Progress Through Unity

About Steve Burkert

Wednesday Train Service 3/15/17

The Carrier is requesting all crews that normally work on Wednesday to report at their normal time and location. Please be safe in your travels.

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Snow Storm Service for 3/14-3/15/17

The Carrier is requesting all crews to report to their sign up locations at their normal sign up times for the next 2 days.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Working Safely While On Duty

Over the weekend the NJ Transit Rail put out a new SUPPLEMENTAL BULLETIN ORDER. It addresses changes to operations on both the Newark and Hoboken Division trains.  The trains in question are terminating in NY Penn Station, Princeton, Gladstone and the Meadowlands Station. The B.O. advises you to stand in the eastern most vestibule coming through the North River Tunnels. It also advises you to communicate via Rule 21(D). I have worked into NY since the inception of Midtown Direct Service, I would prefer and advise you to take a safer course of action. The front vestibule in the winter is covered in ice and snow, with the doors normally frozen in place. This would leave you no escape route in an emergency. nor do I advocate trying to hold on with one hand while hitting communicating buttons with the other while the train’s own motion is throwing you side to side. The front vestibule is commonly referred to as a “killing zone” since anything the ALP runs over is thrown up into the vestibule and if the overhead catenary wire is damaged all of the debris is naturally thrown into the area where you are supposed to be standing. Also as all crews are well aware the communicating system is not always dependable and historically if a buzzer went off in the engine at the crossover typically the operator thinks there is an emergency. I do not advocate putting an overcrwoded train in an emergency application, when no real emergency exists. The overcrowded trains we work everyday would  cause injuries to our passengers when we suddenly stop without a valid reason to do so.

I advise you to follow all the rules. If you have the engine head out, board the engine at your last station stop. Do not stop the train in the middle of a right a way and try to climb up the outside of the ALP. The safer course is to board at a station platform.  Discuss this in your job briefing, and adjust as necessary. Once at your final station, then proceed to clear your train of passengers. The safety of the passengers and your crew members is of the utmost importance. Yes, it may be more time-consuming but the safe course is always the better course.

Please remember this quote from the New Jersey Transit Rail Safety Policy … ” NJ Transit Rail is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our co-workers, our customers and the communities we serve” …. ” We recognize the safety rules, training, and procedures are provided and must be followed to ensure safety. Also, we will strive to use our best judgment and make responsible decisions and take actions to prevent accidents and injuries”  and .. ” …safety is a vital part of every job”

In closing, I will continue to monitor all aspects of operations to ensure that NJ Transit provides you with a safe work environment.

Please be safe at home and at work.

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Local 60

HOS Q Forms

Please be aware the Carrier is approaching members about HOS Q forms. There are certain things that you must remember about filling out missing or corrected Q forms.

1) These forms can ONLY  be filled out while you are at work and on duty, they are considered ” Covered Service”

2) If you have no break in your job they may be filled out at the conclusion of your assignment.

3) If you fill them out on your swing you must  have the required time “Off Duty” to comply with HOS.

4) Please contact me if anyone was threatened with a fine from the FRA, this is FALSE, unless the contents are purposely fraudulent.

5) Any time that you spent correcting the forms, fill out a time card that must be signed by NJT manager. If they refuse to sign, email me.

6) You are responsible for the information on this form, nobody can change the info but you. You are signing it, the info must be your own.

Please email me if you have concerns, have already filled them out without a time card, or were not comfortable with the information that was provided to you concerning this issue.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

sburkert@utulocal60.com

Conductor Certification Penalty Cards

Members,

If you are on a Conductors list and are required to take an assistant conductor or a ticket collector assignment, you must fill out a penalty time card for the Conductor certification arbitrary. List it on penalty card as an 046 claim, everyday you work you need a penalty card. Please send me the time stamped 046 card and the denial so I can progress the claim.

Additionally, any student in the CTP program, follow the above instructions to claim the same arbitrary for every day you have been out qualifying. The time cards must be time stamped, original and your copy, and then get me the pay stub denial so I can progress the claim.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Mentor Program Resumes

The “Mentor Program” which is part of the “Conductor Training Program” will resume on Monday August 8, 2016. Modifications in the process have been enacted to provide a better learning experience for the students. There will be regular meetings between the Carrier and SMART TD to further enhance this learning period.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

New ” Tentative Agreement” has been signed!

Members, I have signed a new ” Tentative Agreement” with the Carrier. I will be discussing the scope of this agreement at Sunday’s union  meeting. Due to the short time frame I will not have copies available for you at the meeting. I will be starting the required voting process as soon as possible. All eligible members will be receiving a ballot in the mail to cast their vote.

Thank you all for your professionalism during this very stressful time.

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Update on Contract

Members, we DO NOT have a Temporary Agreement as of today.  I, HAVE NOT AGREED, at this point to extending the cooling off period as has been mentioned in the news media. I am ready to sit and negotiate a new temporary agreement whenever the Carrier is ready to talk.  The cooling off period ends on June 30th, 2016, next Thursday.  I will update you on the current situation as it arises, I urge all members to please attend our Local meeting this Sunday. There will be special announcements/ plans coming soon based upon how the talks are progressing or not progressing. I can assure all of the members, we have the full support of SMART -TD INTERNATIONAL.

 

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Contract Update

Members,

I have had numerous meetings with the Carrier, proposals and counter proposals, in the last couple of weeks. I have been assisted by all of your Vice Chairmen and the Secretary of the General Committee. The International vice president has been present at these meetings, plus our legal department has reviewed our progress.  We took to heart the areas of concern from the members, about the failed temporary agreement. We have tried  in every aspect to make adjustments where we could, while still maintaining what the members approved of the core value.

I, DO NOT, at this time have a new temporary agreement. I have been plagued with questions about officers / members speaking, calling, or emailing members in objection to an agreement. The act of purposely distorting the facts or trying to convince members to “vote NO” on a non existent contract is counter productive. The actions of these officers / members is detrimental to the future of our local. We should be united and instead these officers / members are only trying to divide us. Their actions are not for the greater good of our local.

I ask that at this time you please be patient. This task is of the utmost importance, and it is being handled that way. The talks are 7 days a week either in person, email or on the phone. I have always tried to keep you informed of the facts, not the rumors by the people with bad intent. Please allow your officers who are involved in these talks, the chance to close the deal. We will then be on the property to explain the truth, about the real agreement.

Thank You,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Contract Negotiation Update

We are still meeting with New Jersey Transit Rail to try and settle the contract issue. I will let all members know as soon as there are new developments. The only official news to report at this time is that we are still at the table talking.

Thank you and be safe.

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman