Progress Through Unity

SMART-TD State Legislative Rep Ron Sabol Picked to Governor Phil Murphy’s Transportation and Infrastructure Transition Team

Governor-elect names full slate of members for transition committees

Governor-elect Phil Murphy has announced memberships to his transition committees, naming more than 500 people who will make recommendations on state policy, issues and initiatives as the new administration prepares to take office in two months. Earlier this week he announced transition committee leadership positions.

Several Princeton area residents were appointed to committees, including Princeton lawyer Paul Josephson, Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm, Steve Jany of Rustin Farms, and former Trenton mayor Doug Palmer.

“New Jersey needs an administration ready to hit the ground running in January, and through the work of the transition committees my administration will not take office blind to the challenges and opportunities before us,” said Murphy in a statement about the appointments. “I am grateful to everyone who accepted the call to serve our transition. From analyzing and prescribing policy to taking a fresh look at the basic organization of government, these committees have a lot of work to do. I am confident they will put my administration in a position to begin delivering results for the people of New Jersey from day one.”

The committees will meet throughout the state over the course of the next two months and will then submit reports and recommendations to the governor-elect and his leadership team prior to the inauguration.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Anthony Attanasio, Utility and Transportation Contractors Association of NJ; Janine Bauer, Szaferman Lakind; Scott Braen, Braen Stone Industries; Jon Carnegie, Voorhees Transportation Institute; Janna Chernetz, Tri-State Transportation Campaign; Jim Cobb, New York Shipping Association; Dan Dagget, International Longshoremen’s Association Atlantic Coast Council; Larry English, AirRail; Joe Fiordaliso, New Jersey Department of Transportation; Mike Fischette, Concord Engineering; Kelly Ganges, Office of County Executive Brian Hughes; Ray Greaves, Amalgamated Transit Union State Council; George Helmy, Office of Senator Cory Booker; Woody Knopf, Knopf Automotive; Kris Kolluri, Former New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner; Jerome LaFroglia, Transport Workers Union; Jamie LeFrak, LeFrak Organization; Ian Leonard, IBEW Construction; Cathleen Lewis, AAA; Bob Medina, Medina 43 Business Strategies; Frank Minor, Mayor of Logan Township; Sami Naim, Lyft; Paul Nunziato, Port Authority Policeman’s Benevolent Association; Atilla Pak, ASTM Consulting Engineering, LLC; Jason Post, Uber; Fred Potter, Teamsters 469; Ronald Rios, Middlesex County Freeholder; Tim Rudolph, IFPTE State Council; Ron Sabol, SMART; Bob Salmon, Former Inspector General at the Department of Transportation; George Schnurr, Freehold Council President; Monica Slater Stokes, United Airlines; Revered Ronald Slaughter, St. James AME Church; Mike Soliman, Mercury, LLC; Bill Sumas; Joe Taylor, Matrix Development Group; Gary Toth, former Project Manager at the Department of Transportation; Mike Travostino, Associated Construction Contractors of New Jersey; Jan Walden, Former New Jersey Transit Executive; Aaron Watson, Mercer County Park Commission; Woody Weldon, Weldon Materials, Inc; Tom Wright, RPA.

New DOT Drug Testing Criteria

This week, the Department of Transportation published a final rule that expands DOT’s current drug testing panel for safety-sensitive employees to include certain semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone. A list of common names for these opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, and Exalgo®.

Last March, SMART-TD filed joint comments to DOT requesting the proposed cutoff levels for a positive test, additional training for Medical Review Officers (MROs), clear guidelines regarding the definition of a valid prescription, and the implementation of a process to challenge MRO findings, all which DOT rejected. (see attached)

The DOT rule is scheduled to go into effect on January 1st, 2018. You can find a summary of the drug testing changes and how they may affect you by clicking the link below. You can also read the final rule as published in the Federal Register by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to read a summary of the recent DOT Final Rule on drug testing.

In solidarity,

John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

SMART Unions Announce United Support for Phil Murphy for New Jersey Governor

KENILWORTH, N.J., Oct. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The five Sheet Metal Workers Local Unions and the New Jersey Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART Union) today announced their united support for Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey.

Joe Demark, Jr., the President of the New Jersey SMART Council and President and Business Manager of Local 25 said this was the first time that the five local unions and the transportation union have joined together to endorse a candidate for governor.

“The five Sheet Metal locals and the Transportation Division represent a total of 11,500 union members and their families in New Jersey,” said Demark. “We are here today to announce our united support for Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey because we believe he offers a new path and a new vision for all our state and will be a governor who will make it happen.”

Demark noted that Phil Murphy’s background included growing up poor and working hard to become a graduate of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania and an international business leader.

Phil Murphy built on that success to become the US Ambassador to Germany from 2009 until 2013,” said Demark. “It was there that he was exposed to the value of trade unions and their apprenticeship training programs as a catalyst to growing the economy and he knows how valuable and integral our programs here are to rebuilding New Jersey’s economy.”

Additionally, Demark pointed out that during the past seven and a half years under Christie and Guadagno construction jobs have been devastated, with his own Local 25 and other building trades unions seeing as much as 50% unemployment due to the job killing policies of the Christie Administration.

“It is not a coincidence that we have had building trades unions like ours in the SMART New Jersey State Council seeing upwards of 50% unemployment in the last seven and a half to eight years,” said Demark. “It is because we have had poor leadership under Christie and Guadagno!”

