Progress Through Unity

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


Holiday Party!!!!!

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Holiday Party!!!!

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.

General Chairman Burkert’s Weekly”HOT TOPICS” News

In an effort to better communicate information as quickly as possible to the Membership here is the ” HOT TOPICS” for this week.

A) As a reminder ROLLOVER and SCHEDULE CHANGE will happen next week. Please be aware of changes to your assignment or train schedules.

B) I want to thank all of the Members who reported to myself or other Officers about a blip on bank accounts for this week. Due to the early warning from Members I was able to contact the Carrier and the issue was resolved in time for pay-day.

C) I only received a hand full of emails from Members about the PINK AMNESTY GAS MILES that were not paid or only partially paid. If you have an issue or have not been paid please email me asap. I will be closing the time to file a grievance this week.

D) I attended a SMART sponsored event tonight in Kenilworth NJ to show our support for Democratic candidate for Governor Phil Murphy. I will be meeting with Phil Murphy to discuss pending issues that affect our Members. His next few weeks will be very busy but I can assure you in speaking with him, NJ Transit is a top priority on his agenda.

E) If any Member has the original copy of the Tariff Bulletin that prohibited our Members from asking for ID on the train for SENIORS/DISABLED wold you please email me at

F) I encourage all Members to please call the Crew Callers on Friday and make yourself available to work this weekend. STEEPLECHASE is Saturday, if you are available please come out and earn some extra holiday money. The Carrier has pledged to use all available Members who make themselves available.

Please email me feedback or suggestions, I am here for you the Members.


Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

New Employee Timetables & Log Of Changes

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SMART-TD NJ Election Recommendations November 2017

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Letter from SMART TD on Local 60 Audit Results

Attention Members of Local 60, the following letter is from SMART TD in conclusion of the audit that was done on our Local finances. I have no further information then what is contained in the letter. If you have questions you can email me at I will try to answer your questions to the best of my ability at this time or get an answer from SMART TD.


Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

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Have train riders found a sneaky new way to cheat on NJ Transit fares?

A new type of fare-beater is becoming a money-sapping problem for NJ Transit, using a half-price ticket to which they’re not entitled, claims the head of a conductor’s union.

The union boss took the extraordinary step of asking NJ Transit’s Board of Directors to halt vending machine sales of senior citizen and disabled passengers discount tickets.

Stephen J. Burkert, general chairman of SMART-Transportation Division Local 60, argues that those sharply-discounted tickets should only be sold by agents or conductors.

“Our crews report that 25 to 30 percent of all tickets collected are reduced fare tickets ,” he said. “I have people in their 30’s giving conductors senior tickets and the disabled program is even more abused by passengers. … We are not allowed to ask for ID.

“This is a lot of money being scammed or outright stolen by passengers who know how to play the system simply by using a ticket vending machine,” he said.

But NJ Transit contradicted Burkert, saying that reduced fare tickets account for only 10 percent of total fares.

“Train crews are allowed to inspect identification for customers presenting a reduced fare ticket,” said Lisa Torbic, an NJ Transit spokeswoman. “Violators of the reduced fare policy may be asked to pay the appropriate fare.”

If they refuse to pay the higher fare, they have to “exit the train at the next stop,” Torbic said.

But Burkert claims that NJ Transit put out a special bulletin to crews about five years ago “forbidding us from asking (for ID). So nobody exits the train at the next station stop.”

Passengers who use senior and disabled tickets can save significant money, paying $7.65 instead of the regular $16.75 New York to Trenton fare, Burkert said.

The discount is available to senior citizens age 62 and older, and to riders with disabilities. Passengers are supposed to show an NJ Transit reduced fare card, a driver’s license or other proof of age with their fare, according to the agency’s website.

A passenger applying for a reduced fare card for a disability has to provide medical proof from a physician to qualify. NJ Transit also honors reduced fare cards issued by the Port Authority, New York’s MTA, Medicaid cards and other documents that show a passenger’s age.

General Chairman Burkert’s Weekly”HOT TOPICS” News

In an effort to better communicate information as quickly as possible to the Membership here is the ” HOT TOPICS” for this week.


A) On Wednesday I addressed the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors at their October monthly meeting. The first concern I brought to their attention was the OPEN DOOR POLICY which needs to be reevaluated based upon passenger counts and time of day of the train travel. The second concern was to remove the SENIOR/DISABLED Ticket from the NJT TVM machines to cut down on the abuse. The full text of my speech is listed on this webpage from yesterday.

B) FLAG JOBS – ALL MEMBERS must inform the Chief Dispatcher whether your assignment was COVERED SERVICE or UNCOVERED SERVICE at the end of your assignment. The Carrier will begin to list the assignment as COVERED SERVICE unless you indicate otherwise. Please comply with this instruction as it was a very long and tedious battle to get this work properly labelled again under HOS.

C) All crews who are operating on AMTRAK territory, during the low-level platform time please take note. AMTRAK locks on the gates use a #102 key, please have the correct key available to assist the passengers without causing undue delays.

D) All crews who experience a delay due to weather such as the leaves on tracks or morning ice must note it on their 1155 form. It is the same with mechanical delays, if you have a breakdown and it cause a delay list it on the 1155. WHEN YOU SUBMIT the 1155 everyday, as is required and the Carrier is checking them, if you do not list the reason for the delay it is labelled as a crew delay for unknown reasons. Please be very specific in why your train was delayed and then hand in your 1155 daily.

E) I also had multiple meetings this week with the Carrier over safety issues such as the low-level lighting at Rahway Station and other issues affecting Members. Ticket Collection onboard trains, especially on weekends, was discussed and debated on how to improve it. OJT assignments were again discussed and improvements made for better coverage.

Please email me feedback or suggestions, I am here for you the Members.


Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman