Progress Through Unity

General Chairman Burkert’s Weekly “HOT TOPICS” News

In an effort to better communicate information as quickly as possible to the Local 60 Membership, here is the ” HOT TOPICS” for this week.

A) On Monday January 8th, I was served with a subpoena, to testify in front of NJ Senators and Assembly Members. There were a wide range of topics discussed. The main topic was on NJ Transit’s failure to properly staff trains, that leave revenue uncollected and creates an unsafe condition for crews and passengers. I did reference the Airline Industry is regulated at 50:1 meaning for every 50 passengers there is a required crew member. On NJ Transit trains that have ALL Ticket Collectors are at 400:1. When there are only a Conductor and Rearbrake it is an average of 1000:1 and when NJT runs a Conductor only crew it can be as high as 2000:1. The safety of passengers and crew are paramount and by NJ Transit knowingly allowing these astronomical numbers to continue is absurd.

B) I did attend the NJ Transit Board of Directors Meeting on Wednesday. The meeting was actually postponed after starting time due to the fact that there was no quorum of Board members in attendance. I do not know why they did not show but the assembled audience was not happy with the annulled meeting.

C) On Saturday I was with Governor Elect Phil Murphy and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla at Hoboken City Hall for a meeting on certain NJT issues. We went to Hoboken Terminal to meet crews and passengers. I along with Ron Sabol SMART TD NJSLD and Carlton Williams GC PATH escorted First Lady Tammy Murphy on the Path system to Newark Penn Station. We then took train rides on the NEC and NJCL speaking with crews and passengers. The trip ended in Bay Head where First Lady Murphy thanked SMART TD and all of the other Labor members in attendance at her rally. ( pictured is Ron Sabol, myself, First Lady Murphy and Carlton Williams at Red Bank Station)

D) I wish all Members a safe and peaceful Martin Luther King Day.

Please email me feedback or suggestions, I am here for you the Members. sburkert@utulocal60.com

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Union Rally Saturday Bay Head Station with First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy

On Saturday, as part of the Inaugural 2018 celebrations, incoming First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy will be traveling across the state on NJ Transit. Please join us at the Bay Head Station at 3pm to welcome her at her final stop. We know that in Phil Murphy labor will have a governor that supports working men and women — let’s let the First Lady know that working families support her and our new governor! Please arrive early, I look forward to seeing you at the event. Thank you and travel safe.

General Chairmen Report January 2018

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General Chairman Burkert’s Weekly “HOT TOPICS” News

In an effort to better communicate information as quickly as possible to the Local 60 Membership, here is the ” HOT TOPICS” for this week.

A) Happy New Year, try to stay warm and please be safe while clearing the snow from your homes.

B) I met with the Carrier this past week on older work issue claims that were waiting for an arbitrator from the National Mediation Board. The Carrier has agreed to pay out on some of the claims instead of waiting. Those Members will be receiving a check from the Carrier in the near future.

C) The gas mileage checks are still an issue, while progress is being made, other issues have arisen and must be fixed. I urge all Members to please keep an accurate record of what was paid or still missing. I will again be asking for an amnesty period so members can be properly compensated.

D) I have been diligent in having the Carrier address the heating issues at sign up locations when I become aware of them. Please email me as soon as possible if there is an issue at any facility that our Members use. sburkert@utulocal60.com

E) The LOCAL 60 UNION MEETING will start at 9am tomorrow at the VFW in Linden next to the train station.

Please email me feedback or suggestions, I am here for you the Members. sburkert@utulocal60.com

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

Brother William Gilmartin

Brother William Gilmartin’s son is having surgery soon and is in a unique circumstance that may require help, if you or a friend can help please take some time Sunday January 7, 2018 to do so

A message from brother Gilmartin’s wife;

“He may need a blood transfusion when he has his surgery in a few weeks (we need blood sooner than later so that’s why we need to do Sunday since Blood has to be tested just in case someone isn’t a match or sick and don’t feel it etc.)

If you are either A OR O (William is A+) you can donate blood for William Sunday between 8am & 2pm In Parsippany address below.

Parsippany Donor Center

1259 RT. 46 east Bldg. #4E Suite 410

Parsippany NJ 07054

 

Please eat before, if you have Tattoos they must be healed & NOT done at a house party, NO ONE Who is sick, on antibiotic’s, or feels like they are getting sick.

Long story short: As most of you know he suffered from 2nd & 3rd degree burns on his Hands-Feet-Butt & Private area. Unfortunately, an everyday bathtub routine turned horrible wrong when he accidentally grabbed handled & pulled the hot water all the way up. Thank GOD it was only seconds before I walked in & swooped him out😔

When you show up please tell them you are there for William Gilmartin (It’s a direct blood donation) 💙They have the script you do not have to bring anything JUST YOUR LICENSE.

*IF they can’t use you blood or get a overload THEY will put in a general bank & your blood with be helping someone else out

Thank you for your help,

SMART-TD Local 60

RRB Reminders for 2018

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New Years Eve

Sunday is New Years Eve and the carrier is concerned they will be faced with crew shortages and are trying to come up with ways to entice an already strained membership to cover all assignments.

The organization has made some recommendations and we will have to see what they come up with to make this weekends service better than last weekends.

