Posts Tagged ‘CBG’

NATIONAL CONTRACT UPDATE: Ballots are on their way to members

Members of SMART TD eligible to vote on the tentative National Rail Agreement will be receiving packets in the coming days, triggering the 21-day balloting period.

Balloting packets left a production facility in Michigan on Friday, which caps off a process that began Oct. 6 when the tentative agreement was reached.

Inside the packets, members will receive a bound agreement booklet, a letter from SMART TD President John Previsich, a letter from Union Pacific General Chairperson Brent Leonard and a synopsis of the tentative contract. Voting instructions included in the packet have a 12-digit access code for each member to use when casting their vote via telephone.

Heralding the arrival of the agreement is a Special Edition of the SMART TD News mailed Monday that contains comprehensive facts about the agreement, including information on wage increases and the health plan.

Balloting will continue through the month of November.

For an additional update from the Collective Bargaining Group, click here.

NATIONAL RAIL AGREEMENT: Update from Coordinated Bargaining Group

Coordinated Bargaining Group Update To All Members

For immediate release: November 10, 2017

As previously announced on October 6, 2017, the six Rail Unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) have reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. As this Update goes to press, members of all CBG Unions have either received their ballots, or soon will. All members are encouraged to review the Tentative Agreement and compare those terms and conditions to the other options before us and participate in your future by casting your vote.

As additional information to help your review, on November 2, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed two Republican nominees to serve as members of the National Mediation Board. This three-person Board is now controlled by a Republican majority, and it is the Government Agency that manages the mediation process that all Rail Labor Unions are currently involved in, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act. The National Mediation Board, in concert with the White House, will determine when the parties have officially reached an impasse, and will manage any potential Presidential Emergency Board activities for those Unions and Rail Carriers that do not reach a voluntary settlement.

In addition, the Rail Unions of the CBG must again condemn the interference by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) in our ratification processes. These unprecedented attacks have escalated to a series of false accusations against the CBG Unions, and are clearly intended to harm our ratification of the Tentative Agreement. These slanderous accusations are without merit and in direct response to the CBG’s refusal to embrace BMWE’s proposals to change the Health and Welfare plan. BMWE, having failed to reach a voluntary agreement and in fact having given up on further negotiations, is now seeking to place your work rules and health care on the table as leverage for their benefit at a Presidential Emergency Board and ultimately in front of the United States Congress.

Your negotiating team and the affected General Chairmen of the CBG Organizations have considered all options and determined, unanimously, that the health care scheme proposed by BMWE is not in the best interest of our members even if the railroads were agreeable to such a plan (and there is no indication that the railroads are acceptable to the scheme). The BMWE proposal is just a proposal, one that no Rail Union outside of the BMWE coalition has publicly agreed to endorse.  On the other hand, the agreement proposed by the CBG negotiators is real — it includes terms and conditions that protect our work rules, provides for minimal increases in health care that are more than offset by wage increases that are over twice the rate of inflation, with reasonable out-of-pocket maximums that protect our members from the impact of catastrophic medical events.

These are the facts; don’t be misled by any misrepresentations. We respect the right of any Organization to negotiate in the best interests of its members, and BMWE is certainly free to pursue any avenue it believes best, including denying their members the opportunity to vote on their future. But we also reject any Organization’s attempt to interfere in the sacred democratic process of those who have reached a voluntary agreement, especially when our elected representatives have unanimously endorsed the proposed agreement and have chosen to allow our members to cast a vote on their own future.

Refraining from attacking another Union in the performance of its negotiating obligations is a core principle of Trade Unionism. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the same exposure to significant work rules changes that you do and has publicly stated that it does not care if your work rules are eliminated. The leaders of that Union at the highest level have been repeatedly asked to stay out of our ratification process, and they have refused.

This is the opposite of true Brotherhood; don’t be conned by their anti-union activities. Take the time to understand all your options and the risks associated with each, and then be sure to participate by voting in your ratification process, a process that the interfering Union does not think you are entitled to.

# # #

The Coordinated Bargaining Group 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.

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.

 

To view this release in PDF form, click here.

Coordinated Bargaining Group condemns interference in its ratification process

On October 6, 2017, the six Rail Unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) announced that they had reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. Shortly after that announcement, a Union belonging to a different bargaining coalition began a campaign of misinformation, misrepresentation and outright falsehood in an effort to disrupt and undermine the democratic ratification process of the CBG Unions. This anti-union activity has included public letters replete with falsehoods, leaflets at TY&E on-duty points, also filled with falsehoods, and a social media campaign intended to negatively influence the ratification process of the CBG Unions. We can no longer stand by and allow this anti-union interference and disruption to go unchecked.

Before the Section 6 Notices were filed in late 2014, the Union now interfering in our ratification process was invited to join together with all unions to bargain jointly. That Union rejected this invitation, and set out on its own as the smallest of the three coalitions in the bargaining round. Without informing the other ten Unions at the table, that smaller coalition offered the railroads its own version of Plan Design Change to the Health Care plan. In its public contract offer in the Spring of 2017, that group offered Plan Design Changes valued by their own math at over $200,000,000.00 to the Carriers. It was only after the railroads rejected this proposal, absent the buy in of the other ten Unions, that this smaller coalition offered to share its proposals with the CBG Unions.

Contrary to what that group would now have you believe, only one of the ten other Unions in negotiations were ever invited to join the smaller coalition, and to date not one of those ten other Unions has signed onto the smaller coalition’s version of Plan Design Change.

That smaller group now argues that their Plan Design Proposal would cost you nothing; that is not a proven fact. Here are the facts:

  1. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the support of 10 other Unions at the bargaining table and they couldn’t care less what any other Union thinks.
  2. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have an agreement with the railroads to even compare to the CBG Tentative Agreement. Proposals are not Agreements.
  3. Due to its failure to obtain an agreement, the Union interfering in your ratification process has publicly declared to the National Mediation Board that they are at an impasse in negotiations and have no plans to bargain further.
  4. Instead, the Union interfering in your ratification process has publicly stated that it plans to put its Healthcare dispute before the Federal Government for resolution, knowing that the current Congress is one of the most Corporate owned, anti-labor, anti-healthcare, Federal Governments in years.
  5. The Union interfering in your ratification process made the decision to put its own membership at risk in this way without allowing them to have any say through a ratification vote.
  6. The Union interfering in your ratification process wants you to vote no and join it before the Federal Government, and it does not care if your wages, benefits and work rules are put at risk.

Refraining from attacking another Union in the performance of its negotiating obligations is a core principle of Trade Unionism. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the same exposure to significant work rules changes that you do and has publicly stated that it does not care if your work rules are eliminated. The leaders of that Union at the highest level have been repeatedly asked to stay out of our ratification process, and they have refused.

This is the opposite of true Brotherhood; don’t be conned by their anti-union activities. Take the time to understand all your options and the risks associated with each, and then be sure to participate by voting in your ratification process, a process that the interfering Union does not think you are entitled to.

# # #

The Coordinated Bargaining Group 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.

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.


To view this release in PDF form, click here.

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.”

# # #

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.


Click here for a pdf of this letter.

Click here for the Tentative Agreement.