Local 0924

National Negotiations update: - 10/5/2017

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.

2018 regional meeting information - 10/4/2017

SMART TD announces 2018 regional meeting information

SMART Transportation Division is proud to announce that the 2018 regional meetings will be held in Seattle, Washington, and in Hollywood, Florida. Reservations will not be available until after the start of the new year. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available at www.smart-union.org/td and by clicking on the “Regional Meetings” button on the right side of the TD home page.


Seattle, Washington

Dates: July 2 – 4, 2018

Hotel: Westin, Seattle, 1900 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98101

Rate: $179 per night

To learn more about the Westin, click here. To learn more about Seattle, click here.



Hollywood, Florida

Dates: August 6 – 8, 2018

Hotel: Hilton Diplomat Hotel, 355 South Ocean Dr., Hollywood, FL 33019

Rate: $179 per night

To learn more about the Hilton Diplomat, click here. To learn more about Hollywood, Florida, click here.

DC2RVA Public Hearings - 10/2/2017

DC2RVA Public Hearings

Please plan to join the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for public hearings to learn about the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that is now available for review and comment. The Draft EIS details recommended improvements to increase reliability and provide capacity to add nine daily passenger rail round trips between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA.

The Draft EIS provides an overview and comparison of the alternatives under consideration including recommendations for a preferred alternative in each corridor segment. To view the Draft EIS electronically or to find out where you can read the printed executive summary, please visit the project website by clicking the button below. A narrated online presentation will be available by October 10, 2017 from the project website.

Mark Your Calendar to Attend and Bring a Friend!

DRPT will host a combined open house and formal public hearing at each of the following locations. The public will have an opportunity to discuss the project with team members before providing comments for the official record either in writing or during the formal portion of the public hearing. If you are unable to attend a hearing, the Draft EIS and the narrated online presentation along with other materials are available on the project website.

Tuesday, October 10

6:00 p.m.

Main Street Station

1500 East Main Street

Richmond, VA 23219

Add to Calendar

Wednesday, October 11

6:00 p.m.

Patrick Henry High School

12449 West Patrick Henry Road

Ashland, VA 23005

Add to Calendar

Tuesday, October 17

7:00 p.m.

Hilton Alexandria Old Town

1767 King Street 

Alexandria, VA 22314

Add to Calendar


Wednesday, October 18

7:00 p.m.

James Monroe

High School

2300 Washington Avenue

Fredericksburg, VA 22401


Add to Calendar

Thursday, October 19

7:00 p.m.

National Museum of the

Marine Corps

18900 Jefferson Davis Highway

Triangle, VA 22172

Add to Calendar


Opportunities to comment by November 7, 2017

  • Complete the electronic form: www.DC2RVArail.com/contact-us

  • Provide verbal or written comments at the public hearing

  • Provide comments to the court reporter at the public hearing or leave comments on the toll-free project online: 888-832-0900 or TDD 711

  • Mail written comments to Emily Stock, DRPT, 600 East Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219

Special assistance accommodations
Meeting locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. DRPT strives to provide reasonable accommodations and services for persons who require assistance to participate. For special assistance, call the Title VI Compliance Officer, 804-786-6794 or TDD 711 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

En Español?
Si necesita servicios de traducción para participar, por favor envíe un correo electrónico a: español@DC2RVArail.com. También puede llamar a la línea directa del proyecto para dejar comentarios: 888-832-0900 or TDD 711

Hotline: 888-832-0900 or TDD 711

Mail To: Emily Stock, DRPT

600 East Main Street, Suite 2102

Richmond, VA 23219

Stay Connected

Visit our website at: DC2RVArail.com

Facebook: DC2RVArail

Twitter: @DC2RVArail

Call us toll-free at: 888-832-0900 or TDD 711

The DC2RVA Team

DRPT is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its services on the basis of race, color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For additional information on DRPT's nondiscrimination policies and procedures or to file a complaint, please visit the website at www.drpt.virginia.gov or contact the Title VI Compliance Officer, Mike Mucha, 600 East Main Street, Suite 2102, Richmond, VA 23219.

DRPT's mission is to improve the mobility of people and goods while expanding transportation choices in the Commonwealth through rail, public transportation, and commuter services.


Washington, D.C. to Richmond Southeast High Speed Rail Team
801 East Main Street, Suite 1000
Richmond, VA 23219

Acting for Impaired Railroad Retirement Beneficiaries - 9/29/2017




The following is the questions and answers release for this month in text format.


If you have Internet access, you may click on or type the address shown below to view this release online.




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For Publication

September 2017



Acting for Impaired Railroad Retirement Beneficiaries


According to Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) policy, every annuitant has the right to manage his or her own benefits. However, when physical or mental impairments make a railroad retirement annuitant incapable of properly handling benefit payments, or where the RRB determines that the interests of the annuitant so require, the agency can appoint a representative payee to act on the annuitant’s behalf. A representative payee may be either a person or an organization selected by the RRB to receive benefits on behalf of an annuitant.

The following questions and answers provide information for family members, or others, who may have to act on behalf of an annuitant.