We have been shown in a bad light in recent media articles and in political reports, now we need to let passengers know we are the front line employees who are professionals, and essential to a safe and reliable transportation system.

The union is asking for members to make every effort to work your regular assignment if scheduled to, and for extra and supplemental employees to make themselves availabe. While working smart and safe.

Please wear your complete uniform if provided, make all efforts to hit all platforms, collect revenue if properly staffed (or do your best if not) wear PPE, follow rules while working in yards (S hooks), and work safely without shortcuts. There have been recent events where we now have members facing disciple for before mentioned items.

Thanks,

Scott Spratt

Secretary LCA-C

General Chairman Burkert’s Weekly “HOT TOPICS” News

In an effort to better communicate information as quickly as possible to the Local 60 Membership, here is the ” HOT TOPICS” for this week.

A) After many discussions with the Carrier over the last 3 years we have a clear equation on what is the probation period for students in the CONDUCTOR TRAINING PROGRAM. The Carrier has agreed with my suggestion and instituted a 6 month time period which begins on the first day of CTP class. So as an example, if they started class on January 1st their probation would end on July 1st.

B) I have requested an additional meeting with the Carrier concerning the payment process of GAS MILEAGE SHEETS. Due to the holidays it would appear that the meeting will take place in the second week of January so all managers are available to attend. Please review all payments from this weeks batch of payments. I foresee another GAS MILE AMNESTY PERIOD to get all Members properly paid.

C) I attended a meeting this week concerning the CTP OJT MENTOR PROGRAM. We have again made adjustments to the program in light of some mentors being moved up after being assigned students. I ask all of the Member mentors to please fill out the daily questionnaires about the students with as much information as possible. The trainers at Ferry street review the sheets and assist the CTP students where necessary.

D) I, along with Ron Sabol NJSLD, were invited to attend the monthly meeting and holiday party of SMART TD Local 1413 from PATH. (Pictured above with plaques for service.) I was invited to speak to our fellow Brothers and Sisters about political meetings that I have attended. I also spoke about our last round of Collective Bargaining and the process that was involved from Mediation to PEBs(2) and finally ratification. I want to thank General Chairman Carlton Williams for the invite and the chance to speak with his Members. PATH will be without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for 8 years this coming July. I have offered my assistance in all areas in gaining a new CBA that their Members rightfully deserve.

E) The Carrier will be making payments for CONDUCTOR CERTIFICATION as per our Collective Bargaining Agreement starting with CTP Class 16-01. The Carrier is collating all the necessary documentation and will forward to payroll for completion.  All CTP classes from 16-01 going forward, who were paid as Conductors while qualifying on the physical characteristics of the railroad will be included. This will settle all of the claims I have been submitting monthly for all of the CTP students since our last CBA was signed.

F) I will be out of the office next week for the holidays. I wish all Members a happy and safe holiday season.

Please email me feedback or suggestions, I am here for you the Members. sburkert@utulocal60.com

Fraternally,

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

This is your last chance to call and tell your senators to VOTE NO.

The Republican tax bill that is being voted on today has the potential to wipe out Railroad Retirement Board-administered unemployment and sickness benefits.

This is your last chance to call and tell your senators to VOTE NO.

A call to action posted by SMART Transportation Division last week told you about $9 million in potential cuts to that RRB benefit if sequestration – mandatory cuts – are triggered in 2018 by the increased debt that the tax plan will bring.

Now an updated analysis by the RRB warns that unchecked sequestration can result in that fund being “zeroed out.”

Under the federal “Pay-As-You-Go” (PAYGO) Act of 2010, federal spending is required to balance or offset any increases to the federal budget deficit (also known as sequestration). As a result, the tax bill would trigger automatic budget cuts across all federal programs including the RRB’s Railroad Unemployment Trust Fund, which is targeted for a 6.6 percent cut or approximately $9 million in the 2018 fiscal year by the administration.

If Congress does not act to avert sequestration run amok, said RRB labor member counsel Michele Neuendorf in an email, pay for sick or unemployed rail workers will be gone. 

“Essentially, if PAYGO goes into effect and there is 100% sequestration, there could be 100% reduction in benefits, meaning that these benefits to railroaders will be zeroed out,” she wrote.

Sick and unemployed rail workers may have paid in, but they’ll lose out. The RRB says in its report:

“These benefits are subject to sequestration. Current sickness and unemployment benefits are set at a maximum of $72.00 per day or $720.00 per two-week or 10-day claim period. However, this benefit rate has been reduced by sequestration in effect since FY 2013 due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. The actual maximum benefit currently paid is $672.48 per 10-day claim period which is a 6.6% reduction…

“Any further reduction resulting from another sequestration would significantly degrade the benefit protections enacted by Congress and harm those employees suffering either unemployment or sickness. For example, if 100% sequestration is triggered by PAYGO rules, railroad employees eligible for sickness and unemployment benefits would receive nothing. Their benefit payments would zero out.”

So someone might be getting a gift from this tax bill this holiday, but it’s not our ailing brothers and sisters or those who are out of work.

Call your senators and urge them to vote against the tax bill.

Find out who your members of Congress are by accessing the SMART-TD Legislative Action Center or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Read a PDF of the RRB’s analysis.

In solidarity,
John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

 

Legionnaire’s Disease Concerns

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