Minutes of Meeting of

Local 880 General Membership

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

 

 

Officers Present:                                                                               Officers Excused:

President – Joseph M. Romeo                                                                        Steward – J. Castor

Secretary-Treasurer – John Campanella                                            Steward – B. Chew

Vice President – John H. Cooper Jr.                                                  Steward – B. Davis

Delegate – Jami Lyles                                                                                    Steward – D. Moore

Delegate – Brian Parks                                                                       Steward – S. Rollins

Delegate – David Nickodemus                                                          Steward – T. Simmons

Steward – Corey Gallman                                                                 

Steward – Robert Jackson                                                                 

Steward – Jerome Page                                                                     

Steward – Felix Rogers                                                                     

Steward – Marvin Taylor                                                                  

 

Call to Order: President Romeo opened the meeting at 7:34 p.m. and asked for a moment of silence for the following: Brother Dominic Kovach, a pensioner who passed away; Brother John Sadauskas, a pensioner who passed away; Brother Ernest Dickens Sr., whose wife passed away; Brother Ernest Dickens Jr., whose mother passed away; Brother Michael Zorn, whose father passed away; Brother Marvin Taylor, whose niece passed away; Sister Evelyn Holley, whose niece passed away; Brother Antwan Lindsey, an active member who had a recent medical scare but is ok; Brother Raymond Spragg, an active member who is recovering from a serious surgery and illness; Brother Don Ramkaran, a pensioner who recently suffered a heart attack, but is ok; our other members who are ill; our troops.

 

Minutes: President Romeo said that the minutes were posted in all locations and asked for questions.  There were none.  A motion to accept the minutes for March was made by Brother Gabe Sullivan and seconded by Sister Jami Lyles.  Motion passed.

 

 

 

Financial Report: Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella read the financial report, which was also posted on the bulletin board, and asked for questions.  There were none.  A motion to accept the financial report for March was made by Sister Jami Lyles and seconded by Brother Gabe Sullivan.  Motion passed.

 

Swearing-In: President Romeo informed the members that Brother Gabe Sullivan won the recent election to fill the interim field salary shop steward’s position.  Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella swore-in Brother Gabe Sullivan for the elected position.

 

 

New Business: Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella explained to the members that a $150 assessment was deducted from the retirees’ retro checks as it was deducted from the active members’ checks.  Brother Campanella asked for a motion to pro-rate the assessment in the same manner as was approved for the active members who were not members for the entire five-year period.  A motion was made by Brother Dave Nickodemus and seconded by Brother Felix Rogers to pro-rate the assessment on the retirees’ retro checks.  Motion passed.

 

Bylaw Proposals: Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella said that he wished more members were in attendance tonight because this is an important meeting.  President Romeo appointed by bylaw committee a few months back to update our bylaws.  Three members were appointed to the committee that are not union officers in order to give some transparency to the process.  Whenever bylaws are changed some members become suspicious that the union is trying to get over on something.  The bylaw committee consists of President Romeo, Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella, Vice President John Cooper, Operator’s Delegate Jami Lyles, Mechanical Delegate Brian Parks, Field Salary Delegate Dave Nickodemus, Newton Ave Bus Operator Kathy Lannon, Washington Twp. Bus Operator Omar Higgs and Egg Harbor Twp. Bus Operator Steve Van Sant.  Also Brother Jerome Page will be reading his bylaw changes tonight.  Brother Page was nice enough to present all of his bylaw proposals to the Executive Board and after some discussion he decided to drop some of his proposals. 

 

Brother Campanella asked if everyone in attendance has copies of the current bylaws, the proposed changes submitted by the committee and the proposed changes submitted by Brother Page.  One member said that she did not have the copies and they were given to her by Brother Cappy.  Brother Campanella said that both sets of proposals will be posted in the garages.  Members will have a month to look over the proposals and ask questions of the committee members or the union hall.  Also if anyone has questions about Brother Page’s proposals, they can ask him.  The International Constitutions says that the proposals must be read at two general membership meetings with the voting taking place at the second meeting.  At our general membership meeting in May, all the proposals will be read a second time and voted on after debating and discussing the proposals.  Brother Campanella asked if everyone understood.  There were no questions.

 

President Romeo said that he wants to be clear that tonight the proposals will be read.  If you do not understand something, please ask and we will explain it.  However, there will be no debating the proposals tonight.  Next month there will be plenty of time for debate and discussions.  It is very important that we get members to attend next month’s meeting.  Brother Campanella said that the reason it is important to attend the next meeting is because the members will be voting on bylaw changes that will affect the entire membership.

