LAS VEGAS – SMART GEC Member and Transportation Division (TD) Vice President Jeremy R. Ferguson of Local 313 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) was elected President – Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, shortly after the opening August 11th of the union’s Second Transportation Division Convention at the Mirage Resort in Las Vegas.
Ferguson was challenged for the office by fellow TD Vice President John England (Local 1674, Los Angeles, Calif.) and Robert “Bob” Keeley, former general chairperson of GCA 342 (CSX – Northern District) out of Local 1951 (Albany, N.Y.). Ferguson received 380 votes of the 440 ballots cast.
“Get ready to go to work … It’s going to take the upmost dedication and determination, but we will fight the injustices to the end,” Ferguson said. “We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and I will lead from the front. Your voices will be heard, and you will hear my voice.
“General chairpersons, state directors – you deserve more from us, and we will deliver.”
Alternate National Legislative Director Gregory Hynes (Local 1081, Phoenix, Ariz.) was elected National Legislative Director, defeating Utah State Legislative Director F. Jay Seegmiller (Local 166, Salt Lake City, Utah) in a 255-to-185 vote. Hynes will succeed John J. Risch III, who previously announced he would not seek re-election.
Incumbent TD Vice Presidents Brent Leonard (Local 202, Denver, Colo.), Calvin Studivant (Local 759, Newark, N.J.) and John D. Whitaker III (Local 1106, Rocky Mount, N.C.) were returned to office by acclamation.
Also elected TD Vice President by acclamation were Alternate TD Vice President Chadrick Adams (Local 331, Temple, Texas), Executive Board Member and GCA 049 General Chairperson Jamie Modesitt and Joe M. Lopez, general chairperson of GCA 009 (BNSF).
Additionally, General Chairperson D.B. Wier, Jr., (GCA 919, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis) of Local 469 was elected TD vice president, defeating General Chairperson Tom Pate (GCA 20, BNSF), president of Local 1081 in Glendale, Ariz., and General Chairperson Billy Moye (GCA CSX-SCL) of Local 1971 in Atlanta, Ga.
Meanwhile, Alternate Vice President Bus – East Alvy Hughes (Local 1596. Charlotte, N.C.) defeated Bonnie Morr (Local 23, Santa Cruz, Calif.) and incumbent Vice President Bus Adhi Reddy (Local 1785, Santa Monica, Calif.) for TD Vice President Bus.
Article 21B, Section 35, of the SMART Constitution provides for a successor to the president of the Transportation Division in the event a vacancy occurs between conventions. To provide for such a contingency, delegates chose TD Vice President-elect Leonard to that position.
Kentucky State Legislative Director Jared Cassity was elected Alternate National Legislative Director. Waverly Harris, TD Alternate Vice President Bus – East, was elected to that position by acclamation.
Alternate Vice President Bus – West Guillermo Rosales was returned to that office, defeating Erskins Robinson, general chairperson of GCA SMB, out of Local 1785.
Among five candidates for four TD alternate vice president positions, Scott Chelette, Gary Crest, Larry Miller Jr. and Christopher Bartz were elected.
SMART TD Board of Appeals members elected by acclamation are Tim Flynn (engine services), Tessa Collins (road service), Rick Pauli (commuter), and Brenda Moore (bus).
Incumbent Kevin Smith won an election and will return as the Board of Appeals yard representative.
Elected to the TD Executive Board by acclamation were California Assistant State Legislative Director Mike Anderson, Dale Gerkin, John Dunn, Rex Allen and New York State Legislative Director Sam Nasca.
Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner was elected Alternate to the Executive Board by acclamation.
The newly elected officers assume their roles officially on Oct. 1.
The campus shuttle operators for the University of Tennessee’s transportation service unanimously ratified their first agreement with their employer after choosing SMART representation last year, Alternate Vice President – Bus Alvy Hughes reports.
The members of newly formed Local 1703 at Knoxville, Tenn., are employed by First Transit, Inc., based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The three-year agreement is retroactive to June 1, 2014. It consists of improved work rules, a 401k retirement savings plan, additional vacation allowances based on seniority, increase company contributions to the employees’ comprehensive group health insurance coverage, a personal day, sick time off, and an increasing scale of wages through the term of agreement, Hughes said. It also establishes a labor-management committee providing a forum for discussion on work-related issues that may arise.
