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This section is devoted to our Brothers and Sisters who may be in a time of need

Who We Are

The CR/SAA CSX North GCA comprises 13 Local Divisions representing over 700 members of the BLET as follows:

-Division 1 (Detroit, Michigan) CR/SAA

-Division 3(Cleveland, Ohio) CSX

-Division 46(Selkirk,New York) CSX

-Division 63 (West Springfield, Mass.) CSX

-Division 157 (Jersey City, NJ) CR/SAA

-Division 169 (Dewitt (E.Syracuse) NY) CSX

-Division 227 (Massena/Watertown, NY) CSX

-Division 235 (Union City, NJ) CSX

-Division 382 (Buffalo, NY) CSX

-Division 387(Camden, NJ) CR/SAA

-Division 421 (Buffalo, NY) CSX

-Division 439 (Boston, Mass.) CSX

-Division 601(NJCT) CR/SAA

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RRB: Coronavirus Relief Act impacts railroad workers

BLET NEWS FLASH RRB: Coronavirus Relief Act impacts railroad workers https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=12324 (The following is a Railroad Retirement Board press release) CHICAGO, March 31 - The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, signed into law by President Trump on March 27, boosts unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad workers impacted by the pandemic. Under the CARES Act, the 1-week waiting period required before railroad workers can receive unemployment or sickness benefits is temporarily eliminated. This applies to an employee's first 2-week registration period for a period of continuing sickness or unemployment beginning after the effective date of the law and ending on or before December 31, 2020. In addition, the amount of the unemployment benefit is increased by $1,200 per 2-week period. This is in addition to the current biweekly maximum of $733.98 received by most claimants. This increased amount applies to any 2-week registration periods beginning on or after April 1, 2020, through July 31, 2020. The CARES Act includes a separate appropriation of $425 million to pay for this added "recovery benefit," with an additional $50 million provided to cover the cost of eliminating the waiting period. If these funds are exhausted, the new provisions will no longer apply. The CARES Act also authorizes payment of extended unemployment benefits to rail workers who received unemployment benefits from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. Under the legislation, railroad workers with less than 10 years of service may be eligible for up to 65 days of extended benefits within 7 consecutive 2-week registration periods. Workers with 10 or more years of railroad service, who were previously eligible for up to 65 days in extended benefits, may now receive benefits for up to 130 days within 13 consecutive 2-week registration periods. Since RRB offices are currently closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, railroad employees are encouraged to file for unemployment benefits online by establishing an account through myRRB. Otherwise, applications and claims for benefits will need to be submitted by regular mail. Applications for sickness benefits must be submitted to the agency by mail, or by fax at 312-751-7185. Subsequent claims may be completed online by those with myRRB accounts. The RRB will also pay sickness benefits and, in some cases, unemployment benefits, to rail workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or been subject to a quarantine order. Further guidance on these types of situations is available on the RRB website: https://www.rrb.gov/Benefits/Coronavirus .
Read More...
Download: RUIA Benefit Flexibilities COVID-19 (FINAL).pdf , RRB-COVID 19 OPA release.pdf

BLET News Flash

Letter sent by the BLET National President Pierce to the heads of the Association of American Railroads, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, and the American Public Transportation Association
Read More...
Download: Brandon B M Baker C Skoutelas PP - 2020-03-05 - AAR-ASLRRA-APTA - COVID-19 Pandemic.pdf

Carrier COVID 19 responses

CSXT has created a link on the employee gateway for employees regarding its intended practices for the coronavirous (COVID -19). CSXT claims additional hand sanitizer, wall dispensers, individual hand sanitizer wipes and 5 oz bottles of hand sanitizer have been ordered, in the attached document. This reactive measure is likely untimely, as we wait for the sanitizing products to be delivered employees will be infected. CSXT has also issued a FAQ's regarding COVID-19,the CAPS policy will not apply to employees infected or required to quarantine as a result of COVID-19. Both documents are attached for your reference, if you encounter a yard facility or away from home lodging facility not properly sanitizing please notify your BLET Local Chairman or Vice local Chairman immediately so it can be reported. Above all stay safe and healthy Brothers and Sisters, use best practices for personal hygiene and sanitize you work spaces frequently. This is a global pandemic which at this point will continue to spread. No Carrier has issued a combat plan WHEN it is discovered an employee is infected with the virus, which is very alarming. We have requested when this occurs, the impacted terminal and or lodging facility be immediately shut done and quarantined until a deep cleaning and sanitation is performed. As well as any employees who have had any interaction with the infected employee be quarantined for the appropriate time frame. We will provide any and all updates, provided by the Carrier's, as this very fluid situation evolves. Unfortunately, to date no action plan or preventative measures have been issued to the BLET by the Conrail Shared Assets. UPDATE: Attached as well is a policy received from Conrail by a letter dated March 19,2020.
Read More...
Download: CSX Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions.pdf , CSX Provides Resources to Support Field Teams _031120.pdf , Response Policy.pdf , Scanned letter to Foote regarding COVID-19 (03-11-2020).pdf , Response to BLE concerns on COVID-19.pdf , Conrail policy 3-19-20.pdf

