SMART-TD Local 195

Galesburg, IL

May 18th Meeting - 5/19/2016

Guests: LC Luke Sperry, John Edwards, Rob Kolb, Tim Vancil

Rob- Safety Summitt stalled, could be long term. Mosquito Abatement- told that BNSF doesn't spray, that it is up to the state/county... will be contacting Bob Guy. 82nd St IHB- rock has been laid... thinking 87th St will be the crew change point.

John- be sure to call one of the designated attournies, they know what we need for railroad situations. If you get hurt, call your LC and a designated attourny. Be sure to fill out the Incident Form with Yes, No, Yes.

Report of Officers- there was a yard employee questioning Josh's involvement in the Burlington Yard Study, during the discussion, our membership voiced that they are more than glad that Josh was involved. Josh will be catching up after having been on 2 weeks of vacation. Declined claims are still taking around 2-3 months to finish getting processed. The Burlington Yard Study went well and the job will stay on, be sure to thank the Robb brothers for their great job at rules and safety compliance. Avertisements for the new 663/664 will be up on the 19th (so we're told), copies of the aggreements are available in the union hall. Current furlough numbers- 4488 system, 474 CHI Div, 161 Galesburg with no news of calling more back. 189 coal sets, down from 400 in Oct; 66 oil sets, down from 225 in Oct; 253 grain with a target of 215. PTC- if you have a % on your wheel, you need to run PTC, or face a possible investiagation. When walking through the shop (other than just to set your grip down and go upstairs), you must have full PPE on, including a hard hat. Creston clerks are to be gone on June 1st. Motors in your consist must be set up for RUN/ISO per the wheel. Ottumwa switching- if you are told to do anything other than a straight s/o or p/u, do not refuse to do the work, rather you will once your brakeman arrives. 2 conductors and 1 engineer spots were cut out of Ottumwa. Stan Stachyra rushed to hospital after collapsing at home, found clots in his brain- will be using the donation box for him. GM Jansen was contacted about the Batavia accident, looking to lower the 3 year level S charges down to 1 year. An investigation going on with the IAIS about an employee refusing to use a breathalyzer during a DUI... with the BNSF, if you refuse, you must contact the company within 48 hours... they view it as a conviction (read up on GCOR 1.6.1). Mount Pleasant- full whistle sequence needs to be done to the best of your ability at each x-ing, there are officials giving that special attention. PTC doesn't record whistling, so you must take action, or you could get decertified (CYA). Trip Optimizer- must use it... give LC examples of when you need to run and/or when it messes up. Do not request going over 40 MPH on coal trains. ATG- keep paying attention to your mark up times, attendance investigations are down. Please keep turning in paperwork for declines to the LC that request it and make copies of paperwork for investigations. Keep turning in SIRPs. Ash Sig is now on the bridge and is color, no longer lunar... connection due in around Sept. PTC on the CHI Sub maybe in Aug.

Railroad Days- we will have a tent set up on the 25th and 26th, Sat- Redfern, Towell, and Wensel; Sun- Galbreath, Hodgee, and Zach Grace will be at the booth. All volunteers are welcome to come help out!

Christmas Party- will be at the Legion on Dec 9th. 1423, 445, 195, retirees and VIPs will be invited. Invites for the VIPs have all been sent out, with no responses yet. Looking to probably use Big Catz BBQ again, any other feedback?

Labor Day Parade- will be using Rod's truck and trailer again, things are still in the works. Sheet metal workers may join us... feedback?

Regional Meetings are in Chicago this year, if you are able to go... try to.


Apr 20 Meeting - 4/22/2016

Guest Speaker from Hunes, LeNeave & Kvas- Be ware of vans and possible safety issues. If you have an accident, United Healthcare can take from your settlement... try to work with them to see if they will forgive your debt.

Guest Speaker Allen Fischer

Tyler presented his Dad, Terry Lanholm, with a retirement gift... he had 45 years in and was gifted with an investigation letter for failure to be a full time-employee.