By contrast, Demark said Murphy understands that SMART union members want to support a Governor who will work to create jobs, support prevailing wage laws and project labor agreements and enforce fair labor standards through the New Jersey Department of Labor.

“This is the most consequential election in New Jersey in generations. We in the New Jersey Labor movement know what it means to fight to get ahead and support all workers and so does Phil Murphy,” said Demark. “That is why we will pull out all the stops, Take 5 and elect Phil Murphy the next Governor of New Jersey and Sheila Oliver the next Lt. Governor of New Jersey.”

The SMART Unions represent 11,500 sheet metal and transportation workers in every county of New Jersey.


SOURCE SMART Union, New Jersey State Council


Town Hall Meeting with GP Sellers

SMART General President Sellers has been travelling across North America specifically to hear members share their views and concerns.

To ensure everyone, INCLUDING YOU, have the chance to be heard, he will be holding a first of its kind live Town Hall Forum with SMART members on November 2nd from 6:30 to 7pm Eastern.

This online forum is your chance for you and your co-workers to have your questions heard and answered directly by the General President.

To attend the town hall forum you MUST register online at:

Please share this invitation with your fellow members to ensure everyone has a chance to attend this important event.

SMART-TD NJ Election Recommendations November 2017

Download (PDF, 253KB)

National Negotiations Update: Coordinated Bargaining Group Unions Reach Tentative National Contract Agreement

Independence, Ohio, October 5 — Rail Unions making up the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) announced today that they have reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. The CBG is comprised of six unions: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART TD).

On Wednesday, October 4th, the CBG’s full Negotiating Team met in Independence, Ohio for a review of the terms of the proposed voluntary agreement. Following that review, each of the CBG Unions’ Negotiating Teams unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement. On Thursday, October 5th, the involved General Chairpersons of SMART TD, BRS and BLET met as well and those groups also unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement for consideration by the respective membership of each Union.

The Tentative Agreement, which will be submitted to the memberships of each involved Union in the coming weeks, includes an immediate wage increase of 4%, with an additional 2.5% six months later on July 1, 2018 and an additional 3% one year later on July 1, 2019. In addition, wage increases of 2% effective July 1, 2016 and another 2% effective July 1, 2017 will be fully retroactive through implementation, for a compounded increase of 9.84% over an 18-month period and 13.14% over the 5-year contract term (this includes the First General Wage Increase of 3% implemented on January 1, 2015).

All benefits existing under the Health and Welfare Plan will remain in effect unchanged and there are no disruptions to the existing healthcare networks. While some employee participation costs are increased, the tentative agreement maintains reasonable maximum out-of-pocket protections for our members. The TA also adds several new benefits to the Health and Welfare Plan for the members of the involved unions and, importantly, it requires that the Rail Carriers will, on average, continue to pay 90% of all of our members’ point of service costs.

On a matter of critical importance, the employees’ monthly premium contribution is frozen at the current rate of $228.89. The frozen rate can only be increased by mutual agreement at the conclusion of negotiations in the next round of bargaining that begins on 1/1/2020.

In addition, the CBG steadfastly refused to accept the carriers’ demands for changes to work rules that would have imposed significant negative impacts on every one of our members. As a result of that rejection, the Tentative Agreement provides for absolutely no changes in work rules for any of the involved unions.

“This Tentative Agreement provides real wage increases over and above inflation, health care cost increases far below what the carriers were demanding, freezes our monthly health plan cost contribution at the current level, provides significant retroactive pay and imposes no changes to any of our work rules,” said the CBG Union Presidents. “This is a very positive outcome for a very difficult round of negotiations. We look forward to presenting the Tentative Agreement to our respective memberships for their consideration.”

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Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.

Absentee Ballot Deadline Approaching

Today marks five weeks until the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. The best way to make sure your vote counts is to vote absentee by mail before Election Day. That is because early voting eliminates the possibility that you will miss an election due to an uncertainty in your work schedule or a family emergency.

To begin the absentee vote-by-mail process, click on SMART TD’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) link below, select your state and then scroll down to the section on absentee voting. In addition to absentee voting and voter registration, the LAC election page also provides basic candidate information (including legislative races) making the LAC a one-stop election portal.

In solidarity,
John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

Election “Take 5” Flyer

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SMART Army SMART GP Video On Relief Efforts

Our SMART TD Brothers and Sisters in Texas need your help!

The catastrophic flood waters caused by Hurricane Harvey have devastated Houston and its surrounding communities with loss of life and immeasurable destruction of property.

Some of those affected by the devastation are our Brothers and Sisters of SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD) who live in and near the Houston area. The silver lining is, and will continue to be, the generosity of citizens around the country who are giving what they can to help those affected to reclaim their lives.

We are asking the SMART TD family to rise to the call and give what you can so that the daunting task of starting over and rebuilding can begin.

Your generous donation will help lessen the struggle and bring real hope and relief to our SMART TD members who are suffering from this great loss. SMART TD will administer donations sent to the UTU Disaster Relief Fund.

Contributions may be sent and made payable to:

UTU Disaster Relief Fund
24950 Country Club Blvd.
Suite 340
North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333

View Online

Please call the Transportation Division office at 216-228-9400 referencing Disaster Relief.

John Previsich
SMART Transportation Division