“I thank General Chairperson Heath Harper and Vice General Chairperson Dallas Jones for their hard work, leadership and their commitment to the bargaining process to get this agreement accomplished,” Hughes said.
The operators transport students, faculty and staff throughout the 550-acre campus located in Knoxville, Tenn., and will provide rides to more than 814,000 passengers per year.
By Alvy Hughes,
Alternate Vice President –
Although winter hasn’t arrived yet, many states have already seen winter conditions and record snowfall. It’s that time of the year that U.S. roads and highways can be hazardous for transportation.
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 70 percent of the nation’s roads are located in snowy regions that receive more than five inches of average snowfall annually. Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in these snowy regions.
These conditions can be especially difficult for bus operators, as many people depend on us to get them to their destinations safely and on time.
We need to be extra cautious and prepared this season. Here are a few preventive measures you should practice to keep you and your passengers safe.
- Facility lots and walk areas may be in horrible condition due to weather. Watch for slick spots – especially ice – when approaching your bus. Always take the safest path.
- Make sure to do proper pre-trips. Checking tires, defroster, wiper blades, mirrors, lights and heating system are especially important in winter. If you discover any issues during your pre-trip, please write it up and report it to the proper company personnel. If your issues aren’t addressed, please contact your local union legislative representative.
- Many companies have a “no idling” policy to save on fuel, but it’s very important that you take some time to warm-up your vehicle.
- Be aware of the conditions around you at all times and remember that the posted speed limits are for normal road conditions.
- Enhanced driving skills, alertness and reaction time are needed in wintry conditions. (Bridges freeze first, and many exit ramps can be challenging due to the fact they may receive less attention than main roads.)
- Watch out for pedestrians.
- Always buckle your seat belt.
Our main goal is to be safe. All operators should have buses that are equipped with the necessities to handle the winter weather. Make sure that you put yourself and your passengers in the safest position at all times.
Members of Local 1596 (Charlotte, N.C.) have finalized new contracts with Transit Management of Charlotte and First Transit of Concord/Kannapolis.
The three-year agreements provide for wage increases, improvements in pensions, an increase in the employer contribution to health care insurance, an additional number of personal leave days and better work rules.
Leading the negotiations with Transit Management of Charlotte were General Chairperson Alvy Hughes, Local Chairperson Craig Patch and Vice Local Chairperson Billy Belcher.
Leading the negotiations with First Transit of Concord/Kannapolis were General Chairperson Alvy Hughes, Local Chairperson Darryl Boykin, Vice Local Chairperson April Rogers, and Local Secretary Ben Blankey.
Hughes praised local officers on the negotiating committees for “expert preparation and tireless efforts to achieve the accomplishments in a difficult economic environment.”
UTU-represented school bus operators in Upper Darby, Pa., and members of UTU Local 172, turned back a raid by the Teamsters, voting overwhelmingly to keep the UTU as their bargaining representative on this First Student property.
The UTU’s ability to negotiate industry-leading contracts, process grievances and achieve workplace safety improvements were cited by many members as the reason they voted “UTU yes” once again. Local 172 members chose the UTU as their first bargaining representative eight years ago when the property was unorganized.
Rich Ross, the UTU’s director of organizing, credited organizer Mike Lewis and Bus Department Alternate Vice President Calvin Studivant as “a brain trust second to none in explaining the benefits of UTU representation.”
Ross also thanked International President Mike Futhey for providing the resources necessary. Since Futhey took office in January 2008, the UTU has organized 28 new properties and turned back two raids on UTU properties.
Also singled out for praise were numerous officers at Local 1594 (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), including President Waverly Harris, Vice Local Chairpersons Brian Caldwell and Curtis Fulmore, and Treasurer Cynthia Kelly-Nash, along with Local 1596 General Chairperson (Transit Management of Charlotte, N.C.) Alvy Hughes.
Local 172 officials who worked diligently to turn back the Teamsters raid were Vice Local Chairperson Denise Hall and Secretary Kathy Sitongia. Ross said that “they have developed a loyalty among members.”