 

Brother Campanella read the first reading of the bylaw changes submitted by the bylaw committee and briefly explained each proposal.  The bylaw committee’s proposals will be attached to a copy of these minutes and will be posted in all locations.  Brother Campanella turned the floor over to Brother Page.

 

Brother Jerome Page read his first reading of his bylaw proposals and briefly explained each proposal.  Brother Page’s proposals will be attached to a copy of these minutes and will be posted in all locations.  Brother Page has agreed to have his cell phone number available on the cover of his bylaw proposals.  Brother Campanella said that Brother Page is in a better position to explain his proposals.  Therefore, if members have any questions about Brother Page’s proposals, they should speak with him.

 

New Business: Brother Campanella said that if anyone is not aware, this is his last term as secretary-treasurer.  He enjoyed working for the members immensely, but he is retiring and a new secretary-treasurer will be elected in the next election.  Brother Campanella said that it has been his honor to work for this membership.  A member remarked about who might be the next treasurer.  Brother Campanella said that our union has a lot of talented and qualified members that could do these jobs.  However, they do not want to run for these positions because of the abuse that comes with these jobs.  They do not want to hear, “the union sucks”, “you guys are crooks”, “you are in bed with the company”, etc.  We have a lot of talented members in this union but they do not want to run for these jobs.  President Romeo said some nice things about Brother Campanella.

 

President Romeo told members not to get into conflicts or confrontations with passengers.  Do not argue over fares.  The company will tell you to let them ride.  Do not put yourselves at risk of personal injury.  It is not your company or equipment.  President Romeo said that we are just numbers here and will be replaced by another number.  Do not jeopardize your jobs.  There are many operators who have been assaulted; it is not worth it.  He does not want to see anyone hurt.  Some passengers may be on the edge of going off; do not be the person that provokes them.  Be safe out there.  Do not get into conflicts.  If a customer says that there child, with a mustache, is eight years-old, then he is eight year-old.  Do not argue with them.

 

President Romeo opened the floor for questions:  A member said that many of the bus lines do not have enough turn-around time.  President Romeo said that if there is a run that needs more time, then let him know.  The union has been successful in getting the scheduling department to adjust some schedules. 

 

President Romeo said that the company knows everywhere the buses are using the clever-cad system.  Do your jobs professionally and take your time.  You will be paid delay time.  Also you are permitted to stop and use the restroom.  A member said do not pee in a cup, in the stairwell, etc.  Bus operators need to use a restroom where they can properly relieve themselves and clean up.  Brother Felix Rogers reminded members to call the control center when stopping to use the restroom, especially if running late.  President Romeo agreed and said notify the control center if you need to use a restroom.  Brother Jerome Page said that members are ending their trips too soon, before reaching the end of the line.  The schedule department will think there is too much running time.  The 505 line needs more turn-around time.  President Romeo said that some operators, who finish in Philadelphia before deadheading back to the garage, will end their trip and end their runs at the same time.  Do not end your run until you are back at the garage.

 

Brother Corey Gallman said that there have been a lot of late pull outs because of problems with the buses, such as seat alarms.  When you pull out late because of a problem with the bus, notify control.  Otherwise they may blame you for pulling out late or running late.  Operators need to report these issues because the company is writing up bus operators for pulling out late.  President Romeo said that all the new buses being delivered will have the seat alarms triggered by the seat belt latch.  So the seat alarms problems will end soon.  Make sure you document all problems.

 

A member asked why members are not paid to attend hearings or while waiting for a shop steward.  Brother Campanella said that he does not see the company paying members to attend hearing, but it would have to be negotiated in the contract.  President Romeo said that it has been an ongoing complaint and we will keep it in mind in negotiations.

 

A member said that he has not heard the outcome of arbitration cases that the members voted for arbitration.  President Romeo said that he does not discuss anyone’s arbitration case with members; it is confidential.  If the member who went to arbitration wants to tell members the outcome, that is their decision.  This member said that he wants to know if they won or lost their case.  The previous president did inform the member of the results.  President Romeo said that the news will get out but he will not be the one providing the outcome.  This member said that it helps when we find out about cases in case the situation happens to others.  President Romeo said that he has received calls from members who lost their arbitration cases wanting to know why the union is revealing their business.  President Romeo said that he tells these members that it is not the union divulging the information.  President Romeo said that he will not discuss anyone’s arbitration case with anyone.  President Romeo said that members do tell their fellow coworkers about their cases, but it will not come from him.  There are members who do not like other members and want to spread negative information.  President Romeo said that he does not feel like it is public record.  This issue was discussed among some members. 

 

A member asked how long can arbitration cases take.  President Romeo said once the case is approved by the membership it can take about 8 months to get a date.

 

A member said that when we vote to spend money, we just want to know what happened.  President Romeo said that many members know the outcome but we will discuss this issue at the Executive Board meeting.

