2011 FOURTH QUARTER REPORT
ALL LOCAL UNIONS
SYSTEM COUNCIL NO. 2
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season. On behalf
of myself and the System Council staff I would like to thank those
local union officers and members who contributed so much of their
time, effort and support throughout the past year on behalf of the
IBEW membership. Best wishes for 2012!
I am saddened to report that retired General Chairman
Vic Janecek passed away on December 8, 2011 at his home in
North Platte, Nebraska. Vic served the membership of System Coun-
cil’s 2 and 3 for over twenty five years. His perseverance,
dedication and commitment to the brothers and sisters of the IBEW
and to the labor movement will certainly not be forgotten. Vic was a
true friend and colleague of many and will surely be missed.
On the date of June 1, 2011, the System Council Executive
Board unanimously elected to accept an amendment to the
System Council No. 2 bylaws which would separate the position of
Vice Chairman-Secretary Treasurer into two positions, Vice Chair-
man and Secretary Treasurer. The proposed amendment along
with voting instructions was mailed to each LU Recording Secretary
on August 1, 2011. On the date of October 1, 2011, the amendment
was approved by a majority of those LU’s having submitted the result
of their vote to accept the changes. The proposed amendment
changes were submitted to the International Office and subse-
quently approved by International President Hill on November 8,
2011. Thus, with the unanimous approval of the System
Council Executive Board, I appointed Brother Don Tortorice to
the position of Vice General Chairman effective December 1,
2011. Brother Randy Shell will remain as Secretary Treasurer as well
as Assistant General Chairman for the System Council.
On October 6, 2011, President Obama intervened in the con-
tract dispute between the Rail Labor Organizations and the
Nations Freight Railroads by establishing a Presidential Emer-
gency Board (PEB) to hold hearings and make recommendations to
the involved parties’ for settlement to the dispute. On November
15, 2011, following recommendations by the PEB, the IBEW along
with the other Coalition of Rail Unions, reached tentative agree-
ments with the various railroads involved in National bargaining.
On December 2, 2011, ratification packages containing the tenta-
tive agreement, agreement summaries, voting instructions and
ballots were sent to each member for the ratification process. The
votes were tallied on January 4, 2012, with the IBEW Railroad mem-
bers overwhelmingly ratifying the Agreement by a margin of 75
percent. The general wage increases should be adjusted soon,
with retroactive wage payments made within 60 days of the ratifi-
cation date of January 5, 2012, and lump sum payments within 90
As a reminder, I urge all local unions to familiarize themselves
and adhere to the applicable reporting requirements of the Inter-
nal Revenue Service (IRS), Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and
the Department of Labor (DOL). Local Union information and
forms regarding federal reporting requirements with the DOL as well
as the IRS and RRB can be found at the following websites:
* During the week of October 4th, the System Council staff and I met on various issues with Union Pacific Labor Relations at the Omaha, NE offices.
* On the date of October 11th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann and I attended a Non-Operating General Chairmen’s meeting with various Union Pacific personnel. The meeting included topics such as, National Negotiations update; 2011 Financial Business results; 2011 Safety results & 2012 goals; Marketing Strategy; iTrakforce update; Locomotive planning; Value Engineering, and an update with the Carrier’s Safety Intervention Program (SIP).
* On October 12th and 13th, the System Council staff and I attended the Union Pacific General Chairmen’s Association meeting.
* During the week of October 17th, I met with Secretary-Treasurer Shell at the System Council office for a review of the financial books as well as a review of current claims which have been progressed.
* On the date of October 20th, AGC Shell met with the Officers and attended the monthly meeting of Local 1879, Shreveport, LA
* On date of October 25th, VGC Tortorice attended a disciplinary hearing in Houston, Texas, as well as handled a leniency reinstatement agreement, Local 1814.
* On the date of October 27th, VGC Tortorice attended a disciplinary hearing in San Antonio, Texas, Local 1911.
* On October 28th, AGC Shell attended a Railroad Retirement Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, and later met with the officers of Local 807 regarding an update with National Negotiations as well as several local issues.
* During the week of November 1st, AGC Shell and I met with the officers of Kansas City Local 1832. We also attended a Shopcraft Coalition meeting along with Union Pacific Mechanical Department personnel Barry Kanuch and John Estes in an attempt to resolve some of the outstanding issues at the Kansas City facility.
* On November 15th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann and I met with Union Pacific Labor Relations and the General Director Telecommunications Neal Spencer to discuss increased staffing and the forces needed to provide installation of the wayside Positive Train Control equipment. We are currently scheduled to follow up with these discussions in January 2012.
* On November 16th, the System Council staff and I met for a staff meeting and progress update.
* On November 18th, VGC Tortorice assisted Los Angeles Local 889 with a disciplinary hearing.
* On the dates of December 1st and 2nd, AGC/ST Shell attended a class at the University of Iowa pertaining to labor union financial and LM reporting requirements.
* During the week of December 7th, I received and distributed the Award decisions from Public Law Board 7011 regarding those cases presented in arbitration on September 8th.
* On the date of December 8th, AGC Starkjohann handled a leniency reinstatement agreement for Omaha Local 618.
* On the date of December 9th, AGC Shell attended a disciplinary hearing in Shreveport, LA, Local 1829.
* During the week of December 12th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell and I attended the funeral for retired General Chairman Vic Janecek, North Platte, NE.
* On December 16th, VGC Tortorice handled a leniency reinstatement agreement for Oakland, CA, Local 360.
Throughout the fourth quarter, the System Council staff and I have been finalizing cases to be docketed for final adjudication before Public Law Board 7001 between System Council No. 2 and the Union Pacific Railroad. I anticipate an arbitration date sometime in late February 2012. Once this date is approved by the National Mediation Board I will notify the claimants and applicable local unions.
Please find the following attachments for your review and dissemination:
1. RRB Labor Member Speakman’s letter – October 2011 publication;
2. RRB Labor Member Barrow’s letter – November 2011 publication;
3. RRB Labor Member Barrow’s letter – December 2011 publication;
4. RRB Job Vacancy list – December 5, 2011;
5. “National Freight Railroads Bargaining Updates” October 6, 2011,
October 20, 2011, November 15, 2011 and January 25, 2012;
6. In Memory of Vic Janecek.
With best wishes, I remain
cc: IVP’s System Council No. 2
Bill Bohne, Director of Railroads