Breaking News from Division 602 !!!



May 2, 2008

 

A resolution has been brought up at the last two meetings of Division 602 and passed requiring that we move the location of our meetings to the Carpenters Local 44 building located at 402 S. Duncan Road in Champaign, Illinois.  Starting with our meeting on June 4, 2008 that will be our new meeting place.  As of now the time of the meetings is still 10 a.m.

 

<Click here for a map to the location of our meetings>

 


 

February 15, 2008

 

FRA issues Final Rule on Human Factors - Click here for overview of this rule.  Also available in documents section.

 


 

January 11, 2008

 

Click Here for important information about Aetna Insurance Survey.

 


 

December 13, 2007

 

Brothers:

 

If you have received a copy of a booklet titled "Supplemental Sickness Benefit Plan covering Railroad Shop Craft Employees" dated July 1, 2007 it was sent to you in error.  I discussed this with 1st Vice-General Chairman Mark Whitchurch this afternoon and he has already discussed this with Aetna Insurance.  They may (or may not) be sending out an explanation of this error to you in the near future.

 

Frats,

 

A. J. Belscamper


 

January 10, 2007

 

Brothers:

 

I have placed a document on the Documents page of the Members Area of this web site for you to use to turn in Safety and Health Suggestions/Hazard Notices to the CN railroad for handling.

 

Please check it out.  These forms are supposed to be available in the yard office also.

 

Frats,

 

A. J. Belscamper


 

January 9, 2007

Brothers:

The following email was received from General Chairman Koonce concerning errors in our contract:

 

Brothers:
 
I have found that there was a word processor error in the RED Agreement Book that we distributed to each division. Attached is the correct Side Letter 11, which can also be found starting on page 55 of the Agreement book that the Company has provided.
 
The changes are minor but would affect on references because a couple of paragraphs are not numbered correctly.
 
  • Please note on page 58 (RED BOOK) that Section 1 Paragraph F needs to be numbered 1 through 6 and paragraph F 5 needs to have the (1 and 2) changed to (i) and (ii); and
  • Section 2 Paragraph A 1 needs to have the (1 and 2) changed to (i) and (ii); and
  • Section 2 Paragraph H needs to be changed to Section 2 Paragraph F; and
  • on page 61 where it starts with "Article 11 A" - this needs to start a new Paragraph G.
Fraternally,
 
John Koonce

 

Frats,

 

A. J. Belscamper

      


April 5, 2006

Brothers:

Click this link for wording of penalty claims for Dist. 6 crews used in district 5 and for terminal violations for Bluford crews.pdf


March 28, 2006

Brothers:

If you are not aware of it,  the bulletins have once again been put in the CATS system for the job changes that take effect on April 3, 2006.

Mr. Rapp has also been carrying on a one sided correspondence with Superintendent Ables.  <Click here for letter to Mr. Ables from Mr. Rapp>

Frat,

A. J. Belscamper


 

March 25, 2006

Brothers:

Yesterday Art Rapp and myself attended a allocation meeting at Champaign, Illinois.

As most of you are probably aware of by now,  the company plans several job changes between Markham and Fulton.  The bulletins were supposed to be out last night, however when I checked the CATS system this morning they have not as yet been posted.  The plan is for Dist. 5 to have once side of M342 working out of Markham, going to Bluford and deadheading across to Centralia to tie up for rest.  This job will then return to Markham on M343.  The other outlaying Dist. 5 job that we will have is  one side of Q194 working out of Bluford to Markham where it will get rest and return that night on Q195.  I have made a chart of the diagrams that SLE Grigsby drew on the chalk board at the allocation meeting held yesterday at the yard office at Champaign, Illinois when they explained the plan to us.  This is there plan as of yesterday however as I stated the bulletins have not as yet been issued -

Click here to view the chart.

Frats,

A. J. Belscamper

Legislative Representative

BLET Division 602

 


March 22, 2006

Brothers,

Below is a copy of an email that was sent from Local Chairman Rapp to Superintendent Ables  concerning proposed job changes:

March 21, 2006
 
Mr. Ables,
 
I write in regard to your telephone conversation today at approximately 3:30PM where you informed me of some of the contemplated assignment changes. First, I want to thank you for asking how my recuperation was progressing. And I want to thank you for being upfront about these changes prior to any bulletins being issued.
 
