Dear Brothers and Sisters:

During the recent Government shutdown, the U.S. Railroad
Retirement Board (RRB) announced that during the lapse in Federal
funding for certain Government operations which began October 1, that
ongoing benefit payments would continue and that all RRB offices were
expected to remain open. The RRB also reported that its field offices,
operating with reduced staffs, would continue to accept new claims for
unemployment and sickness benefits, but would not be allowed under
current budget laws to accept new applications for retirement, survivor,
and disability benefits. On the other hand, the National Mediation Board
(NMB) announced that it would be closed indefinitely due to the lack of
funding, and according to its website release, would not be allowed, by
law, to conduct or communicate agency business in the event of a
shutdown. However, on October 17, the NMB announced that it had
reopened for business.

In July, outstanding cases between System Council No. 2 and the
Union Pacific Railroad were submitted to the NMB for arbitration
approval. The Office of Arbitration Services of the NMB acknowledged
our request and advised that the cases had been added to the case
management system. However, our request to schedule an arbitration
date for September 2013 was subsequently denied due to the
unavailability of funds. In a memorandum dated September 6th, the NMB
explains that it was still operating under an appropriation for Fiscal Year
2013 which expires on September 30, 2013; and, at the present time,
Congress has not passed appropriation for Fiscal Year 2014. They
further advised that since appropriation expired on September 30,
2013, the parties are notified that arbitrators do not have any authority to
schedule cases past this date if the cases involve the expenditure of
funds by the NMB. As it appears that some funding has recently been
authorized, the System Council is prepared to schedule arbitration at the
earliest dates available as soon as funding authorization is received.

In September, the System Council finalized an Agreement
amending the December 21, 2005 IBEW Certified Training Instructor
(CTI) Agreement. This amendment establishes a Three (3) Tier
compensation system for those members assigned and working IBEW
CTI positions that are required to teach the system standardized
technical training modules identified in the Electrical Instruction
Curriculum for Certification. The Three Tier system provides for
additional $400.00 per month increase in compensation.
CTI three tier agreement september 2013

Also attached are the July 1, 2013 revised rates regarding the
Aetna Shopcraft Supplemental Sickness Benefit Plan.
Aetna sickness plan rates 2013  

        As a reminder, the deadline for applying for the Union Plus
 Scholarship is January 31, 2014. The scholarship is available to the
child dependents of IBEW members and other AFL-CIO affiliate unions.
The application can be accessed online at
July 2013

  • During the month of July, AGC-ST Shell and I reviewed and
    finalized bills and expenses for the 2013 System council No. 2
    Convention. ST Shell and I also prepared, finalized and filed the
    LM-2 and 990 annual reports for fiscal year May 2012 – April
  • During the week of July 23rd, VGC Tortorice, AGC Starkjohann and
    I attended the 2nd annual UPRR Telecom Business meeting with
    Telecommunication and Labor Relations Department personnel.
  • During the week of July 30th, VGC Tortorice attended a
    disciplinary investigation in Rockland, CA, (Local 800) and met
    with Progress Rail Management personnel.
  • Listed cases with the National Mediation Board to be heard by
    Public Law Board 7001 – Cases between System Council No. 2
    and UPRR.

August 2013

During the month of August, the System Council staff began preparation
of outstanding cases assigned to arbitration before Public Law Board

*   During the week of August 12th, AGC Shell and I met with the newly
elected officers of Little Rock Local 807 to discuss duties and
responsibilities.  We also met with various members and toured the
North Little Rock and Pine Bluff, AR, facilities.

    *   On August 20th, AGC Shell met with the Certified Training Instruc-
tors in Kansas City to discuss our recent CTI agreement proposal.
He later attended the monthly meeting for Kansas City Local 1832
and attended a retirement ceremony for a long standing member.

    *   During the week of August 20th, AGC Shell met with the newly
elected officers of North Platte Local 1920 to discuss duties and

    *   During the month of August, AGC Shell met with KCS officials and
IBEW Local Chairman at the KCS Shreveport, LA facility to discuss
a discipline matter.

    *   During the week of August 26th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Starkjohann
and I met with the officers of Hermiston Local 799 to discuss
ongoing issues and the PTC Installation project.  We jointly met
with the UPRR Hermiston facility management to discuss and
resolve some of the issues of concern.

                                                  September 2013

    *   On the date of September 6th, I participated in a joint meeting
between the UPRR and the IBEW, IAM & SMWIA concerning
subcontracting notices regarding various warranty locomotive
work being performed.

    *   During the week of September 9th, VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell
and I attended the annual IBEW Membership Development

    *   On the date of September 16th, AGC Starkjohann met with UPRR
Labor Relations to discuss and finalize corrections to the various
Telecom rosters.

    *   During September, VGC Tortorice finalized a discipline settlement
for a member of Rockland, CA, Local 800; and, also assisted
Los Angeles Local 8889 with several disciplinary investigation

    *   During the week of September 17th, AGC Shell and I attended the
annual meeting of the National Association of Railroad Referees.
We also met and addressed issues with the other IBEW General
Chairmen and IBEW Rail Director Bill Bohne.

     Throughout the Third Quarter, the System Council staff has been busy
assisting local unions with day to day issues and researching and
progressing disputes.  We have also been preparing cases and
finalizing submissions for arbitration with the Union Pacific Railroad as
well as the Kansas City Southern Railway.  AGC Starkjohann has been
busy progressing claims and grievances as well as assisting the Telecom membership with various issues.  Please remember to visit the
System Council website frequently as it contains a lot of useful
information and material important to the local union membership.  Visit
the website at www.ibewsc2.org.

     Please find the following attachments for your review and

  1.  RRB News Release – RRB July 2013
2.  RRB News Release – RRB August 2013
3.  RRB News Release – RRB September 2013
4.  RRB Job Vacancy list; see rrb.gov
5.  September 4, 2013 – CTI three tier agreement september 2013
6.  Aetna sickness plan rates 2013Supplemental Sickness Plan rates.

     With best wishes, I remain

                                             Fraternally yours,

                                             Jim Wisniski
General Chairman

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