Dear Brothers and Sisters:

The Union Pacific Railroad Employees Health Systems (UPREHS)
recently contacted the System Council concerning supplemental
insurance coverage now available to Union Pacific employees who are
covered by the National Health and Welfare Plan. UPREHS is offering
supplemental coverage for both Comprehensive Health Care (CHC)
and Managed Medical Care Plan (MMCP) to assist families with paying
deductible and co-insurance out of pocket expenses imposed by the
National Health and Welfare Plan. There is currently an open enrollment
period from now through December 1, 2012. Additionally, for retired
members or those who will soon become eligible, UPREHS is offering a
Medicare Supplemental Plan with an open enrollment period from
October 15, 2012 through December 7, 2012. Detailed enrollment
information regarding these supplement plan options and monthly
premiums are enclosed. Each local union is urged to distribute the
attached information to your local membership during this open
enrollment period.

Several local unions recently contacted the System Council office
with questions and concerns regarding Union Pacific’s lean work
process entitled “UP Way” and what appeared to be the implementation
of time standards associated with various work tasks. By
correspondence dated July 16, 2012, this office advised the Carrier that
IBEW represented employees are not contractually or by any other
means, subject to regulated time guidelines associated with electrician
work tasks. Moreover, any discipline imposed by the Carrier for failure
to meet the so-called time expectations, would be considered a
unilateral change in working rules and violation of the status quo
provisions pursuant to the Railway Labor Act. Subsequently, I was
contacted by Union Pacific Labor Relations as well as Mechanical
Department CMO Barry Kanuch who both reiterated that MCS was
incorporated into the work process in the late 1990’s and has always
included a time component to estimate a time of completion resulting in
better work scheduling. They further explained that discipline is not part
of the standard work process and will not be used in connection with
time components incorporated with the MCS work orders. (see

As a result of the National Mediation Board (NMB) decision to
prioritize funding for fiscal year 2012, arbitration tentatively scheduled
for September 2012 was cancelled. As of this date Congress has not
passed appropriation for the NMB for fiscal year 2013, which began on
October 1st. The NMB is optimistic that a continuing resolution will be in
place by October, at which time funds will be authorized for arbitrators to
schedule and hear cases. The System Council is prepared to schedule
arbitration at the earliest dates available when funding authorization is

July 2012

  • During the week of July 9th, AGC Shell and I attended the IBEW
    System Council No. 7 Convention and conference.
  • During the week of July 16th, AGC Starkjohann met with the
    members and attended the monthly meeting of Chicago Local
  • During the week of July 16th, VGC Tortorice attended the IBEW 9th
    District Progress meeting.
  • On the date of July 19th, AGC Starkjohann met with the officers and
    members and attended the monthly meeting of Omaha Local 618.
  • During the month of July, the System Council staff began research
    on the “AGS” subcontracting disputes involving UPRR intermodal
  • AGC Starkjohann submitted various time claims on behalf of
    UPRR Telecom members assigned to the Kansas City area (LU’s
    1832 & 633).

August 2012

*  During the week of August 1st, I attended and conducted a meeting
with the System Council staff at which time various issues such as,
outstanding discipline cases, subcontracting disputes, local union
issues, membership update & the System Council website were
discussed. At this time we also began preparation for the June 2013
System Council convention

*   On August 14th, VGC Tortorice accompanied Local 889 Rick Reynoso to West Colton, California, to meet with Telecommunication Department members regarding several questions and issues regarding training.

   *   On August 20th, AGC/ST Shell met with the System Council ACcountant to review the annual audit, LM2 and 990 reports.

    *  On August 22nd, the System Council staff and I attended a Telecommunication Department business meeting together with UPRR Telecom and Labor Relations personnel.

    *  On the date of August 23rd, the System Council staff attended a claims conference with Union Pacific, Omaha, NE.

    *  On August 24th, AGC Shell met with the officers of Kansas City Local 1832 concerning several outstanding issues on the Kansas City Southern Railway as well as Union Pacific.

     *   During the week of August 27th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Starkjohann and I toured the Portland, OR (Albina) and Hermiston, OR  (Hinkle) facilities and met with the member and officers of Local 799.

     *  During the month of August, AGC Starkjohann began working with Secretary Sue Elmshaeuser revising and updating the System Council website.

September 2012

     *  During the week of September 4th, VGC Tortorice assisted Los Angeles Local 889 with a discipline matter.

    *   During the week of September 10th, AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann, and I toured the Terminal Railroad Association of St Louis facility and UPRR Desoto, MO Car Shop and met with the officers and members of Local 633.

    *   During the week of September 17th, AGC Shell and I attended the annual IBEW Membership Development Conference.

    *   On the dates of September 20th and 21st, VGC Tortorice and AGC Starkjohann attended the annual meeting of the National Association of Railroad Referees, and also met with UPRR Labor Relations officers.

    *   During the month of September, AGC Starkjohann attended a claims conference with UPRR and submitted various time claims on behalf of Telecommunication members working under the jurisdiction of Locals 214 and 618.

    Throughout the Third Quarter, the System Council staff has been working on several submissions in preparation for arbitration.  AGC Starkjohann has been busy updating and revising the System Council website to include a lot of useful information and material important to your local union membership.  Please encourage your local members to visit the website at www.ibewsc2.org.  Also, I recently finalized an agreement with the UPRR Telecom Department regarding the wayside remote radio installation associated with the Positive Train Control Project (hereto attached).  Finally, the deadline for applying for the Union Plus Scholarship is January 31, 2013.  The scholarship is available to the child dependents of IBEW members.  The application for the scholarship can be accessed online at http://www.unionplus.org/college-education-financing/union-plus-scholarship.

         Please find the following attachments for your review and dissemination:

     1.  RRB Labor Member Barrows letter –RRB-JULY 2012
2.  RRB Labor Member Barrows letter – RRB-AUGUST 2012 publication;
3.  RRB Job Vacancy list – August 6, 2012 (see rrb.gov )
4.  RRB Scheduled Information Conferences – August 6, 2012 (see
rrb.gov );
5.  UPREHS Plan for Life for 2013e enrollment information;
6.  July 16, 2012 correspondence regarding work task time
standards and the Carrier’s August 1, 2012 response (UP WAY-JW and Gansen;
7.  June 29, 2012 – Agreement-06-29-2012-PTC between System Council 2 and
UPRR regarding PTC wayside remote radio and master base
radio installations (Telecom Dept).

      With best wishes, I remain

                                                            Fraternally yours,

                                                            Jim Wisniski
General Chairman