In regard to the job changes for assignments running between Chicago, Bluford or Centralia. I stated that any such assignments equity of work due was solely between seniority Districts 4 & 5. A subsequent conversation between the affected BLE&T local chairman, my general chairman and myself, have all reiterated this same fact to this carrier's management.
 
Your reference to the assignments in question Q194, Q195, M342 & M343 contained no details of the assignment bulletins. During our conversation I did suggest that equity issues be resolved between District 4 &5 prior to inception. I would be remiss if I did not state that you dismissed District 5 equity and insisted upon District 6 at each juncture of our conversation. In light of your insistence of preference of work being given to District 6, please note the following;
 
1. Penalty time claims will be submitted for any District 5 engineer that is prohibited from making a seniority move to these future assignments
 
2. Penalty time claims will be submitted when a District 6 engineer is used in preference to a District 5 engineer on all these future assignments
 
3. Penalty time claims will be submitted for engineers adversely affected account of these assignment changes
 
In the interim I trust you will provide me with the conditions of these assignments when you have the details. Given due consideration that the carrier has been notified that these assignments are being incorrectly applied at inception, I request that the carrier provide our organization with a daily list of the District 5 engineers that are due payment as stated above in items 1-3. Your cooperation should alleviate duplicate penalty claims and your concurrence should aid in a more timely payment method for District 5 engineers. I will thank you in advance for cooperation and if I may be of assistance do not hesitate to ask.
 
A. G. Rapp
Local Chairman, BLE&T Div. 602
Champaign, IL
 
Cc Koonce
Cc Anderson
Cc Bierman
Cc Marshall
Cc Whitchurch
Cc Sparrow
Cc VLC's, Div. 602
Cc File

 


January 11, 2006 -  The following email correspondence between General Chairman Koonce and Local Chairman Rapp is being posted so that our members know what is actually happening and what is rumor:

1-11-06
 
Brothers,
 
I am sure you have heard the rumors encompassing Centralia and Chicago runs. Please read the following coorespondence and I believe it will help all to understand some of what is happening. Rest assured any regular assignments starting between Centralia to Chicago or vice versa, Seniority District No. 5 will have the preponderance of any work equity. Any equity recapture from a Chicago or Centralia home terminal assignment will be of the choice of engineers within seniority district No. 5.
 
Art Rapp
L/C BLE&T, Div. 602
Champaign, IL
 
In a message dated 1/10/2006 5:29:28 PM Central Standard Time, ARapp602 writes:
1-10-06
 
John & Mark,
 
I write in regard to CATS Message No. 041419, for Seniority District 6. This bulletin is in direct violation of our current BLE&T Contract. I will list the violations as best I can, they are as follows;
 
1. Article 4-B
There is no "immediate or unanticipated customer service needs"
 
2. Article 7, Section 7
Seniority District 5 extends to Centralia (example Effingham No. 3 of Seniority District No. 5)
 
3. Article 14-A
No District 5 BLE&T Local Chairmen have been contacted regarding any anticipated assignment changes
 
4. Article 8, Section 1-B
No District 4 & 5 BLE&T Local Chairmen have been contacted regarding any anticipated assignment changes or equity issues
 
5. Side Letter No. 5
In as much as bulletin 041419 paragraph No. 2 states Centralia to Markham, this encompasses Seniority Districts 4 & 5. No equity is due District 6 as it remains irrelevant.
 
6. Article 15, Section 4-A & 4-D
    a. Where is the pilot for a district 6 engineer on the Champaign and Chicago, Seniority Districts 4 & 5?
    b. The regularly assigned engineer is due additional pay for duty as being used as a pilot.
 
7. Side Letter No. 8
In as much as any and all job assignment changes from Markham to Centralia which are Seniority Districts 4 & 5, the need to familiarize any Seniority District 6 engineers with territory they are NOT responsible is illegal.
 
8. Article 15, Section 2-A
Reference to bulletin 041419 the lone sentence between paragraphs 1 & 2 which states, "This will consist of two (02) consecutive trips." This is a direct violation this article placing engineers in District 6 on assignments which they should not be held accountable from an unnecessary contrived irregular service mandate with the intent to void penalty payments. And the 2 trip mandate is illegal too!
 