Report of Officers


  • There will be a yard audit conducted in Burlington on the 18th-29th, joint with the union. 
  • Trip Optimizer Form C for 40 mph coal trains, if TO qualified- USE IT. Downhill, you can go faster than 40, but not over notch one... be safe and don't speed. 
  • Don't trust that your relationship with a company official will save you in an incident/investigation and don't sign a statement until a copy is in your hand. Call a LC! 
  • Low Hours- CALL A LC! Do not sign paper without talking to one. Be sure to tell the company that you don't understand (what is there to understand, when there's nothing in writing for low hours) and you need to consult a LC. 
  • Attendance- biggest issue... CALL A LC! Make them work for you. 
  • Doctor Appointment- if you're close on attendance, try asking for Medical Leave... they will ask why you didn't ask for it in an investigation. 
  • Training- call the Hump Tower and ask them if you'll make it back in time and if you should lay off... leave it up to them. 
  • Claims- continue turning in all paperwork and be specific in explanations, also watch your 816 and tie up tickets for missed meals and held away.
  • GALLIM pool- still having issues... if you you were there for the 1st run through, you are still owed a pilot. 
  • Clearance Points- be sure cuts are completely clear of the mark and be ware of what you say on the radio. 
  • Foreign Trains- TZPR does not provide a proper wheel, you are to contact a BN TM to get one. Be ware of compliance! There has recently been a conductor that caught an IH car not properly notated on the wheel... they were operating on a Key Train that wasn't showing as a Key Train. 
  • SIRPs- turn them in and get them signed and/or give the to Eric with an explanation. 
  • New LaCrosse Sup- Clint Jackson 

Election of Officers- Will Earlywine withdrew his nomination the morning of the meeting, Betsy Galbreath is the new secretary.


  • FRA proposed 2 man requirement. 
  • Van Audit- email has been sent to Gioe... he wants to combine safety in all aspects, to reduce LCB, so Hodgee and Zach will attend the Risk Reduction Meeting and will audit the vans after. 
  • Radio issues with EVERYONE using 51... try request using another channel while shoving. 
  • SIRPs- keep putting them in. 
  • Elevator- possibly fixed in 6-8 weeks. 
  • Enhanced Safety Training will end in April, get in a class!





Feb 17th Meeting - 2/17/2016

Guest Speaker, Dennis Bramlett spoke at our meeting today emphasizing our right to vote and the ability to vote by mail ballot.

Pres. Ginther spoke of:

GN 104 (G) LOF- the company is watching the use of LOF.

Safetey Summit Aggreement- the company is looking to back out.

LC JD Paul (Ft. Worth) passed away in a car accident, thoughts are with his family.

LC Roberts:

AFHT Quincy- will be moving hotels, to the Microtel.

Trip Optimizer- a request has been made to the FRA to stop the use of TO because it is too distracting and not safe.

Attendance- pay attention to your mark up times if you get close on your availability, ie- the 30 min grace period for weekend days.

Investigations- there are many... even if you are furloughed, all the company is required to do is a first ATTEMPT to notify you of your investigation... be sure to contact a LC IMMEDIATELY so they can get to work on your case.

87th St IHB Crew Change Point- if the foreign crew won't get off the train, call the Command Center and notify them (CYA) and notify a LC.

LC Sammons:

Burlington- when you have a Hannibal train, be sure to leave the TW!

GALLIM pool- still getting pilots, but you may only get one for the crew (unless the train has work)... keep note of request for pilot in case of an incident.

Business is picking up in Galesburg, according to the car numbers.

LC English:

Furlough- 7 called back last week.

Requesting Brakeman- road crews cannot do switching (other than straight set out, b/o set out, hazmat and/or tonnage compliance)... ALL locals are to have a brakeman... if you request a brakeman, say that you are not refusing the work, but you will wait for a brakeman to arrive.

Signal sheets- there will be new signal sheets for Eola in the YD on Feb 20.

LC Hart:

Medical Issues- try to get FMLA and keep documents in case of availability issue.

There is an expected downturn in business for the next 3 quarters.


Other Points:

If you receive a letter of investigation be sure to notify a LC immediately and keep the originial envelope (with the green card).

Be sure to turn in all your declines and SIRPs, they force the company to do the right thing!

It was voted in to have the Local 1423 use our union hall to have their meetings for the time being.

