SMART - TD Local 306

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


UTU.org preparing for move to smart-union.org/td - 7/7/2016

UTU.org preparing for move to smart-union.org/td

The official website of SMART Transportation Division, www.utu.org, is moving to www.smart-union.org/td.

In preparation for this move, both www.utu.org and www.smart-union.org/td will not be updated after close of business July 8 until further notice. During this period, important news updates will be available on our Facebook and LinkeIn pages.

While we are working to seamlessly make this move behind-the-scenes, all of the information, forms, sections, applications, news and resources will still be available on both websites.

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Long-Term Disability open enrollment begins August 1 - 7/1/2016

Long-Term Disability open enrollment begins August 1

SMART Transportation Division has partnered with MetLife to bring our Rail and Bus members the most comprehensive and cost-effective Voluntary Long-Term Disability plans.

VLTD insurance helps you protect your income if you suddenly have to stop working due to an accident or illness. VLTD helps ensure that you can continue paying your bills and provide for your family if you are unable to work due to an accident or illness.

Open enrollment for the Voluntary Long-Term Disability (VLTD) Plan will be available for active dues-paying SMART Transportation Division Rail and Bus members beginning August 1, 2016, through October 31, 2016, with no medical history information required.

Rail Members:

60% Option – Allows rail members to purchase coverage after a 238-day elimination period, and offers a monthly benefit of 60 percent of salary (up to a maximum benefit of $7,000). Cost for Part “B”: $73.88 per month.

50% Option – Allows rail members to purchase coverage after a 238-day elimination period, and offers a monthly benefit of 50 percent of salary (up to a maximum benefit of $7,000). Cost for Part “A”: $51.63 per month.

Bus Members:

60% Option – Allows bus members to purchase coverage after a 365-day elimination period, and offers a monthly benefit of 60 percent of salary (up to a maximum benefit of $6,000). Cost for Part “B”: $47.98 per month.

50% Option – Allows bus members to purchase coverage after a 365-day elimination period, and offers a monthly benefit of 50 percent of salary (up to a maximum benefit of $6,000). Cost for Part “A”: $31.50 per month.

Need help deciding how much is right for you?

A good rule of thumb is to buy enough VLTD to cover your essential monthly expenses (e.g., mortgage, food, utilities and car payments). For most people, that is 60-80 percent of their income. To determine your specific needs, use the calculator tool.

Enroll Today

In the month of July active members will receive an enrollment package from MetLife, containing plan FAQ’s and an enrollment form.

If for some reason you do not receive an enrollment packet in the mail, call your regional field supervisor or click on the enrollment form below.

It is easy to enroll! Simply print and complete the enrollment form, and mail it to SMART Transportation Division (VLTD), 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070.

For plan related questions or inquiries,
please contact
MetLife Customer Service at

1-800-300-4296

Do not wait to enroll!
Your opportunity only lasts until October 31, 2016.

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Member Health and Welfare contributions to increase - 6/29/2016

Member Health and Welfare contributions to increase

Effective July 1, 2016, rail employees covered under The NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan and The Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan will see their monthly Health and Welfare contribution increased from the current $198.00 per month, to $228.89 per month.

Why the increase?

Since July 1, 2012 and pursuant to provisions of the September 16, 2011 National Rail Agreement, the health and welfare contribution was frozen at $198.00 per month. That agreement also contained provisions to increase the contribution amount to a maximum of $230.00 per month, effective July 1, 2016.

A national rail agreement is currently being negotiated and the new monthly contribution amount will remain in effect until modified.

How is the increase determined?

The formula used in determining the monthly employee contribution takes into account the Carriers Monthly Payment Rate for everything other than on-duty injury health care benefits, and the payment rates for benefits under The Railroad Employees National Dental Plan and The Railroad Employees National Vision Plan. The employee contribution is 15 percent of such monthly payment rates.

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Members make all the difference! - 6/28/2016

Members make all the difference!

Dear  Member:

Recently, Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert of Texas – one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives – cosponsored our two-person crew legislation, H.R. 1763, the Safe Freight Act. This show of support follows cosponsorship from Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Both are considered among the most conservative members of Congress.

Why did Rep. Gohmert sign onto the bill? The simple answer is that one of our members asked him to. General Chairperson Steve Simpson’s office is located near Rep. Gohmert’s, and Steve decided to set up a meeting to engage the Congressman on our issues, including the need for two-person crews on all trains. Steve didn’t shy away because Rep. Gohmert is a conservative Republican; no, Steve’s attitude was that “this is my Congressman, and I will request a meeting.” They talked for more than an hour and Steve convinced this very conservative Republican that the only safe way to operate a train is with a crew of at least two people.

Arizona State Legislative Director Scott Jones lives in Congressman Franks’ district and decided to set up a meeting with his Congressman. Scott brought along a retired engineer who attends the same church as Congressman Franks and whose children attend bible study taught by the Congressman. Hearing from a trusted friend proved extremely effective as Congressman Franks came out of the meeting understanding the importance of two-person crews and became a cosponsor of H.R. 1763.

Last year, one of our bus members, Socorro Cisneros-Hernandez, had an upcoming meeting with Republican Congressman Paul Cook of California and contacted our office looking for talking points on our legislative priorities. Ms. Cisneros used the information we provided and had a very productive meeting with Congressman Cook, after which he agreed to cosponsor the Safe Freight Act.

Most recently, Greg Hynes and I met with another conservative Republican, Ryan Zinke of Montana. After a robust discussion about the two-person crew legislation, Congressman Zinke agreed to sign on as a cosponsor.

The lesson from all of these cases is that every member of Congress, regardless of party or ideology, should be viewed as a potential cosponsor of H.R. 1763. Our Washington team will continue to do our part, but when it comes to issues that some members of Congress may not be naturally inclined to support, our members – their constituents – are the ones who can make the most effective case.

To do your part, work with your state legislative director to set up a meeting with your Representative to ask that they cosponsor H.R. 1763. We can provide you with handouts and other materials to help. Our recent comments on the FRA’s crew size rule are a good source of information on this issue. If you do not know who your state legislative director is, a list can be found here.

If we are going to succeed in passing this bill, we need to be engaged at the local level. Special thanks to Brothers Steve Simpson, Scott Jones and Sister Socorro Cisneros-Hernandez for stepping up to the plate and taking the initiative in getting these new cosponsors.

Lastly, please visit the Legislative Action Center to contact your Representative about the Safe Freight Act and ask your coworkers to do the same.

In Solidarity,

John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

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Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews - 6/16/2016

SMART TD, BLET Press Release: Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce, issued a joint statement, following their submission of their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on train crew size.

“Operating freight trains with one-person train crews is unsafe and must be prohibited. That is the message we delivered yesterday in the comments filed with federal rail safety regulators,” Previsich and Pierce said.

“Our comments provide a clear rationale for the FRA to finalize a rule this year

and to close loopholes included in the agency’s initial proposed rule that could permit the limited use of one-person crew freight operations.”

Click here to read the official press release from both unions.

Click here to read the comments submitted to the FRA, followed by the polling results of 11 individual states on two-person crews conducted by DFM Research on behalf of SMART TD (see page 18 for polling results).

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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!

 

With AWTS boards being cut, ask a Local Chairman your questions about work and health/unemployment benefits

 

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

Sioux City - 2nd Tuesday in February, May, August, November; Ramada Inn at 11:00

Mason City - as needed