I have been contacted by several engineers, within Seniority District 5, that are willing to go to Markham or Centralia to protect any equity between District 4 & 5. They have family or it would be conducive for them to protect any such assignments in lieu of the GEB. And when I am asked what the carrier has in mind I do not know as literally every aspect of any and all job scheduling I have been left out of at Champaign. This includes existing assignments that have been changed at Champaign in the last several months.
 
It is apparent the carrier is intent on violating our mutual contractual agreement and also the RLA, Title I, Section 2-4. Willful and blatant violations cannot go ignored nor should our brothers be burdened with such callus disregard to their working conditions. This is an undue burden for our brothers within District 6 and outright discrimination against Districts 4 & 5. Who is the carrier officer responsible for these willful violations?
 
In accordance with Article 28, Section 2-D, the LM meeting schedule, this is an immediate and pressing issue that need immediate attention. In as much as the working conditions have been convoluted to say the least, I request that you explore RLA, Section 6 notices and consult with the National to see if this could be construed as a major dispute. Please advise ASAP what is going on and what action will be taken. I await your response.
 
A. G. Rapp
L/C BLE&T, Div. 602
Champaign, IL
 
Art:
 
Side Letter No. 8 speaks to Familiarization of Territory. The only way to accomplish this in a logical manner is partly under broadcast message 041419 to which I was involved first and then requested that Mark be involved since the familiarization trips were coming out of his jurisdiction.
 
This is the same way engineers were familiarized from Fulton to Champaign and most likely at every other terminal on a need be basis.
 
There are not any vocations of the agreement because I gave my concurrence, with the concurrence of the involved local chairman on how we wanted the familiarization trips to be accomplished.
 
The only thing I don't like is I personally think they may need more than two round trips, but that can be taken care of if the engineer is called and he/she does not feel they are qualified. If they are not comfortable on the qualification trips then the engineer should notify the Carrier and put them on notice. If no pilot is provided then the engineer (barring safety) should running accordingly.
 
I appreciate your concern but this is the way the familiarization trips are being accomplished with my concurrence.
 
Fraternally,
John
 
 
1-11-06
 
John,
 
Thank you for your reply and our following telephone conversation. I am glad that our organization did have input, albeit after the fact, into this situation regarding qualification of Centralia engineers who are being put in a precarious situation. It is unfortunate that the carrier was not as sincere with the initial concept so as to solicit the input from our organization without intervention.
 
We both agree that the "2" trip mandate the carrier prescribes is an artificial qualification threshold. While we both concur, it will be left to our brother engineers to determine when they are qualified-familiar with a district so as to avoid incidents or decertification issues. In the interim our brothers will have to document either orally or by writing any misgivings prior to encountering such an incident. They alone will be held accountable for an incident and therefore they alone will determine if they are indeed qualified for any previously unfamiliar districts.
 
In as much as the carrier has not advised our organization of it's service intentions leaves ulterior motives and fuels much speculation. And the carrier statements of the misrepresentation of equity excluding District 5 were made in error. Equity issues between seniority districts will be maintained when and if the carrier decides what it wants to do.
 
I would like to request that if the carrier discloses it's intentions and since Seniority District 5 will have the majority of the equity, please advise ASAP as there are engineers in District 5 ready and willing to take such an assignment. Keeping this thought in mind, any future plans should include what is in the best interest for engineers with the largest portion of equity. Please advise if I can be of service in the planning stages of any such speculated assignments.
 
A. G. Rapp
L/C BLE&T, Div. 602
Champaign, IL

Following is some email correspondence between General Chairman Koonce, 1st Vice Chairman Whitchurch and Member of Committee of Adjustment Division 602 Mike Culpepper concerning the proposed contract and benefits included with it:

 

Brother Mike,
 
The attachment contain correspondence with our United Healthcare representative. It is regarding the information that you brought forth in Our meeting at Champaign. You indicated that a representative of Highmark told you that the $1500 individual "out of pocket" maximums did not apply if more that one person was covered by your policy, in essence, the $3000 family "out of pocket" maximum applied. The information, as you explained in the meeting was in error, as the question that I presented to the United Healthcare representative and the answer that I received indicates.
 
