Curfew wire 7/15

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Curfew Wire 7/14

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The latest contract proposal from the carriers

The carriers recently sent a new contract proposal to the Unions.  It includes increases to our insurance costs both in the monthly payment and in what we pay out of pocket at the doctors office.  Raises of 2% for 2017, 2018 and 2019 (not for 2016) and no back pay.  By the time the insurance costs are factored in, the pay raises become almost non-existent.  There are work rule changes included as well.  The proposal is attached, and the first four pages are a synopsis of what's in the proposal.

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Batory picked for FRA chief

Batory picked for FRA chief
(Source: Railway Age, July 11, 2017) 

NEW YORK — The White House on July 10 announced that President Donald Trump intends to nominate Ronald L. Batory, who recently retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of Conrail, as the next Federal Railroad Administrator.

Full story: Railway Age

The White House on July 11 announced that President Donald Trump has nominated Ronald L. Batory, who recently retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of Conrail, as the next Federal Railroad Administrator.
Batory retired March 31 as President and COO of Conrail, following a 46-year rail operating career that included the presidency of the Belt Railway of Chicago and senior positions at Class I and regional railroads, including general manager in Chicago for Southern Pacific. He earned a bachelor’s in business from Adrian College and a master of arts from Eastern Michigan University.
C4 RWA“Not since Canadian born Reginald Whitman was administrator (1969-1970), following a 40-year career at Great Northern Railway (1929-1969), has there been one with as comprehensive a rail operating background as Batory,” notes Railway Age Capitol Hill Contributing Editor Frank N. Wilner.
Batory was one of four short-listed candidates for FRA Administrator, and was in most circles considered the front-runner. Of the four—Batory; John J. Brennan III, senior commerce counsel, Union Pacific; Roger Shane Karr, chief of staff to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.); and Steve Martinko, a government affairs counselor with the law and lobbying firm K&L Gates—Batory was the only candidate with railroad operating experience. His accomplishments at Conrail in large part led to the railroad’s selection as Railway Age’s 2017 Regional Railroad of the Year.
The U.S. Senate must confirm Batory as FRA Administrator, along with many other Trump nominations for key government posts . At this point it is unclear whether a confirmation hearing will take place prior to the Senate recessing for the summer, in August.
“Batory’s confirmation hearing will be before the Senate Commerce Committee, whose Surface Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) has introduced legislation to impose performance standards in place of command-and-control regulation to improve rail safety,” adds Wilner. “He can expect to be grilled on his opinion of performance standards. If the legislation fails passage, and Batory is confirmed by the entire Senate, then the Commerce Committee, with FRA oversight, likely will pressure him to pursue that objective administratively. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, to whom Batory will report, as the FRA is an Executive Branch agency within the DOT, has not yet voiced an opinion on the legislation.”
“Ron Batory’s nomination as Federal Railroad Administrator is a creative move to bring fresh technical, business, operational and safety oversight to the FRA’s important regulatory oversight position,” comments Railway AgeContributing Editor Jim Blaze. “His experience as a hands-on manager of complex daily train movements with multiple companies on shared trackage brings forth modern ideas of what has to happen to keep rail commerce fluid. Ron Batory made it happen. He is more than just a research- and policy-skilled person.
“From the position of once auditing the early days of the Conrail split two-decades ago, I had inside information as to how a safety-first corporate Conrail culture improved while simultaneously the economic productivity of moving masses of freight cars with large and small trains also improved. Batory tested and then introduced step-by-step science and GPS movement technology for - more network precision and train origin and destination points. The long-term result was on-line traffic volume growth.
“Batory enabled his team to accomplish improvements out on the tracks without the aid of complex and expensive PTC. That experience may translate now into better benefits as the more-powerful PTC is placed into operation in the coming years.
“Batory’s two-decade long task was to create better order for the CSX/NS jointly owned terminal complex while reducing capital and operating costs and critical human safety incidents. Revenue management was not the assignment. Traffic growth, however, via satisfied customers was part of his team’s task.
“From a distance, we all observed four outstanding qualities. First, he is a great listener, encouraging frank discussions on operations and options from his entire organization. That’s important at a place like the FRA.
“Second, he displays a sound analytical appreciation for pushing fuel and engineering data in order to find procedural- and location-specific operational improvement and identify safety problems. He comprehends the difference between big data complexity and the need to execute against the data that’s critical to a problem. His periodic Railway Age forum papers provide that evidence.
“Third, Batory is a professor (not just a student) on the changing economics of both the passenger rail and the freight railroad industry as the customers of both sectors become more demanding about how movement logistics is delivered, and how, often, it is delivered better by modal or emerging technology competition.
“Fourth, but not necessarily last, he is an excellent policy leader, a person who can help communicate operations from a regulatory seat into commerce improvement as well as articulated public policy.
“Batory is very good as an analyst at being able to say no to projects of questionable value—or just poor timing. Details like that, I believe, are what make commercial decisions great for the rail industry. Many managers don’t have that deliberative ability to know when to say no.
“If his nomination is approved, Ron Batory may well bring about a new aggressive yet balanced approach to the FRA role.”


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32.2.1 Rule Change

I have attached a snipit from the rule book. Take a close look at the recent change, there is now a difference between a running and shut down engine. I highly suggest we all get in the habbit of placing the Automatice in Full Service..... 

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National negotiations update: Coordinated Bargaining Group Unions say contract negotiations take a “step backwards”

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 7 — As part of our ongoing effort to conclude national contract negotiations, the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) met with the nation’s freight rail Carriers (NCCC) for three days during the week of June 26th. These efforts were part of our ongoing mediation process, mandated by the Railway Labor Act when the parties have been unable to reach a voluntary agreement, and managed by the National Mediation Board.

Despite the CBG’s best efforts to reach a fair agreement with the NCCC, the mediation process took a step backwards on Thursday, June 29th, when the Carriers presented new, onerous bargaining positions. Their new contract demands would have the employees not only paying more per month towards their monthly insurance premiums, but would also make drastic changes in the amount the average employee pays when medical services are needed. Combined with the Carriers’ outlandish demands for this dramatic cost-shifting, they suggested we agree to below-standard General Wage Increases with no retroactivity, and, for certain crafts, harmful work rules changes that would have employees doing more work for less pay in many circumstances.

It is clear from the Carrier’s latest contract demands that they are emboldened by the potential of management-friendly recommendations that could come from a Presidential Emergency Board appointed by President Trump, and ultimately be imposed on the employees by a Congress that already has enacted or is pushing for changes in longstanding labor laws that protect employee rights.

We of course are frustrated by the Carriers’ hard-line attitude. But we will not let this stand in our way. In spite of this latest turn of events, the CBG will not give up its efforts to achieve a voluntary settlement that is fair and protects our members’ best interests. We therefore requested and have been granted additional mediation sessions later this month. This is not by any means the end of the road. The Railway Labor Act makes it the duty of both labor and management “to exert every reasonable effort to make agreements.” We take that obligation seriously. Be assured that we have been working very hard on your behalf and we will continue to pursue every available avenue to achieve a fair contract settlement worthy of your consideration.

The Carrier’s latest offer is neither a fair settlement, nor a settlement that we expect our members would ratify. So that you all are fully aware of what has been proposed, and in an effort to bring all affected members up to speed, the Carrier’s latest proposal, with a brief synopsis, can be found at

More information will be forthcoming after the mediation sessions scheduled later this month. We appreciate your continuing support.

# # #

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.

Right to Work Message from MOSLB

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7/11 Mileage

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