1.        Does the RRB have legal authority to appoint a representative payee for an annuitant?

The Railroad Retirement Act gives the RRB authority to determine whether direct payment of benefits, or payment to a representative payee, will best serve an annuitant’s interest. The RRB can appoint a representative payee regardless of whether there has been a legal finding of incompetence or commitment and, depending on the circumstances in a particular case, the RRB can select someone other than the individual’s legal representative to be the representative payee

2.          What if a person has been given power of attorney by a beneficiary?

Power of attorney is a legal process where one person grants another the authority to transact certain business on his or her behalf; but the RRB, like the Social Security Administration, does not recognize power of attorney for purposes of managing benefit payments for a beneficiary. For this purpose, the RRB uses the position of representative payee.

3.          Why doesn’t the RRB recognize power of attorney?

The Railroad Retirement Act protects a person’s right to receive benefits directly and to use them as he or she sees fit by prohibiting the assignment of benefits. Power of attorney creates an assignment-like situation that is contrary to the protections given by this law. The Act likewise gives the RRB exclusive jurisdiction in determining whether to appoint a representative payee for an annuitant. If the RRB recognized power of attorney, it would be deferring to a designation made by someone outside of the agency and would, in effect, be abdicating its responsibility to the annuitant.

Also, events often occur which may affect an annuitant’s eligibility for benefits. The responsibility for reporting these events to the RRB is placed, by law, directly on the annuitant or the annuitant’s representative payee. When benefits are accepted, the annuitant or his or her payee attests to a continued eligibility for such benefits. And if payments are misused, they can be recouped from the payee. This is not true with power of attorney.

4.          How are these representative payees selected?

Generally, the RRB’s local field offices determine the need for a representative payee and interview potential payees. The field office also advises the payee of his or her duties, monitors the payee, investigates any allegations of misuse of funds, and changes the method of payment, or the payee, when appropriate.

The RRB provides 15 days’ advance notice to an annuitant of its intent to appoint a representative payee, and the name of the payee, in order to allow the annuitant a period of time in which to contest the appointment.

5.          What are the primary duties and responsibilities of a representative payee?

The payee must give first consideration to the annuitant’s day-to-day needs. This includes paying for food, shelter, clothing, medical care and miscellaneous personal needs. Beyond day-to-day needs, railroad retirement benefits may be used for other expenses.

The payee is also responsible for reporting events to the RRB that affect the individual’s annuity, and is required to account for the funds received on behalf of the annuitant.

In addition, since railroad retirement benefits are subject to Federal income tax, a representative payee is responsible for delivering the benefit information statements issued each year by the RRB to the person handling the annuitant’s tax matters.

Periodically, the payee will be asked to complete a report which includes questions regarding how much of the railroad retirement benefits available during the year were used for the support of the beneficiary, how much of the benefits were saved, and how the savings were invested. In order to complete the questionnaire correctly, a payee must keep current records of the railroad retirement benefits received and how the benefits were used. The records should be retained for four years.

6.          What are a representative payee’s primary responsibilities for an annuitant’s Medicare coverage?

When an annuitant requires covered medical services, the payee must have the annuitant’s Medicare card available. The payee must also keep records of the services received and the expenses incurred or paid, just as for any other usage of railroad retirement benefits.

7.      What if an annuitant is confined to an institution?

When annuitants are in a nursing home, hospital or other institution, their railroad retirement benefit payments should be used to meet the charges for their current maintenance. Current maintenance includes the usual charges the institution makes for providing care and services.

The payee should use the benefit payments to aid in the annuitant’s possible recovery or release from the institution, or to improve his or her living conditions while confined. Payments may be used, for example, to provide clothing, personal grooming supplies, transportation of relatives to visit the patient, trial visits to relatives or to places where the patient can be helped to recover, medical and dental care, and reading materials and hobby supplies.

8.         How should railroad retirement benefits not immediately required to meet an annuitant’s needs be handled?

Benefit payments which will not be needed in the near future must be saved or invested unless they are needed for the support of the annuitant’s legally dependent spouse or child, or to pay creditors under certain circumstances. It is recommended that conserved funds be held in interest-bearing accounts. Preferred investments are Federally-insured or State-insured accounts at financial institutions and obligations of, or those backed by, the Federal Government, such as U.S. Savings Bonds.

Funds should not be kept in the home, where they may be lost or stolen, nor can they be mingled with the payee’s own funds or other funds.

9.         How can a person get more information about being appointed as a representative payee, or whether the use of railroad retirement benefits for a particular purpose would be proper?

More information is available by visiting the agency’s website, www.rrb.gov, or by calling an RRB office toll-free at 1-877-772-5772. Persons can find the address of the RRB office serving their area by calling the RRB’s toll-free number or at www.rrb.gov Most RRB offices are open to the public on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., except on Wednesdays when offices are open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. RRB offices are closed on Federal holidays.



Federal Railroad Administration officially launched the iPhone Hours of of Service (HOS) app - 9/25/2017




Dear Allan,

Today, the Federal Railroad Administration officially launched the iPhone Hours of of Service (HOS) app now available for free download by clicking the link below. The HOS app is a great tool for railroad employees when they have questions regarding HOS and compliance.

Click here to download the FRA's Hours of Service in the iPhone app store.


In solidarity,

John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division






Welcome to the SMART Transportation Division Local 924 website.

We meet on the First Thursday of every month, 7:30 pm at:

The Sheet Metal Workers Local 100 Building

184 E. Belt Blvd

Richmond, VA. 23224


The next meeting will be August 2, 2018 @1930 via tele-conference

**note **no Meeting in July due to holiday.