2020 COVID Temporary Agreement
5990 SW 28th Street, #F
Topeka, KS 66614
March 23, 2020
Union Pacific Railroad
General Committee 953
Dear Sirs and Brothers:
This is an unprecedented time in our nation's history. As state and federal agencies implement various lockdown protocols to protect citizens and workers from the spread of COVID-19, this General Committee has worked with Union Pacific to do the same for our members in both yard and road service.
As discussed and unanimously agreed upon during the Committee-wide conference call on March 20, 2020, a Letter of Understanding (LOU) has been negotiated with Union Pacific which accomplishes several objectives.
First, seniority moves for both yard and road employees will be limited. This will increase the probability that the same employees will work together each day, and will reduce each member's chance of being exposed to someone who may unknowingly be carrying the virus.
Trainmen (yard and road) will have a two-calendar-day grace period, ending at 0001 on Thursday, March 26, to make seniority moves (in accordance with the schedule of rules) before the freeze is applied. Each Trainman's assignment at the expiration of the grace period will be their assignment until the LOU either expires or is canceled. Daily moves on Daily Preference Boards will be frozen, and Sadie Hawkins moves will be postponed.
Second, a Temporary Agreement Training Board (TATB) will prevent Trainmen from being furloughed. Instead, Trainmen who would otherwise be furloughed will be guaranteed eight (8) days of pay per month plus health care benefits. This provision is intended to address the significant drop expected in rail traffic as manufacturers shut down during this pandemic.
Third, although current AWTS and CRTB Agreements remain in effect, the caps on these boards have been removed in order to accommodate Trainmen who would otherwise be furloughed.
Fourth, Trainmen currently furloughed will remain furloughed until service demands increase, although the requirement to respond to recall has been reduced to 15 days while the LOU is in effect.
Fifth, the attached LOU expires on April 30, 2020, but may be extended, if necessary, or cancelled with 48 hours' notice by either party upon the other.
This decision was not easy. However, it was made with the approval of SMART-TD President Ferguson, who ruled that such emergency action was allowed under Article 21(b), Section 85 of the SMART Constitution.
I pray that these precautions work while the COVID-19 virus runs its course. The best and hoped-for result from this Letter of Understanding is that nothing happens, and our membership and their families remain healthy.
Your patience and understanding at this time is appreciated. As our call volume is extremely high, I encourage questions and/or concerns to be sent via e-mail to myself, Ian or Zach.
Luke V Edington