LIRR will be hiring more Electricians
General Chairman Ricardo Sanchez has reached an agreement with the Long Island Rail Road. Effective January 1, 2015, the Day After Thanksgiving will be a paid holiday for Long Island Rail Road Electricians. This was achieved by exchanging the day with Lincoln's Birthday. Rule 52 (Holiday Work) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) remains unchanged click here to download attached agreement. Despite what some of you may hear from members of another union (who have their own agenda) no other "give backs" were conceded. The agreement is now an official part of the CBA and cannot be simply taken away by the Company as these same pundits (who enjoy the use of unlimited single vacation days) mistakenly lead some to believe. Many of our members will now be able to save and utilize their vacation birthday for the month of December. This is extremely important as contractually members can not use a personal day after November 30th. Any member who has already selected week number six (6) for vacation and because of preexisting travel plans will suffer a hardship (lost day), should contact their Union Representative immediately. We have been assured by Labor Relations that accommodations will be made.
2015 will prove to be a pivotal year. The LIRR will be hiring more Electricians in the Maintenance of Equipment Department this year as the Carrier gears up for Positive Train Control (PTC). As of now the mandated deadline for PTC completion is December of 2015. Although the opening of the East Side Access is still years away, we expect the current trend of hiring Electricians in the Engineering Department to continue as the Department pursues a proactive approach, preparing for its future manpower needs.
We have been told that West Side Car Shop will be opening back up in October of this year. No details yet. We will be keeping everyone posted as information becomes available. Stay tuned.
The current contract expires on June 16, 2016. We will begin preparing our contract amendment request (section six (6) notification) for presentation to the Carrier towards the end of this year.
The Federal Railway Safety Act will increase in its relevancy in 2015. With our Union's recent arbitration win for one of our members who was disciplined for following his doctor's orders, combined with the same member filing and winning a civil suit against the Carrier, can only guarantee that the LIRR will seek out creative ways to circumvent this powerful legislation. Go to whistleblowers.gov to learn more about this legislation's broad powers to protect rail workers. To help protect yourselfs, all LIRR members should brush up on Appendix B (Sick Leave Agreement) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I know management is.
The BIO Scan (finger swipe) has hit numerous road blocks and has yet to be implemented in the Engineering Department. Despite these set backs, expect its debut some time in 2015.
Expect two (2) more wage increases of 1.5% on June 16, 2015 and December 16, 2015.
I would like to thank all of you for your support during the challenges of 2014. The benefits we enjoy are a result of your hard work and the hard work of those before us. I can assure you Brothers and Sisters that 2015 will have its own set of challenges. I am confident, and with your help, we can take them on. Unfortunately there is a small percentage of the membership who mistakenly feel all we have is a result of the MTA/LIRR's generosity. I am committed to changing the minds of those members in the upcoming year. We are all guilty of losing sight of the big picture from time to time. We allow minor issues with things such as non contractually guaranteed overtime or job assignment selection get in the way and distract are attention from the big issues. We need to keep a living wage, health benefits, pension funding, job safety and job security our top priorities in 2015.