Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Initially, I am saddened to report that retired President of Chicago Local  214 Jack Kramer passed away on March 31, 2013. Jack served
the IBEW membership of his local union for many years in several
capacities. He also served the membership of System Council No. 2 as
an Executive Board member for over ten years. Brother Kramer will
surely be missed as our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

As a result of the sequestration order which President Obama filed on
March 1, 2013, in accordance with requirements of the Budget Control
Act of 2011; the Railroad Retirement Board was required to reduce the
railroad unemployment and sickness benefits by 9.2 percent. This
reduction in railroad unemployment benefits reduces the maximum daily
benefit rate from $66.00 to just under $60.00. Thus, the two week period
covering 10 days of unemployment will be reduced from $660.00 to
$599.28. Unfortunately, as a result of this reduction in Railroad
Retirement Sickness benefits, the initial benefit paid by Aetna
Supplemental will be reduced as well. Please see the attached SEQUESTRATION-Q AND A regarding the
RRB sequestration as well as correspondence from the National
Carriers’ Conference Committee concerning the impact to the national

It was recently announced that the BNSF Railway Company
signed an accord with the U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA division
announcing their voluntary revision of several policies which OSHA stated violated whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety
Act that deterred workers from reporting on-the-job injuries. Please see
the attached OSHA NEWS RELEASE-2013

Following several months of discussions with the Carrier, the System
Council staff I finalized an agreement on February 5th with the Union
Pacific Telecommunications Department regarding the wayside remote
and master base radio installations in support of the Positive Train
Control Project. Similar to the June 2012 Agreement covering the PTC
work within seniority districts 2 and 3, the recent Agreement covers the
same work and set of provisions for seniority districts 1, 4 and 5.

January 2013

  • On January 8th, AGC Shell met to conference outstanding claims
    with the Kansas City Southern Railway.
  • On the date of January 9th, AGC Starkjohann met with UPRR
    Labor Relations to conference claims and to work on an
    “Attachment” to the Engineering District Electrician Agreement,
    identifying the affected positions.
  • On the date of January 10th, AGC Shell and I met with UPRR AVP
    Labor Relations Andrea Gansen to discuss issues with holiday
    overtime and our proposal for CDL differential pay.
  • During the week of January 21st, AGC Shell assisted North Platte
    Local 1920 with a disciplinary investigation.
  • During the week of January 28th, AGC Starkjohann and I attended
    a UPRR Mechanical Department presentation and meeting with
    Chief Mechanical Officer Barry Kanuch.

February 2013

  • On the date of February 1st, AGC Starkjohann attended a meeting
    in North Platte, NE to help resolve some outstanding issues
    between IBEW Telecom members and UPRR management.
  • During the week of February 18th, AGC Starkjohann attended a
    meeting with Telecom Department Management and an IBEW
    member in San Antonio, TX.
  • On February 20th, VGC Tortorice assisted Roseville, CA Local
    1682 with a disciplinary investigation.
  • During the month of February, the System Council staff and I
    finalized our arbitration submissions and preparation for the
    upcoming Boards before PLB 7001 with UPRR and PLB 7160
    with the KCS.


March 2013

  *  During the first week of March, we exchanged submissions with the
KCS and UPRR in connection with our upcoming Arbitration Boards.

   *  During the week of March 11th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell and I
attended arbitration before Public Law Board 7001 with the UPRR
and Public Law Board 7160 with the KCS.

   *  On March 19th, AGC Shell and I attended a General Chairmen’s
meeting with Union Pacific personnel.  The meeting included
presentations of Financial Business results; PTC locomotive
installation; Employee Assistance update; Mechanical & Engi-
neering Department updates; Engineering curfews, and an update
regarding Commuter Operations.

   *  On the dates of March 20th and 21st, AGC Shell and I attended the
Union Pacific General Chairmen’s Association meeting.

   *  On March 26th, VGC Tortorice assisted Houston Local 1814 with
a disciplinary investigation.

   *  In March, AGC Starkjohann began updating the SC-2 Agreement
and Amendment booklet, which will be provided to all SC-2 LU’s
in the near future.

   *  During the week of March 25th, AGC Shell and I met with the
various Officers of Ft Worth Local 942,.

   *  Throughout the month, the System Council Staff and I have been
busy preparing for the upcoming System Council No. 2 Quadrennial

      Throughout the First Quarter, the System Council staff and I have
continued to discuss a proposal for CDL skill differential pay with
Union Pacific Railroad.  We have also provided the Carrier with a
proposal which could increase the monthly pay for Certified
Training Instructors.  At this point we are awaiting the Carrier’s
response for both these proposals.  Finally, subject to approval by
the National Mediation Board, we have tentatively secured an
arbitration date for PLB7001 (UPRR) for September 18, 2013.
I will notify the Claimants and local unions accordingly when this
information is confirmed.

     Please find the following attachments for your review and dis-

     1.  RRB Labor Member Barrows letter – RRB-JANUARY 2013
2.  RRB Labor Member Barrows letter – RRB-FEBRUARY 2013
3.  RRB Labor Member Barrows letter –RRB-MARCH 2013
4.  RRB Scheduled Informational Conferences – March 4, 2013;
(see rrb.gov)
5.  RRB Job Vacancy List – March 4, 2013 (see rrb.gov);
6.  RRB press release – Reducing Unemployment Benefits with
7.  NCCC correspondence regarding reducing national
8.  OSHA NEWS RELEASE-2013nuary 1, 2013;
9.  Agreement regarding AGREEMENT-TELECOME PTC – FEB 2013 wayside installation
work for seniority districts 1, 4 & 5 – February 5, 2013.

     With best wishes, I remain

     Fraternally yours,

     Jim Wisniski
General Chairman


     cc: IVP’s System Council 2
Bill Bohne, Director of Railroads