Optional insurance offered

Dear General Committee Officers, In these unprecedented times, we understand that your members will need our help navigating this period of extreme uncertainty.  We are here, fully staffed, and ready to answer their call.
Read More...

COVID-19

Please see the attached letter sent to CSXT CEO James Foote, by the BLET General Chairmen, requesting immediate action be taken by CSXT to prevent a significant outbreak of the Coronavirus to Train and Engine employees working at CSXT. To date, no response or proper sanitizing plan of CSXT facilities, Locomotives, and lodging facilities utilized by CSXT crews has been implemented. Notwithstanding, CSXT refuses to suspend its attendance policy and has issued a Coronavirous policy (located on its Gateway) which informs ALL employees CSXT's attendance policy will remain in full effect in the face of this global pandemic. Safety First. If you have a documented case wherein you are infected with the coronavious, or you are required to quarantine as a result of coming into contact with an infected individual, please follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. Under CSXT's current coronavirous policy, you will be assessed attendance points which will likely lead to a disciplinary hearing and possible dismissal. The bottom line is, DO NOT REPORT TO WORK IF YOU ARE INFECTED OR UNDER MANDATORY QUARANTINE. The BLET will vigorously represent all members who are in possession of supporting documentation in any nonsensical disciplinary hearing held by CSXT.
Read More...
Download: 20-3-1 COVID - 19.pdf


                                   ADDITIONAL RESOURCES NOW AVAILABLE

Some additional resources have been added to the website for members and Local Chairmen to utilize.

If you click on "members home" and scroll down you'll see additional information available to the members and to Local Chairmen. Please utilize these resources and additional information such as claims appeals text, claims themselves etc... will be made available for you to use when writing you appeals and actual claims texts. Just cut and paste and make adjustments within pertinent to your case.  

NEW MEMBERS

Part of having a site such as this is that you can share information to the membership easily and through social media such as e-mails and text messages. With that ability comes a responsibilty both as the owner of the site, and as a member of the CR/SAA CSX North General Committee. ANY information you as a member provide us in registering for this site is kept in strict confidentiality and will NOT be used for any other purpose other than to notify you of information or events that you need to know of.

That being said, it is the responsibilty of you the member to know that information sent to you should NOT be passed on to persons outside the General Committee or BLET without consent of the BLET CR/SAA CSXT North GCA

Memebership requests from OUTSIDE the GCA can be accepted ONLY if prior contact is made expressing the desire and purpose for needing access. The reason for this is because of the rise in non-GCA members requesting access and with the limited information that is provided we don't know WHO is requesting the access.

For those outside the GCA please contact the GCA office at the number provided on the site, or e-mail: bletcr2vgc@gmail.com stating the BLET or UTU Division/Local you belong to and the purpose/reason you wish access.

Thanks.

Admin 

CLAIMS Must Read!!!

Also see CSX Article 65 and Conrail Article G-m-8 below!! 

Increasingly , some claims from engineers are lacking the needed information for appeal. Please take note of CSX Article 65 and Conrail Article G-m-8 where in it states the claimants responsibility to provide information and what info is needed.

Please when entering in claims take the time to enter in all pertinent information. One additional note, per Article 65 A 1 (g) below please provide the NAME of the person who ordered you to do the violation contained in the claim. if they won't provide a name, state so in the claim that the "Trainmaster refused to provide his/her name when requested, play radio/phone tapes Ch 64-64 at 0916hrs as proof of instruction "

CSX Article 65 Claims and Grievances

A. Initial Claims Handling

1. All claims for compensation must be filed within Sixty (60) days of the incident via electronic process. The individual Engineer or his Local Chairman may file the claim. The following information/details pertinent to the claim for compensation must be provided in order for the claim to be considered:

a. Name and I.D. Number

b. Date and Time of Occurrence

c. Train symbol, pool code or job number

d. On and Off Duty time, if applicable

e. Supply Point

f. Exact Location of Occurrence (mile post)

g. If Claim Involves Instruction, Name and Title of Person Giving Instructions and description of the instructions.

h. Article or Articles Involved, if known

i. Claim being made and supporting reasons

Note 1: Employees who are short the equivalent of eight hours or more in their pay, through no fault of their own, will, upon request, be given a voucher.

