The two-person crew bills introduced in New York state, Assembly Bill 1287B and Senate Bill 3953B, have passed both chambers of the state Legislature as of Tuesday, May 31. Both bills have been combined into Senate Bill 3953 and are now headed to the desk of Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) for signing.
The SMART-TD New York State Legislative Board urges all SMART members in the state to contact Governor Hochul and tell her to sign the two-person crew bill – Senate Bill 3953 — into law.
“We need our members to contact the governor’s office, urging her to sign the bill so we can wrap this effort up,” TD N.Y. State Legislative Director Sam Nasca said. “This is a big accomplishment, and a lot of effort went into this by a lot of members and others, which I want to offer my deepest thanks.”
Recently, employees of the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway and Brega Transportation both voted for SMART TD representation.
Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway, LLC
Carmen, train and engine service, locomotive mechanics and maintenance of way personnel of the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway (BRG) all voted for SMART TD representation June 13. On June 14, 2017 The National Mediation Board certified that SMART has been duly designated and authorized to represent the carmen, train and engine service, locomotive mechanics and maintenance of way employees of Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway. “The employees faced many hurdles and constant pressure from the company to vote against organizing,” SMART TD Director of Organizing Rich Ross said. “They are a tight knit group that deserves the benefits that union membership can bring them.” BRG operates 45 miles of line at the Port of Brownsville, Texas, and interchanges with Union Pacific and KCSM. BRG traffic includes steel, agricultural products, food products and general commodities. The BRG commenced operations in 1984 when the Brownsville Navigation District (BND) reclaimed Port railroad operations from the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The BND, which manages the Port of Brownsville, entered a 30-year agreement with OmniTRAX to operate and expand the business development capabilities of the Brownsville & Rio Grande International Railway on its behalf in June of 2014. “I would like to thank SMART TD Organizer Larry Grutzius for all of his hard work on this campaign,” Ross said.
Bus Vice President Calvin Studivant reports that 120 bus operators and bus aides employed by Brega Transportation voted for SMART TD representation June 16. “I would like to thank SMART TD Director of Organizing Rich Ross for providing the necessary resources to make this a successful campaign. I would also like to thank New York State Legislative Director Sam Nasca and GCA VCN General Chairperson Thomas Bruce for their tireless effort in seeing this to fruition,” Studivant said. “There was a lot of pushback from the carrier, but SMART TD stayed on message and that effort reflected in the voting. We are looking forward to securing our new bus members a far and equitable collective bargaining agreement,” Studivant added. Brega Transport’s Yellow Bus division provides professional school bus service throughout Rockland County, N.Y.
SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. — Members of UTU Local 153 here, employed as school bus drivers by Chestnut Ridge Transportation, have ratified a three-year wage, benefits and work rules agreement.
The agreement provides the drivers with wage increases retroactive to Sept. 1, 2010, improvements in personal leave-day policy, training pay, and bereavement leave. UTU negotiators blocked attempts by the carrier for concessions.
UTU International Vice President Rich Deiser, who assisted in negotiations, praised the efforts of Local 153 negotiators, who included General Chairperson Wilner Baptiste, President Frantz Fils-aime, Vice President Canez Francois, Treasurer Barbara McIntosh and Secretary Wilfred Hatch.
New York State Legislative Director Sam Nasca also assisted with negotiations.