BLET members to keep Health FSA plan for 2018

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 21 — Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) will keep the Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) through 2018 thanks to high enrollment levels in the money-saving plan.

A negotiated benefit obtained in the 2012 national contract, the Health FSA allows members to use pretax dollars to pay for certain medical expenses that are not covered under any health plan (including a railroad health & welfare plan) or any other source. The plan could allow members to save hundreds of dollars per year in taxes. The 2012 contract stipulates that at least 7.5% of eligible members must participate in the Health FSA or the Carriers obtain the right to terminate it.

Following the conclusion of the Open Enrollment for the 2018 Plan Year, 11.40% of eligible BLET members had enrolled in the program. This is the highest percentage of participation since the program began.

The FSA Plan is available to BLET-represented engineers working on participating railroads, and all train service employees of the Texas Mexican Railway. Also, BLET members subject to the September 16, 2011 UTU National Agreement are currently eligible to participate in the Health FSA program provided for in that Agreement. The national FSA is distinct and separate from the on-property BNSF FSA plan. The participation rates identified in this News Flash do not apply to BNSF engineers.

“Membership participation levels in the Health FSA have increased steadily each year over the last five years,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I believe those participation levels will continue to climb as word continues to spread about the positive benefits of our Health FSA program.”

Any members with questions regarding the FSA should call United Healthcare at (877) 311-7849 or visit www.yourtracktohealth.com .

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Can you spare less than two minutes to vote?

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 22 — The following is a statement from BLET Missouri State Legislative Board Chairman Brian Kelley in support of the Tentative National Agreement.

# # #

Brothers and Sisters:

My ballot to vote on our Tentative National Contract arrived in the mail on November 13. It was sitting on the counter when I arrived home from work at around 20:00.

I promptly opened it up and read the letter attached. I really did not need to read it because I was already sure how I would be voting. I then read the instructions on how to vote.

Next, I hit my stopwatch on my phone and placed my call to vote. Other than having a bit of difficulty understanding the voice on the other end and having to enter my PIN twice, the process went smoothly and quickly. My total time to vote took just under two minutes! There is no real reason for our members not to vote and I encourage everyone to exercise their democratic right to do so.

How you vote is your business and I respect that. As a 40-plus year veteran of the railroad, a long time union officer, and your Brother who has followed politics for too long, I feel obligated to voice my opinion on this crucial vote. I have survived Presidential Emergency Boards and bad contracts over the past four decades, but what has not survived are many of our jobs. We do not have a rear or head brakeman anymore or a fireman. I voted yes not because I felt the contract was wonderful, but because I believe it is acceptable and that it truly is the best we can hope to receive under these adverse circumstances and with this political climate. I highly recommend you heed the advice of our highest BLET officers and vote in the affirmative. To do otherwise is to gamble jobs, work rules, regulations, and a whole gambit of other possibilities that could devastate you and those who depend on you. Never gamble when you cannot afford to lose!

Fraternally,

Brian P. Kelley
Missouri State Legislative Board Chairman

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
[email protected]

Railroad Job insurance 101

Railroad Job Insurance 101

 

Job Insurance for your greatest asset, your paycheck. Here is a great short video on job insurance available to Unionized Transportation employees by LECMPA .

LECMPA offers affordable job insurance plans to fit you budget. Contact me today for information on plans and details on convenient over the phone sign-up.

Regardless of company policies pertaining to discipline, if you hold a federal certification as an Engineer or Conductor, you may be subject to time off from work, if certification is revoked or suspended.

 

Railroad Job Insurance

 

Big Boy 4014 Restoration Begins

Big Boy 4014

Big Boy 4014. With the successful restoration of locomotive No. 844 in the books, the Union Pacific Steam Team has embarked on their next giant-sized challenge: restoring the Big Boy, locomotive No. 4014.

read more at:
http://www.up.com/aboutup/community/inside_track/august-steam-8-11-2016.htm

BLET testifies for two-person crews at FRA hearing

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 18 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) testified in favor of two-person train crews at a hearing convened by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on July 15, 2016, regarding the FRA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on train crew size.

Read more at this link:

http://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=5866