The $1500 "Out of Pocket" individual maximum applies separately to each Covered Family Member until the $3000 Family "Out of Pocket" maximum is reached.
 
Fraternally,
Mark Whitchurch 

December 6, 2005

Email from General Chairman Koonce:

Brothers:
 
We have been having a long ongoing dispute over assignments being listed with one job symbol and then the assignment operated on is another.
 
One big problem is when the Carrier lists a crew at an away-from-home terminal with an over the road freight symbol but then uses them in the yard for RoadSwitcher type work, then deadheads them home. When we look this up in the work history we cannot distinguish between the over the road freight and the Road Switcher because there is no information.
 
What is needed is for you to post an informational bulletin for all your membership to comply with.  This bulletin should state:
 
When crews are called for one assignment and then are used on other assignments, such as working strictly in the yard at the away from home terminal the Engineer needs to indicate this in the REMARKS SECTION OF THE TIE UP.
 
ALL INFORMATION SUCH AS TIMES, JOB SYMBOLS, TYPE OF WORK DONE AND DEADHEADS NEED TO BE ENTERED IN REMARKS.
 
The reason for this to be done is two fold.
 
ONE: If an Engineer is tied up at the away-from-home terminal and is used as an extra road switcher at the terminal, a dogcatcher, or on any type of vacancy, such as layoffs then that engineer should submit a timeslip for one basic day in addition to all other earnings and also leave the information for the first out engineer to be called at that terminal.
 
TWO: There are seniority districts that have job equity sharing and the Carrier is masking this equity through improper calling and job symbols. If we police our own and provide the information to the Local Chairmen then we can eventually curb the violations. So far this is the only way the Union can get the information - IT IS GOING TO TAKE THE MEMBERSHIP TO HELP STOP THE VIOLATIONS BY PROVIDING THE INFORMATION NEEDED.
 
It is also important that you, as Local Chairmen, advise your membership that just because the Carrier improperly calls a crew doesn't make the crew at fault - THE CREW IS OBLIGATED TO DO AS INSTRUCTED and we are obligate to file timeslips over the misapplication of the agreement. We cannot file timeslip unless we have the information to use to file them.
 
Please see that you post this information on your BLET Union Boards for your membership to comply with.
 
Fraternally,
John Koonce

Sept. 18, 2005

Brothers:

At the last Safety meeting it was brought up that some crews are not writing Void on their Track Warrants as required when they should.  The company is going to be making efficiency tests to insure that this is done in the near future.

A. J. Belscamper

Legislative Representative

BLET Division 602

 

 

News Flash - April 8, 2005

CN orders new locomotives

MONTREAL, Que. Ė Canadian National announced that it has ordered 50 General Electric 4400-hp ES44DC and 25 4300-hp Electro-Motive Diesel SD70M-2ís. Deliveries are expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2005, with completion by mid-2006. CNís order options include acquiring another 25 ES44DCís and an additional 50 SD70M-2ís.


 

 January 17, 2005

Brothers,

I had a conversation with Mr. Kay today concerning the vehicles operated by C-U Taxi / Illini Limo.

This conversation concerned mainly the condition of the vehicles and the fact that safety stickers are not displayed on the vehicles as required by the State of Illinois.

Mr. Kay informed me that they had brought this up with the owner of the crew transportation service and  he informed him that he was not required to display the stickers, only to have them on file in the office.  Mr. Kay made a call to the CN special agents while I was present and they are to call him back and check this out and see that they comply with the law.

I mentioned to Mr. Kay that several of the vehicles had doors that didn't work properly and missing seat belts.  He told me that he had talked to the owner of the company about the door handles and had been informed that the crews were the ones that were tearing them off the doors!!!  If any of you finds a door that is not working  or a broken handle you need to let me know about it immediately!!!!!  Also if anybody accidentally breaks anything on a vehicle report it to me and to the railroad that you did in fact damage it accidentally and describe what happened.  I can not believe that any of our members would intentionally damage a vehicle but it appears that we have been accused of this, so protect yourself and make a record of any damage to a vehicle that you see or cause and let me know about it!!!!

A. J. Belscamper

Legislative Representative

Division 602