Preface to Claims and Discipline and educational memos:
Claims and Discipline, there IS a difference, there are differences in procedure and differences in time limits that the parties, including you the member are constrained to.
First, Discipline- If you recieve a letter from the Carrier stating that you either have been cited for wrongdoing, or have a letter of investigation CONTACT YOUR LOCAL CHAIRMAN IMMEDIATELY.
Letters of Caution such as letters on attendance are considered "discipline". Don't assume that your Local Chairman gets a copy of the letter, they do not in most cases, so it is up to you the member to follow up. Escpecially important is the "Letter of Investigation", again as stated above, if you get a letter stating you have an investigation, contact yor local chairman ASAP.
Now on to claims. Part of our duties, as we see it, it the education of our membership on the contract they operate under .In the past we ( and I include myself in that) haven’t always done a good job of educating you the member of BLET CR/CSX GCA members(and all BLETers’) and this is but a start of trying to better inform you of what you may be due contract and pay wise. These educational memos that follow are intended as a rough guide and are not intended to take the place of reference to your respective contracts. YOUR knowledge of your contract is key in any claim. If you have questions about anything contained in the memos , please ASK. We will get an answer for you, and may be able to guide you either in claim language, or where to do what. One side note in this, it is not the duty of an LC “to put the claim in for you”. As a wise LC told me once, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime” Hopefully these memos will help teach you to “fish” a bit better.
These “educational memos” are designed to help guide you when entering in claims and are a part of our ongoing education of our membership. Please NOTE, that the educational memos and references to time limits apply to claims, NOT to discipline.(please see "How long do I have to file a claim?" posting which contains the time limits for BOTH claims and Discipline on CSX and Conrail).
First, claims require information, and a bit of initiative on your part. Without those two things nothing will get paid, or even noticed for that matter.
Second, Please read BLET (TSSA) Article 65, BLET (Conrail) Article G-m-8 and UTU (BO) Rule 32. Claims have time limits, you have 60 days from the incident to file a claim (CR is 45 days see attached G-m-8 revisions), claims require information pertinent to your claim. Generally the CSX claims system has very good prompts for you to follow, however you will generally want to enter in additional text just to cover your bases.
The Carrier has eight (8) payrolls (NY weekly) or four (4) payrolls if on Bi-weekly from the date they receive your claim to either pay or deny your claim (UTU Rule for Trainmen is 60 days) , if they fail to deny or pay the claim is payable by default, but we ( meaning you ) have to police this. If you think a claim is late in its’ denial state so when you submit to your LC or claims man.
With the BLET Rule your LC has 90 days to list for appeal with Carrier Labor Relations Dept. This is what you see quarterly posted on the Bulletin Board (LCAT) generally with some sort of status related to your claim (i.e. denied, paid, appeal to LR, Appeal to Highest Designated Officer (HDO), Denied by HDO, and on occasion Appeal to GC. (GC generally sends this to “Appeal to HDO” status) The Carrier then has 90 days to conference with Organization. I will state this part is not strictly adhered to. Most LR Officers and LC’s do not hold one another to strict time limits except in discipline cases where someone job is in the balance and due process standards need to be strictly adhered to. After this step claims go to the General Chairman (GC) who lists the claims for conference with the HDO. Conference has to be within 30 days of said request for conference (again this is not strictly adhered to and extensions are very common on both sides of the Union/LR fence.). The UTU Rule is slightly different however your part is still the 60 days from date of incident.
Good claim writing takes a little practice, but it’s no different than the old “who, what, where, why and when” when dealing with an incident.
-Who ordered you to do what you did?
-What did they order you to do? In this we need details.
-Where did this occur? Location, train symbol
-Why is this a claim? Supporting Article /Rule from you contract with a reasonable explanation of why it is a claim.
-When did this happen? Date and time
One additional item to put on the claim, Play Radio/ phone tapes as proof of instructions.
We’ll try to give you the basics in the claims we address in the memos, but the above in red is key in ALL CLAIMS.
Page Last Updated: Jan 23, 2016 (10:42:00)