Note 2: This Article does not apply to the appeal of discipline which is handled as provided in related discipline Articles.

B. Time Limits

1. Claims must be responded to by CSXT within the time frame shown below with the reason for declination. The individual will be notified of the payment or rejection of the claim by the earnings statement as follows:

a. For employees on bi-weekly payroll:

Final disposition of claims will be shown on the earnings statement furnished employees by the fourth payroll period following the pay period in which the claim was received.

b. For employees on weekly payroll:

Final disposition of claims will be shown on the earnings statement furnished employees by the eighth payroll period following the pay period in which the claim was received.

2. Such claims not declined within these time frames will become payable by default without establishing a precedent.

Note: The reason for the declination of a claim must state more than “NOT VALID” or “NOT IN AGREEMENT” if there is an applicable Article within the agreement and, should state in specific language as to the rule or rules being used to refute the Engineers claim. Sufficient detail should be included to be able to understand the facts/positions of the declination.

C. Appeals

1. All appealed claims must be submitted electronically to the appropriate CSXT officer within ninety (90) days of declination as shown on the individual’s earnings statement; hand written appeals will continue to be accepted and fall under the same time limits.

Once a Local Chairman submits an appeal to a claim, a conference may be arranged between the Local Chairman and the CSXT officer if requested. The conference must be held within 90 days of the request. The conference may be held telephonically or in person. CSXT will arrange to meet with the Local Chairman on an agreed to date and time and at a location agreeable to both parties. Local Chairmen will not be required to come to CSXT Offices in Jacksonville to hold these conferences. The Local Chairman must furnish a list of claims to be discussed at the time a conference is requested. Claims not appealed within this time frame will be in default without establishing a precedent.

Note: Claims of a continuing nature shall be considered properly appealed when listed and identified with the initial claim by the Local Chairman to the CSXT Officer.

2. Appealed Claims where conference is not requested must be responded to by the appropriate CSXT Officer within 90 days of the appeal. Claims not declined within this time frame will become payable by default without establishing a precedent.

3. Local Chairman may submit a written request for conference. If a onference is requested, it will be held within ninety (90) days of the written request. Failure by CSXT to schedule the conference will result in a payable claim without precedent. Failure by the Local Chairman to participate in the scheduled conference after it has been requested will result in a withdrawal of the claims without precedent, unless other arrangements are made.

When the conference is held within the 90 day period, the CSXT officer will have an additional ninety (90) days from the date the conference is held to respond to the appealed claim(s); otherwise the claim(s) will become payable without establishing a precedent.

D. Once the claim has been declined by the CSXT Officer, the General Chairman of jurisdiction may request conference at his discretion. Conferences with the HDO will be conducted within thirty (30) days of such request. In any case, the General Chairman of jurisdiction must progress and docket such claim before a tribunal having jurisdiction pursuant to law or agreement within one (1) year of the appeal response.

E. Time limits at any level in this rule may be extended by the General Chairman and the Highest Designated Officer by mutual consent.

F. The postmark will serve as the governing date for compliance of all written correspondence exchanged pursuant to this Article.

Section 2 – Grievance Handling

Grievances - All grievances will be handled directly between the appropriate General Chairman and HDO. The Local Chairmen will write a letter, not an e-mail, sending any grievance not able to be settled locally to the General Chairman. The General Chairman will handle the grievance with the Highest Designated Officer within thirty (30) days of receiving it

from the Local Chairman. If unable to come to an agreement as to the settlement of the grievance, the matter will be referred to the DRC and handled as per Article 32 Disputes Resolution Committee.

Question and Answer

Q-1: In order to learn the electronic claims system for the inputting of Appeals by Local Chairman, will CSXT be responsible to train all newly elected Local Chairmen in the use of any computer systems that the Local Chairmen require instruction on in order to carry out their duties as Union representatives?

A-1: It will be the responsibility of CSXT to coordinate with the appropriate General Chairman in the scheduling of classes for newly elected Local Chairmen for instruction on the use of CSXT computer screens that are necessary for the handling of Union business. CSXT will pay for all travel and expenses incurred as well as any lost earnings,if applicable, but in no case less than a minimum days pay for each day of travel and class when Local Chairmen are required to attend an agreed to class for this purpose. Local Chairmen provided such training will be required to use the electronic system.

Q-2: What is the definition of a Grievance?

A-2: A grievance is any matter that does not seek compensation and is not initiated by a time claim or time ticket submitted by an Engineer.

