LIRR MEMBERS: Contract talks are beginning

LIRR MEMBERS: Contract talks are beginning

Thank you to all who participated in our Contract Survey! The information gathered was invaluable and has helped us get a real pulse of the membership's desires.

Our contract expires on December 16, 2016. There have been some informal discussions between the parties. We will keep you informed of any developments.
Recently everyone should have received a letter from NYSHIP or the LIRR/MTA requesting updated information pertaining to your spouse or domestic partner. This information is required to maintain your spouse's health care. Please visit the MTA Portal to verify that your spouse is listed on your health insurance. If they are not listed contact the BSC Benefits Department immediately at 646-376-0123.

DO NOT SIGN MEDICAL RELEASE FORMS WHEN VISITING THE LIRR MEDICAL OFFICES! The medical personnel in Mineola are including Medical Release Permission Forms for our members to sign. Some members have signed them and have created unnecessary problems for themselves. You are not required to sign them. Respectfully tell the medical staff that you wish to speak to your union before doing so. Report any on the job injury to your supervisor as soon as possible. The Carrier's policy is notification must be given within 24hrs, however it is illegal for the Carrier to discipline anyone for not complying with it. It is never too late to report an injury but the longer you do wait the more difficult the Carrier is going to make it for the union to obtain Disability Accident (DA) status for you. Anyone who has returned to duty from DA and experiences a recurrence of the original injury should contact our office immediately.

When having your doctor fill out a sick form (SLA-28), make sure that only one person fills out the form with the same pen. Unfortunately this is required under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), specifically Rule 57(e) which reads in pertinent part: " The term "acceptable proof" will not include any form submitted which has either two different hand writings or two different inks." In an attempt to discourage what they deem as sick leave abuse, the M of E Department has been over zealous at times when enforcing this provision of the contract. In these cases we are often successful in correcting the issue without the need of another form being submitted. That being said, it is still the responsibility of the employee to provide acceptable proof as defined under Rule 57(f). When there are obvious differences in handwriting and/or ink color, it makes a contractual argument from the union virtually impossible. So please help your union representative by knowing this provision of your contract before visiting your doctor. Sick forms are also available on our website which your doctor can access from his or her office should they need. I do not like this rule either, but as parties to the CBA we are required to abide by it.

Please treat M of E Manpower Clerks respectfully. I was appalled recently when I listened to audio tapes of one of our members chastising numerous clerks and managers over a minor error, this despite the fact that the error was corrected immediately and without any inconvenience. On behalf of the union I apologized for our member's actions which were rude and abusive. I was informed by management that disciplinary charges would be filed on this individual if it happens again. Manpower Clerks are union members and like us they must obey and follow the direction of their supervisors. When mistakes occur please do not take your frustrations out on them. These individuals are dealing with nearly a dozen union contracts and hundreds of different corporate policies affecting well over a thousand employees. As a result mistakes are naturally going to happen, so cut them some slack and please do not take your frustrations out on them. They shouldn't be abused by anyone yet alone a misinformed person who doesn't even know his own contract as was the case here. If you feel yourself getting frustrated, defuse the situation, contact a union representative and allow them to speak for you.

Congratulations to our latest class of electricians who graduated on July 19, 2016. We are looking forward to working with all of you. Good Luck!