There will also be a calandar in the works, to post upcoming events in the local.

Cutting crossings- be sure the you are able to get the minumum required distance from crossings when cutting/stopping... if proper distance cannot be obtained, be sure to notify the DS and empower yourself to take the safest route- which may be putting the train back together, to avoid someone getting hit (more than one track).


Dec Info - 12/12/2015

Guest Speaker Bob Guy- passenger trains must have inward facing cameras, cannot be used for retaliation agaisnt crews.

Guest Speaker Dan Downes- if injured, you must be able to prove that the railroad failed/didn't do something to prevent your injury. You must fill out the paperwork and the railroad has to report it to the FRA. If it is not filled out in a timely manner, you could get fired. Your Incident Report Form will be on exhibit if you go to court, BE SURE TO FILL IT OUT CORRECTLY. You must request to go to the hospital, anyone who is not a doctor DOES NOT need to be there. Most hospital employees do not know that we do not fall under Worker's Compensation, be sure to advise them of this.

Guest Speaker Randy Doyle- notified us that Randy Knutson is in the hospital. This furlough could go on for 5 years. Safety Summit Agreement may be getting renegotiated in Jan. Projected to have 4 inward facing cameras in our locomotives by the end of the year, 600 installed in 2016. They are to only be used for accidets, not to monitor crews... but do not rely on that, assume that they are on and recording. BLE is looking for a change in design of locomotives because of the cameras. Article 9 Notices being issued in other areas to change pools.

Guest Speaker Scott Anderson- expects investigations to go up because of the Mark Up Board/Waiting Turn issues, most cases are coming from the Chicago Divison. Arbitraition takes a while because they have to wait on the funding. If you get certified mail, pick it up ASAP, call your LC and get representation, copy the green card, keep the envelope (PLB 4148/37). Encouraged everyone to have disability insurance. Ask that we do not accept Alternative Handling or a waiver for Mark Up Board/Waiting Turn investigations... we will fight those. If you need to LOA, contact a LC if you have no VAC/PLD. 

Nov Info - 11/20/2015

Please continue to document your info, in case the physical copies need to be sent to Colorado to support your declined claim. If you are instructed to do something out of the ordinary, please document it, so that the LC has the best chance to fight for you.

Any question while working, PAUSE THE WORK... have a job safety brief, you have permission to slow down and be safe.

As always, if you get in trouble or get a letter of investigation, CALL YOUR LC IMMEDIATELY! You pay dues, let them work for you.

Any questions/issues with FMLA, contace LC Mac English.

Gal-Cri will be getting CTC next year... the xo at Lucas may get moved to Dayman.

Eric Hart is the new Legislative Representative, JR Andrews is the alternative.

If you get in a van that has any safety issue, refuse the van and report it... not only for your safety, but your fellow co-workers.

Rob Kolb told everyone about playbooks being updated, huge undertaking, but it is in the works.

Per Joe Gioe, there will be a new GN regarding no riding cars in any industry in Galesburg. 


Welcome to the official website for the Local 195.

Our union meetings are typically held every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1000, in the Bondi Building, located at 311 East Main Street (side door off of Kellogg St).

Check the Calendar for upcoming events!

The following are subjects that President Ginther would like shared with our members:

  • Be sure to sign up for emails from Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy and National Legislative Director John Risch.
  • The new chairs that we voted to get are in! Come to a meeting and check them out.
  • Check out photos and additional information on our Facebook Page!
  • Huge win in arbitrations for the GO-001, read about it in our News Tab and check out this letter from General Chairman Knutson on how to put in your claim!
  • U of I Labor Study shows Right to Work is wrong for Illinois...
  • The Demolision of Workers' Compensation
  • Employees need to be sure to fill out ALL of their documents correctly. A RFE has failed several people lately for not having signal sheets filled out properly (showing times, speeds, flags, etc), as well as failures on not voiding track warrants correctly before turning them in.
  • We have been having problems with pre-approved lay offs. The employee sees that it was approved, but when the time comes for the employee to have their time off, they are not actually laid off. Please be sure to get a screen capture of the lay off once it has been approved, it helps your LC greatly.