Progress Through Unity

House of Representatives passed an anti-worker bill

Brothers and Sister,

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives passed an anti-worker billed misguidedly labeled as the “Working Families Flexibility Act” (H.R. 1180). This harmful legislation would let employers give workers paid time off instead of being required to pay one and a half times their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 40 in a work week.

H.R. 1180 encourages employers to require excessive hours because overtime work would become cheaper and allow the employer to determine when the compensatory time off is allowed. This anti-worker bill would result in longer hours, less pay and more unpredictable work schedules for those who are not fortunate enough to have a union contract to protect them.

During a time when our nation’s elected leaders should be focused on creating good paying American jobs, H.R. 1180 does nothing more than provide employers with an opportunity to cheat their employees out of their earned overtime pay.

Attached is a letter I sent to every Member of Congress urging them to vote NO on this anti-worker bill. You can find out how your elected representatives voted by clicking the link below.

In solidarity,
John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

 

Day At The Races

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Local 60 Dues Increase

The monthly dues deduction designated for the General Committee will increase this month. The General Committee has been reviewing the account over the last four months. A full investigation of past, present and future costs was conducted, tabulated and thoroughly discussed prior to the Local Chairmen voting on  this increase. If you have questions regarding this issue or any other please come to the Local meeting this Sunday.

Thank You

Stephen J. Burkert

General Chairman

RRB Analysis: Trump’s budget to gut Amtrak would be disastrous for ALL rail workers

http://www.congressweb.com/SMART_Transportation/15

If signed into law, President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would eliminate Amtrak’s long distance train service. The immediate fall out would be significant for all American rail workers resulting in the loss of 10,000 non-Northeast Corridor Amtrak jobs by the end of this year.

According to a recent report by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) Actuary, the impact of such job losses would result in a long-term decrease in Railroad Retirement benefits and overall increase in taxes.

Impact on RRB benefits & trust funds if 10,000 Amtrak jobs cut

While RRB accounts could absorb the loss of 10,000 Amtrak jobs, the cumulative impact of losses in the rail industry, including approximately 30,000 jobs that have been lost in just the last two years, will take a significantly negative toll on the entire system. Attached you will find the RRB’s detailed projection in loss of jobs, loss of benefits, and major increase in railroad unemployment benefits projected for 2017 and 2018.

The time to act is NOW

We must urge fellow members, friends and family to call, email and write our national elected officials  to OPPOSE any budget that would cut 10,00 Amtrak jobs, eliminate commuter rail service and irreparably harm the retirement benefits that all railroad members worked for a lifetime to secure.

Click here to urge your elected representatives to oppose any budget cuts to Amtrak’s long-distance train service via the Legislative Action Center (LAC).

In solidarity,
John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

 

Schedule Changes Highlighted

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NJ Tax Update

Contact Number for State of NJ division of taxation

609-292-6400.

Fax your W2 to  609-826-4339.
or go to njtaxation.org and upload
Attention:Lizzie and Scott they will process your return ASAP

Message

Kathleen D Perna

NJ Transit

Director Payroll Taxes, Accounting and Deductions

“We have received many phone calls from employees including union leadership regarding their NJ State tax refund, apparently when our employees call the state they are told that it is a NJ Transit issue.

However, this tax refund issue is NOT unique to NJ Transit employees, (see articles and websites below – right click on the link and select “open Hyperlink”).

This is a statewide issue for all NJ employers that the NJ State Dept. of Taxation must address.

 

This year the state changed their process and implemented several controls to guard against fraudulent tax return/identity theft.

One of the safe guards is to cross check the electronic file of W2’s issued by employers with the tax return filed by employees.

In prior years the state would begin the issuance of refunds prior to the receipt of the W2 file from employers.

 

NJT transmitted the W3 file with all W2’s timely prior to the regulatory deadline of February 28, 2017, as required by the IRS and all states including NJ, NY and PA,

and we received electronic confirmation of each successful transmission (see attached NJ State specifications for W2 electronic filing with due date February 28, 2017).

FYI – the February 28th deadline has been in place historically for the IRS and all states.

 

Although it is difficult to discern a pattern, based on the articles below it appears that NJ state did not begin processing refunds until March 1st, and anyone who filed

after March 1st have received their refunds. However, it appears the state did not go back to review and process tax returns for those individuals who filed their tax returns prior to March 1st.

 

Many of our employees have received refunds and some have not, we have been in contact with NJ State Dept. of Taxation on a daily basis, and have escalated this issue.

However to date we have not received a satisfactory response and continue to press the issue for a resolution so that our employees receive their refunds

 

http://nj1015.com/new-jersey-delaying-income-tax-refunds-until-march/

 

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/01/24/new-jersey-tax-refunds/

 

 

Below are some of the tax websites and there chat group where tax filers are complaining about not getting their refunds from the state of NJ;

 

https://ttlc.intuit.com/questions/3723923-has-anyone-received-a-ddd-for-nj-state-refund-2017

 

http://igotmyrefund.com/forums/topic/new-jersey-3/

 

http://www.city-data.com/forum/new-jersey/1243189-new-jersey-state-income-tax-refund-3.html

Run Sheets & Schedules for 5-7-17

For reference only these can change confirm assignment with crew callers

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GDE Error: Error retrieving file - if necessary turn off error checking (404:Not Found)

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GDE Error: Error retrieving file - if necessary turn off error checking (404:Not Found)

Amtrak Said to Weigh Extended Track Closings for Penn Station Repairs

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/nyregion/penn-station-repairs-amtrak.html?_r=0&referer=https://t.co/CSYR4BkKn8

 

SMART-TD New Jersey Voters: Register to Vote by May 16th

Did you know that 81 percent of all New Jersey SMART TD and UTU retirees who are registered to vote did so in the 2016 election? In fact, this is 9 percentage points higher than the New Jersey public as a whole. This trend underscores our union’s long-standing tradition of high voter participation.

Voter Turnout Rates by Local

 60       81%
710      83%
759     86%
800     78%
1390    81%
1413    83%
1445    77%
1447    74%
1558    80%
1589    78%
Retired 84%

While we just finished a major presidential election last year, you have an opportunity to elect a new governor in 2017 right here in New Jersey. Below are upcoming dates to keep in mind.

Upcoming New Jersey Election Dates
** May 16 – Last day to register to vote in the Primary Election
** June 6 New Jersey Statewide Primary Election Day
** November 7 – New Jersey Statewide General Election Day

We’ve all heard the phrase “elections have consequences”, but sitting on the sidelines and letting others decide our future is a consequence we can avoid. The first important decision you can make this year is to ensure you and your family members are registered to vote at your current address. Use the link below to verify or update your voter registration status.

Click HERE to verify or update your voter registration by May 16th.

If you have any questions about registering to vote or the upcoming election, please contact Ron Sabol at the New Jersey State Legislative Board at (609) 396-1994.

The deadline to update your records for the June 6th primary election is May 16, 2017.

In solidarity,
John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division

 

Rail T&E Verification Information

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