S&T Making Cents newsletter: June 2018

Published: June 14, 2018

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Time to connect!

TD Connect and the eBill system are coming your way.  Will you be ready?

The TD Connect eBill system is going to save treasurers valuable time and energy when it rolls out in January 2019. With this paperless eBill system the entire processing and submitting of the monthly bill is completed online in TD Connect.

There are a few important things that Locals must do in order to be ready to use the new eBill system:

  • All 2018 paper (aka green-bar) bills must be submitted to TD prior to gaining access to eBill. We recommend working through your December 2018 bill as soon as possible. Do not wait until the December 20th deadline!
  • Local Treasurers must work to clear outstanding member variances. A member has a variance on their record if either they owe the Local money or if the Local owes the member money. This is usually the result of incorrect payroll deductions.

To view the Member Variance Report for your local in WinStabs, go to Member Records > Member Report Menu > Member Variance (or Member Due/Refund in versions prior to 5.09)

The Member Variance Report is a running total of Member Credits (money the Local owes to its members) and Member Deficits (money members owe to the Local).

While there will always be some amount of member variance due to E-49 statuses, every attempt should be made to zero out these amounts every month for your active members.

Local Treasurers will have the option to upload member variances at the onset of eBill, but to do so the following criteria must be met:

  • Local Treasurers must request a variance upload no later than March 30, 2019 from their Membership Representative (to-be-assigned).
  • Variance amounts must be provided through a WinStabs data transfer. (Exceptions for those not on WinStabs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Variance amounts cannot be older than 1 year. (Exceptions to this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • Local Treasurers must be able to explain the variance amounts.
  • Local Treasurers must verify that the affected members are aware of their variances and that a plan is in place to eliminate the variance.
  • Any variance that is not added to the eBill system will be considered forgiven or voided. Variances that begin accruing with the January 2019 bill will be tracked in the eBill system.

Questions
about the S&T’s roles and responsibilities?

Visit the S&T Tools page on the SMART TD website for guidance on getting the job done!

Still not sure?

Call the Field Support Help Desk at 216-227-5444. Drop-in help desk hours are 9a-5p (Central Time) M-W-F. Help desk appointments can be scheduled in advance for Tuesdays, Thursdays, weekends and evenings. Call or email fieldauditor@group.
smart-union.org
to schedule an appointment.


Important dates

By June 15 Deposit and pay CT-1 taxes (rail Locals): https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying Form CT-1 taxes

• By June 15 — Deposit and pay 941 taxes: https://www.eftps.gov/eftps/

For more info: SMART TD guide to paying and reporting Form 941 taxes

• By June 20 — SMART TD billings due at office

• July 2-4 — SMART TD Regional Meeting in Seattle, Wash.


WORKSHOPS PLANNED IN SEATTLE

Westin Seattle hosts SMART TD's July 2018 Regional Meeting

We’re mere weeks away from the first of two SMART Transportation Division regional meetings. Both the July meeting in Seattle, Wash., and the August meeting in Hollywood, Fla., will present great educational opportunities to help strengthen our union and build camaraderie among our members.

The first meeting, July 2 through 4, is at the Westin in Seattle, and informative workshops for secretaries and treasurers have been planned.

July 2

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: A preview of the new SMART TD eBill system will be presented by Administrator Matt Dolin and Field Audit Support Coordinator Katy Andrijowych.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Training the Local: Protecting You, Your Union and Your Local.
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: A workshop on local disbursements and approval will be presented by Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: An informational session about Railroad Retirement geared toward local treasurers will be presented by Laretta Earls-Rozelle and Melodi Sapyta.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: One-on-one assistance available on billing and member variance is available from TD field auditors.

July 3

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Training the Local: The roles of officers and business of unions.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo will present on local payroll taxes and reporting.
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Purcell, Fougerousse and Araujo will hold a workshop on payroll deductions and member variances.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: Department of Labor presentation about running local elections.
  • 3:45 to 5:30 p.m.: One-on-one assistance available on billing and member variance is available from TD field auditors.

July 4

  • 9 to 10:30 a.m.: Training the Local — a workshop that features a mock local meeting.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Field Auditors John Purcell, Justin Fougerousse and Mike Araujo will have a presentation about WinStabs, reconciliation and reporting.

Details about and a schedule of S&T workshops at the Hollywood meeting will be in the July edition of Making Cents. We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!


ASK AN AUDITOR

I have been having some trouble with a member transfer for almost three months. I have sent three transfer requests with no response from the other Local’s S&T. This is a member request and he has contacted me several times with his concerns why this transfer has not been handled. Can you help?

The processing of member transfers among Locals falls under the duties of the S&T but can be complicated since both S&Ts need to work together. People lead busy lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to coordinate one another’s schedules to communicate.

There are two types of transfers as described in Article 21B, Section 47 of the SMART Constitution: A 90-day transfer because of an assignment to a different craft and a member-requested transfer.

The SMART TD Guide for Maintaining Member Records and Billings, available on the S&T Tools section of the SMART Transportation Division website, goes into more detail about the procedure:

A written request must be submitted to the old Local from the member/new Local. Treasurers from both Locals should open the lines of communication to work through the request. If the transfer request is proper, the Treasurer from the old Local is to issue a T-47 transfer certificate to the new Local. (Reference pages 174-175 and 202 of the WinStabs manual for guidance on transfer requests and certificates from WinStabs.) The old Local must respond to the request in some fashion. Do not ignore transfer requests.


If the transfer request is improper, the old Local must supply the new Local with a reason for the denial. Again, communication between the Locals is key to ensure that both Locals receive the dues, assessments and premiums they are eligible for from the member. Understanding of the application of payroll deductions is essential.

Members who go to BLE are not transferred, instead their membership is suspended.

A reasonable time period to either put such a transfer through or to deny a transfer is seven days. Transfer requests should be responded to and must not be ignored.

If a transfer request is denied, the old Local must provide the new Local with a reason why it was denied. Payroll deductions shouldn’t be started by the new Local until a T-47 certificate has been received, and dues should still be collected by the old Local until the transfer request is complete.

The scenario you are describing appears to be excessive, but we have to ask whether you’ve only tried to contact the other S&T through email. Email is convenient, but it’s easy for something to be either deleted or just fall by the wayside as newer emails pop into an S&T’s inbox. Our suggestion is to try another old-fashioned way of getting in touch – pick up the phone and call the other S&T. We’re all part of the same union and working for our members – you’ll get an answer quicker, and a simple call could establish a relationship that helps bring your two Locals closer together.

To submit questions to Ask an Auditor, email fieldauditor@group.smart-union.org.