==================================================

CONRAIL Article G-m-8: (revised 1996 Agreement):

ARTICLE XVI - CLAIMS AND GRIEVANCES

Section 1

Effective on the date the Carrier receives written notification of the ratification of this Agreement, Article G-m-8 of the collective bargaining agreement is amended to read as follows:

(a)      A claim for compensation alleged to be due may be made only by a claimant or, on his behalf, by a duly accredited representative.  Not later than 45 days from the date of the occurrence on which the claim is based, a claimant or his duly accredited representative must submit the claim on the form provided for the purpose, either in writing or electronically, to the officer of the Corporation designated to receive such claims.  A claim submitted in writing must be presented in duplicate and the representative of the Corporation who receives the time slip from the claimant or from his duly accredited representative must acknowledge receipt of the time slip by signing and dating it, and returning the duplicate copy to the claimant or his duly accredited representative.  A claim submitted electronically must be submitted on the electronic time slip form provided for that purpose.  A copy of the electronically updated input of the time slip will serve as acknowledgment of receipt.  If not presented in the manner outlined in paragraphs (a) and (c) of this Article, a claim shall not be entertained or allowed, but improper handling of one claim shall not invalidate other claims of a similar nature.

(b)     If a claimant is absent because of sickness, temporary disability, leave of absence, vacation, or suspension, the 45 day time limit shall be extended by the number of days the claimant is absent.

(c)      In order for a claim to be considered, the individual or his designated representative who files the claim must furnish sufficient information on the time slip to identify the basis of claim, such as but not limited to:

1.       Name, occupation, employee number, division

2.       Train Symbol, Pool Code or job number

3.       On and off duty time

4.       Date and time the work was performed

5.       Location and details of work performed for which   claim is filed

6.       Upon whose orders work was performed

7.       Description of instructions issued to have work       performed

8.       Claim being made, including the rule under which   claimed (if known) and the reason supporting claim.

Items normally associated with the service time slip such as, conversion to local freight rate, deadheading, held away-from-home terminal, meal allowance, and terminal delay shall continue to be submitted as part of a service time slip.

(d)     When a claim presented in accordance with this Article is not allowed, or should payment be made for less than the full amount claimed, the claimant shall be informed of the decision and reason therefor within 80 days from the date the claim is received.  When not so notified, the claim shall be allowed, but such payment shall not validate any other claims nor shall payment establish any precedent.

(e)      A properly submitted claim which has been denied in accordance with paragraph (d) shall be considered closed unless the Local Chairman or other duly accredited representative, within 90 days from the date of denial, lists the claim in writing or by electronic mail with the Carrier’s highest designated officer at least 30 days in advance of a meeting.  In the appeal, the Local Chairman shall either request to discuss the claim in conference or waive discussion and request a written or electronic response.  Any appeal which omits a request for conference or waiver of conference will be scheduled for conference.  In either case, the appeal shall include a statement of facts and a position, or a reference to the facts and position in a prior claim.  A conference to discuss the claim will be scheduled to convene within 60 days of the highest designated Carrier officer’s receipt of the claim, unless either party requests that the conference be scheduled for a later date. Telephone or video conferences may be used to fulfill the requirement to meet in conference.

          When a claim is denied, the Carrier’s highest designated officer shall notify the Local Chairman in writing or by electronic mail of the reason(s) for denial within 90 days from the date of receipt of the request for a written response or the date of the meeting, whichever is applicable. The Carrier’s denial shall consist of a statement of facts and position or a statement of position only.  If the Carrier’s denial does not include a statement of facts, it is understood that the Carrier’s highest designated officer does not contest the facts as presented by the Local Chairman.

(f)      The decision of the highest designated officer of the Corporation designated to handle claims shall be final and binding unless within 60 days after the date of that decision the claimant’s Local Chairman submits the claim to the General Chairman and unless within 180 days of the date of that decision, the General Chairman notifies the officer in writing that the decision is not accepted.  In the event of such notification, the claim shall become invalid unless, within five years from the date of the Corporation’s decision, the claim is disposed of on the property or by a tribunal having jurisdiction pursuant to law or agreement.  The parties may agree to other proceedings for final disposition of claims.

(g)     At least two weeks prior to the date a claim is scheduled to be heard by an arbitration panel, the parties will be afforded a final opportunity to fully develop their positions during handling on the property.  Neither party shall be limited by the positions taken during prior handling.

(h)     The time limit provisions of this Article may be extended at any level of appeal in any particular claim by mutual consent of the highest designated officer of the Corporation and the designated representative of the Organization.


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July 09, 2020
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