District Lodge 19

where it all begin

NEWS

 

District Lodge 19 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Offers:

Help with Medical Bills -

(excerpts from USA.gov)

If you can't afford medical care or prescription drugs, these state and federal programs may be able to help:

• HealthCare.gov helps you find insurance options, compare care, learn about prevention, and understand the Affordable Care Act.

• State human/social service agencies offer direct aid and referrals to other organizations.

• State Medicaid offices offer help to low-income people.

• Local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offices offer programs designed to help veterans.

• Eldercare Locator information specialists put you in contact with resources and programs designed to help seniors.

• State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) help insure children of working families who cannot afford health insurance or don't get it through their work.

• Benefits.gov allows you to complete a confidential questionnaire and receive a list of programs that may help.

Help with Prescription Drug Costs -

If you're looking for help paying for your prescriptions, there are a number of local and federal agencies and programs you can contact:

• State human service agencies provide direct assistance to people in distress and referrals to other local organizations that may be able to help.

• Local health centers serve people with limited access to health care. You pay based on your income and family size.

• Medicare's Prescription Drug Program can provide extra help with the cost of prescription drugs if you qualify and are a Medicare beneficiary.

• Use Healthfinder.gov’s list of prescription assistance resources to find more programs that could help you pay for your medicines.

What The Railroad Retirement Board Is and How It Works -

Railroad Retirement Board The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is an independent agency in the executive branch of the Federal Government. The RRB's primary function is to administer comprehensive retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for the nation's railroad workers and their families, under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. As part of the retirement program, the RRB also has administrative responsibilities under the Social Security Act for certain benefit payments and railroad workers' Medicare coverage.

Provisions Full age annuities are payable at age 60 to workers with 30 years of service. For those with less than 30 years of service, reduced annuities are payable at age 62 and unreduced annuities are payable at full retirement age, which is gradually rising from 65 to 67, depending on the year of birth. Disability annuities can be paid on the basis of total or occupational disability. Annuities are also payable to spouses and divorced spouses of retired workers, widow(er)s, surviving divorced spouses, remarried widow(er)s, children, and parents of deceased railroad workers. Qualified railroad retirement beneficiaries receive Medicare coverage just like social security beneficiaries.

As noted, the RRB pays retirement annuities to employees, as well as their spouses and/or divorced spouses, if the employee had at least 10 years of railroad service, or 5 years if performed after 1995. However, for survivor benefits, there is an additional requirement that the employee's last regular employment before retirement or death was in the railroad industry. If a railroad employee or his or her survivors do not qualify for railroad retirement benefits, the RRB transfers the employee's railroad retirement credits to the Social Security Administration, which treats them as social security credits.

Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act Under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, unemployment insurance benefits are paid to railroad workers who are unemployed but ready, willing, and able to work, and sickness benefits to railroad workers unable to work because of illness or injury. The RRB also operates a placement service to help unemployed railroaders secure employment.

Benefit Year A new unemployment-sickness benefit year begins every July 1, with eligibility generally based on railroad service and earnings in the preceding calendar year. Up to 26 weeks of normal unemployment or sickness benefits are payable to an individual in a benefit year. Additional extended benefits are payable to persons with 10 or more years of service.

Railroad Medicare The Medicare program covers railroad workers just like workers covered under social security. The Medicare program provides health insurance to persons ages 65 and older, as well as persons under age 65 who have been entitled to monthly benefits based on total disability for at least 24 months or who suffer from chronic kidney disease requiring hemodialysis or transplant. In addition to basic hospital insurance (Part A) financed by payroll taxes, there is an elective supplementary medical insurance (Part B) that covers many other medical services, such as doctor visits, durable medical equipment, and outpatient services that hospital insurance does not cover.

Eligible railroad retirement annuitants and social security beneficiaries whose benefits are payable by the RRB are automatically enrolled under both plans, but the annuitant or beneficiary can decline Medicare Part B. Eligible non-retired persons must apply in order to obtain Medicare coverage. The RRB automatically enrolled some 27,100 beneficiaries for Medicare during fiscal year 2016. As of the end of that fiscal year, about 465,300 people were enrolled in the Part A plan, and over 445,900 (96 percent) of them were also enrolled in Part B. Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, processes medical insurance (Part B) claims for railroad retirement Medicare beneficiaries.

For more information from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) call or go online:  (877) 772-5772  or www.rrb.gov

For assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Contact:  District Lodge 19 EAP Director Josh Hartford at: (207) 474-3934 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BNSF is currently in the process of closing the Murray Shop in Kansas City and reducing forces at Glendive, MT. The reductions consist of 29 Machinists at Murray and 25 at Glendive. Currently BNSF has 26 openings at various locations which will be offered to affected employees willing to relocate. We are working with the Carrier to assist in relocating the members wishing to do so. Questions may be relayed to your Local Chairman and/or your servicing General Chairman.

On February 22, 2017 the Coalition: IAM, TCU, BRC, TWU and IBEW, met with the National Carrier's Conference Committee (NCCC) to continue National Freight Negotiations. 

New Executive Board Members:  On behalf of President/Directing General Chairman John Lacey and the Staff of District Lodge 19, IAM&AW we would like to congratulate and thank the New Executive Board Members listed below for participating in the work of District Lodge 19.

Shayne Myers - LL 1333, Region 1

Dan Walker - LL 430, Region 1

Patrick Frederick - LL 612, Region 2

Jesse Jurek - LL 791, Region 3

Adam Lynch - LL 325, Region 3

Gerald Ware - LL 212, Region 4 and

Michael Mills - LL 1676, Region 5.

 

Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway is now hiring 10 Machinists in St. Paul, MN.  You can go online at:  www.cpr.ca/en/careers/

or contact the servicing General Chairman.

National Contract Negotiations resume February 22, 2017. Updates to follow shortly thereafter.

Congratulations to John Lawrence of Local Lodge 511, Kenneth Krause of Local Lodge 356, Mark Perez of Local Lodge 1041 and Shaun O’Connor of Local Lodge 498, who are the newest members of District Lodge 19’s Executive Board. Acting PDGC Lacey said, “We want to express our appreciation for your service and commitment to the membership of the District and I personally look forward to working with you all.”

National negotiations with the freight railroads and the IAM Coalition remain stalled, hostage to the Carriers’ unremitting demands for major concessionary changes to the healthcare plan.

Negotiations began in January of 2015. IAM invoked mediations in October 2015. The parties have met regularly since then under the auspices of the National Mediation Board. Little progress has been made.

Each side has exchanged voluminous information with the Carriers emphasizing what they consider to be high costs of the national health insurance plan relative to other industries, including non-union. The IAM coalition has stressed how much the plan design savings from the last contract have gone to hold down costs, that employees are paying enough now, and comparing us to non-union industries, is a non-starter. The parties also remain far apart on wages. And, at a recent session, the Carriers added a host of concessionary work rule demands to their agenda.

Our shop craft coalition, IAM, TCU, BRAC, IBEW & TWU met in mediation with the NCCC on October 25th to continue national negotiations. The cost of the national health & welfare plan was the main topic of discussion. At this point we are weeks away from the national elections and, once complete, look forward to a productive round of negotiations to be tentatively held December 6 & 7, 2016.

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