERICA Act supports this mission with predictable, dedicated investments that enhance safety and modernize our rail infrastructure to meet growing market demand. The Act also builds on current investments to vastly improve the system in areas ranging from Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation to enhancing flexibility in financing programs that will better enable the rehabilitation of aging infrastructure.

To view the final rule, click here.

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Canadian rails fight new rules to prevent crew fatigue - 10/29/2014

Canadian rails fight new rules to prevent crew fatigue

Canada’s major freight rail companies are fighting moves by the federal transportation regulator to curb “extreme fatigue” among railway engineers, a CBC News investigation has found.

CN Rail, CP and the Railway Association of Canada went on the attack two weeks ago at a “tense and heated” meeting of industry, union and government representatives, according to a number of people present.

The conflict was over research by Transport Canada that found high levels of exhaustion among workers driving freight trains, and proposals by the regulator to impose new limits on scheduling to help reduce their fatigue.

Read more from CBCNews.

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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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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 your questions about seniority based vacations.

 

 

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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