• << February 2024 >>
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    Labor Headlines

    US labour news headlines from LabourStart

    ILWU 10 Palestine Meeting on Solidarity & Action: An Injury For One Is An Injury For All!
    Has Starbucks Surpassed Amazon as the Villain of Big Labor?
    Akron General nurses notify hospital of intent to picket amid stalled contract negotiations
    Inside the SAG Awards: A mostly celebratory mood for 1st show since historic strike
    “Your Solidarity Ignited Workers Around The World,� Guild Boss Fran Drescher Tells SAG Awards After Strikes & “Hot Labor Summer�
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      2024 IRS Mileage Rate

      In late December, the 2024 mileage rate was set by the Internal Revenue Service.  This rate was set at 67 cents per mile, effective January 1, 2024. Please use this rate when calculating mileage reimbursement on expense reports for 2024.
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      2024 RR Retirement Tax Rates

      Effective January 1, 2024, the maximum amounts of compensation subject to Railroad Retirement Tier I and Tier II taxes will increase to the following:  Tier I maximum will increase to $168,600 from $162,200 and Tier II maximum will increase to $125,100 from $118,800.  The Tier I tax consists of two components, a Social Security equivalent (Tier I [SS] 6.
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      2024 Healthcare Premiums Unchanged

      The annual healthcare plan meeting between the Rail Labor Organizations (CRLO) and the Carriers (NCCC) was held in late October of 2023.  This is the meeting at which plan rates are set for the following year. Upon reviewing the funding of the National Health & Welfare Plan, it was determined that there would be no increase in plan contributions for 2024.
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      Payout of Unused Sick Leave - BNSF

      Under the 2023 Sick Leave Agreement with BNSF, all unused sick leave days, as well as all PL days converted to sick leave, are to be paid out the following year under one of two methods. As previously reported, the conversion of any PL days to sick days was to be made by 12/30/23. If you had unused days from 2023, you must choose your payment method during the month of January 2024.
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      BNSF Rule 30 SATP Amendments

      A recent agreement was reached on the BNSF that will make dramatic changes to the apprentice training program.  As a function of that agreement, all current assistant signalmen will have an option to either participate in the revised training program or remain under the terms of the previous Rule 30.
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      BNSF Monthly Rated Vacation Agreement

      A recent agreement was reached with BNSF which alters the handling of what are commonly referred to as “V6” days for monthly rated employees.  Under the terms of the National Vacation Agreement, employees are allowed to split one week of vacation into single day allotments.  This was expanded in 2006 to allow for a second week of split vacation on the BNSF only.
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      ETSS Agreement Amendment - BNSF

      Another recent agreement was reached involving our ETSS classification.  The sum and substance of the changes are that ETSS’s will once again be allowed to perform certain scope covered work.  The work they will be allowed to perform is narrow and clearly defined in the amended agreement.
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      BNSF Expedited Handling for Dismissals

      Another recent agreement was reached with BNSF that will result in a dramatic reduction in the time it takes to have dismissal cases adjudicated by the Third Division.  The current process can take nearly 3 years from the date of dismissal to a final decision being reached.
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      BNSF CDL Agreement

      Pursuant to another recent agreement, the decision as to when or if to acquire a CDL will be up to each member – not the BNSF.  For over 20 years now, the BNSF has leveraged its ability to disallow new hire applications as a way to require CDLs as a condition of employment.
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      CPI Increase to BNSF Meal Per Diem

      As previously reported, the annual enrollment period for those eligible to receive the daily meal per diem in lieu of actual and necessary meal expenses was the month of November.  Those making such an election are now covered under the meal per diem option for the calendar year 2024.  As indicated in our last newsletter, the initial daily payment was to be 59.
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      BNSF Rule 46H and Rule 48E Allowance

      As indicated in Rule 46 H, “the daily allowance for employees assigned to mobile crews, while working on their home seniority district, will be adjusted semiannually on June 1st and December 1st.” The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April 2023 was 886.847 and the October 2023 CPI was 899.779.
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      New CP/KC Local Chairmen

      We continue to progress claims for various agreement violations on the CPKC, some of which have recently been paid out.  We are pleased to report that two additional local chairmen have been brought on board to assist in policing the four agreements under the local and general committee's purview.
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      Final Benefit Payments From MRL

      As of 1/1/24, MRL’s Lease Termination is officially complete. BRS members on the former MRL are officially employed by the BNSF as of that date.  As a result, each of you should receive a final payment for all compensation and benefits accrued from the MRL.  MRL committed to the BRS to have those payments made on or before 1/19/24, and we do have that in writing.
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      MRL Pay Dates/Flex Changes Reminder

      As a reminder, all former MRL members will have their pay dates adjusted to the 10th and the 25th of each month, beginning in January 2024. The effect of the change is that you will be paid for work performed 5 days sooner than you were under MRL handling.
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      On the DTO

      The committee would like to congratulate Matt Trujillo on his appointment as Grand Lodge Representative.  Matt served members on the DTO well as a local chairman and his leadership in that role will be missed.  At the same time, we are happy to welcome Mr. Todd Laemmar onto the committee.  Brother Laemmar joins Brother Martin as local chairmen for members on the DTO.
      Read More...


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      BRS Efforts to Obtain Emergency Sick Leave
      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the lack of sick leave afforded our members, the Organization attempted to get out in front of the impending certainty coming our way – infections and/or exposure quarantines of our members.


      Download: GCA Letter to Carl Ice Re COVID-19 (3-16-2020) (1).pdf
      Download Our App

      Available on both the Apple Store and Google Play for Android!

      CLICK THE APPROPRIATE ICON BELOW FROM YOUR APPLE OR ANDROID MOBILE DEVICE.

       

      BRS Efforts to Obtain Emergency Sick Leave
      Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the lack of sick leave afforded our members, the Organization attempted to get out in front of the impending certainty coming our way – infections and/or exposure quarantines of our members.

      Download: GCA Letter to Carl Ice Re COVID-19 (3-16-2020) (1).pdf

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