BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND TRAINMEN
1370 Ontario Street, Mezzanine
Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1702
WILLIAM C. WALPERT
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
As many of you know, the delegates to the 2006 National Convention added language to Section 29(c) - National Division Rules (NOR) of the BLET Bylaws. The reasons for adding the language were threefold: (I) to preserve our right to provide reduced dues to members who are required to pay seniority maintenance or retention fees to or whose representation is subject to an assertion of exclusive representation rights by another labor organization; and, (2) to identify the National Division dues rate for those members; and, (3) to identify the dues rate for members who are not affected by seniority maintenance or retention fees or an assertion of exclusive representation rights by another labor organization.
NOR Section 29(c) states:
~ $14.50 national dues. and such assessments as may be levied by the Advisory Board, provided that such action on the part of the Advisory Board shall be effective only until the next regular convention of the BLET. However, once the BLET obtains the right to represent such members in accordance with the provisions of the Railway Labor Act through the National Mediation Board. they will be liable for active dues as outlined in Section 29(b) -National Division Rules.
(c) Members whose names do not appeal on an engineers' seniority roster shall pay
At locations where another organization cancels all
seniority maintenance fees, seniority retention fees, and does not
assess exclusive representation rights. members whose names do not
appear on an engineers' seniority roster shall pay
The additional dues levied upon such members by the National Division shall be used towards funding education and training of general chairman and local division officers to enhance their ability to properly represent trainmen members.
Members who pay a monthly seniority maintenance fee to another labor organization will have their dues set by the BLET Advisory Board (currently set at $4.00 per the December 21, 2004 Executive Committee decision.)
The genesis of the different national dues rates started with the action of the Executive Committee in December of 2004 in response to another organization establishing seniority maintenance and retention fees. Basically, our members were-and in some cases, still are required to pay fees to another organization in order to maintain and/or accumulate' seniority in another craft. To offset the burdensome amount of dues or fees our members were forced to pay, the Executive Committee reduced national dues to $4.00 per month for those affected members.
In the interim, by a Letter of Intent("LOI") between the United Transportation Union (UTU) and the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC) dated November I, 2004, the UTU agreed to recommend to its General Committees to cancel their seniority maintenance or retention agreements. Over the course of time, many UTU General Committees did, in fact, cancel their seniority maintenance or retention agreements.
In 2007, we notified all Secretary-Treasurers that due to the fact that the NCCC had declined to renew the LOI with the UTU, the special dues of $4.00 paid by members who pay a monthly seniority maintenance fee to the UTU was being eliminated effective with the May, 2007 report. This was affirmed by action of the Advisory Board.
However, due to the inability of our online reporting system to reflect the rate established by the second paragraph of 29(c)-NDR, which is currently $ 21.81, the rate was never implemented. Now, primarily because of changes to our online reporting system and in-house database, we are in a position to implement the rate for trainmen not affected by seniority maintenance, seniority retention or exclusive representative agreements by another organization.
Effective with the posting of the December, 2011 online reports, the national dues rate for members whose names do not appear on an engineers' seniority roster and are working at locations where another organization has canceled all seniority maintenance fees, seniority retention fees, and does not assert exclusive representation rights, is $22.00 per month (rounded from $21.81 in accordance with National Division Rules Section 29(m)).
If you have any questions concerning this matter, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
With best wishes, I remain
/s/s William Walpert
Cc: . D. R. Pierce, NP
E. L. Pruitt, FVP
State Legislative Board Chairmen
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