Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Officers Present: Officers Excused:
President – Joseph M. Romeo Delegate – J. Lyles
Secretary-Treasurer – John Campanella Stewad – J. Castor
Vice President – John H. Cooper Jr. Steward- D. Moore
Delegate – Brian Parks Steward – J. Page
Delegate – David Nickodemus Steward – S. Rollins
Steward – Ben Davis Steward – T. Simmons
Steward – Corey Gallman Steward – G. Sullivan
Steward – Robert Jackson
Steward – Felix Rogers
Steward – Marvin Taylor
Steward – Bruce Chew
Call to Order: President Romeo informed the members that he delayed opening the meeting at 7:00 p.m. because this is the first meeting where the time was changed in accordance with our newly revised bylaws. Also, he wanted to give Operator Donald Boyd the opportunity to present his case for arbitration. However as of 7:30 p.m. there was still no quorum. Therefore, we cannot conduct an official meeting. This will be an informational meeting only.
Brother Campanella asked for a moment of silence for Brother Ben Davis, whose mother passed away and Sister Joanna Coleman-Robinson, whose nephew passed away. President Romeo also asked for a moment of silence for Sister Carol Murray, who is ill and all our members who are ill.
Arbitration Case: Brother Donald Boyd’s arbitration case was not approved by the Executive Board at its meeting last week. Since there is no quorum tonight to vote on his case, the Executive Board’s decision becomes final. Brother Boyd’s case will not proceed to arbitration.
New Business: President Romeo introduced John Martin representing Unum Insurance. Mr. Martin said that Unum will no longer sell disability insurance to our members because they claim they are losing money. Transamerica will be taking over the existing policies and selling new ones. It will be exactly the same insurance. Anyone who has Unum will be automatically transferred to Transamerica. The rates should be lower and open enrollment will begin in August. The deduction on your paychecks will still say Trustmark. They will also sell universal life insurance if there are enough members interested. President Romeo clarified that the quota needed to buy universal life insurance will consist of the total numbers of members interested in all nine local unions in New Jersey. Mr. Martin said that disability insurance is guaranteed issue. Therefore, members can collect disability insurance from NJT and additional benefits from Transamerica.
A member asked Mr. Martin how much will the premiums decrease. Mr. Martin said it was estimated to be 10% but it is too early to know the exact amount.
A member asked Mr. Martin if members will have an option to enroll. Mr. Martin said that current customers will be automatically rolled over. New customers will have the option to enroll.
A member asked why Unum dumped us. Mr. Martin said that they were paying out $1.05 for every dollar taken in.
President Romeo said that Mr. Martin and other representatives will be in the garages 2 to 3 times each month for the next two months. Think of it as your mortgage being sold to another bank. All coverage will be the same, only the company is changing. Mr. Martin said that there will be a mailing in the next two weeks notifying customers of the change in insurance companies.
President Romeo said that there is an alarming rate of members getting fired for not using their heads. Therefore, the union put out a notice listing some common reasons members are getting fired. President Romeo said that we have many members going into the office reporting other members. Please notify the union hall of any issues first. Give us a chance to settle it.
Brother Campanella said that he and President Romeo were concerned that since we did not have a quorum tonight that changing the meeting time might have been a mistake. However, it is 8:00 p.m. and we still do not have a quorum. Brother Campanella asked the members in attendance if the new 7:00 p.m. meeting time is better. The members gave a resounding yes. Members will get used to the new time.
President Romeo opened the floor for questions. A member asked about unauthorized passengers. President Romeo said that he was a driver for 25 years and many drivers have taken family members on the buses. Management has looked the other way for many years on this issue, but it is not permissible. It may be permissible on “Bring your child to work day,” but not on other days. President Romeo said that the company feels that having family members on the bus distracts the operator. Brother Dave Nickodemus added that it is also a liability issue for NJ Transit.
A member said that if his mother boards his bus and pays a fare then she can ride. Brother Campanella said yes she can ride if she pays her fare, but she has to get off your bus when you get to the end of the line. She cannot ride back to the garage with you. President Romeo said that we have to be smart.
A member asked if a retiree can ride on a deadhead bus. President Romeo said that may be permissible but he would have to check with the company.
President Romeo said that we were hoping to have a barbeque at the next meeting but we cannot get a new grill approved tonight. However, we still may have a barbeque.
Meeting ended at 8:15 p.m.
Note: The next general membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Hope to see you there.