 

A member said that if there are two similar arbitration cases and the union wins one and loses the other, members will want to know what the union did differently in the case they lost.  President Romeo said every case is unique and putting out that information will cause problems.  Brother Campanella said that if the union took the same case and presented it to two different arbitrators, we might get two different decisions.  We have won some cases that we thought we would lose and vice versa.  There are many variables that the union cannot control.  President Romeo said that in his opinion some arbitrators do not fully understand the case being presented.

 

Brother Corey Gallman said that when some members hear the specifics of an arbitration case, they will take certain facts and believe that they can do the same things.  But when they are disciplined and lose for doing the same thing, they say that the union sucks.  Every case is unique and there is no guarantee that the member will get back.  Brother Jerome Page said that when the company loses an arbitration case, they get together to find out why they lost.  And if they lost, the company is going to make sure that they correctly discipline someone because they know what to do now.  Brother Page said that we have a case coming up for a member and this member won a previous arbitration case regarding a five-day suspension.  In that case the arbitrator ruled that the punishment was too severe, so he was given a two day suspension, with back pay for three days.  Brother Page said that the next week he held a hearing with a different case where the company made a five-day suspension as an administrative suspension.  So now, in those kinds of cases the company is giving administrative suspensions.  In the attendance policy all the suspensions are administrative.   Brother Page said that the company got smart and said that they are not going to arbitration and lose another case like that one.  That is why the company does not want this member back.  Brother Campanella said that he needs to clarify something Brother Page said.  Brother Campanella said that no one in this room, including Brother Page, knows what the company does after they lose an arbitration case.  We have no idea what the company discusses, who was in the meeting or if a meeting was even held, unless someone in management is tipping off the union.  

 

Brother Campanella changed the topic and informed everyone that last week Brother Felix Rogers got married to Sister Lakesha Steele and we wish them well.  (Applause)

 

Adjourn: A motion to adjourn was made by Sister Jami Lyles and seconded by Sister Tina Flax.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

John Campanella

Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

Note: The next general membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.  Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

Local 880 Bylaws

Proposed Changes

Proposals will be read at General Membership Meeting on April 12, 2016

Proposals will be posted in all locations after first reading

Proposals will be read again at General Membership Meeting on May 10, 2016

Proposals will be voted on after second reading on May 10, 2016 after debates and discussions

 

Members serving on the Bylaw committee: Brothers Joseph Romeo, John Campanella, John Cooper, Brian Parks, Dave Nickodemus, Steve VanSant, Omar Higgs, Sisters Jami Lyles and Kathy Lannon – Please contact these members with questions about the bylaws proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

Article I

 

Section 2:  The meeting of this Local Union will be held on the second Tuesday of each month.  The meetings will consist of two (2) sections that will be known as the A.M. and P.M. meetings.  The A.M. meeting will be called to order at 10:00 A.M., with a quorum of ten (10) members.  The P.M. meeting will be called to order at 7:00 [G1] P.M. with a quorum of twenty-five (25) members.  The President shall delegate an Executive Board member to be the Sergeant-at-Arms at the P.M. meeting.

Section 2 – paragraph 2:  No new business will be entertained after 9:00 [G2] P.M. except by unanimous consent.

 

 

 

 

 

Article II

Officers and Delegates

Section 1:  The officers to be elected of this Local Union shall consist of President, who shall act as Business Agent; Vice President, who shall act as Assistant Business Agent; Secretary-Treasurer, and five [5[G3] ] delegates to the New Jersey State Council, namely the President, Secretary-Treasurer[G4] , one [1] Operator, one [1] Mechanic, and one [1] Field Salary shall be the Delegates to the Central Labor Unions and State Federation of Labor Convention by virtue of their office.

 

Section 2:  There shall also be elected an Executive Board of which the President shall be Chairperson, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer, the Delegates to the New Jersey State Council and the elected Shop Stewards [G5] of their respective locations; including one [1] from the Field Salaried employees.[G6] 

Section 2 – paragraph 2:  The President’s salary shall be adjusted to sixty [60] hours at the top prevailing hourly rate and adjusted to the nearest dollar weekly.  The Secretary-Treasurer’s salary shall be adjusted to fifty-five [55] hours at the top prevailing hourly rate and adjusted to the nearest dollar weekly.[JC7] 

Section 2 – paragraph 3:  Benefits as per the contract for the full time officers to be paid by the Local Union as has [G8] been past practice.

Section 2 – paragraph 4:  Members of Local Union 880 shall be paid a minimum of two (2) hours to a maximum of ten [10] hours pay at their top prevailing hourly rate, except election committees[G9] , and expenses of ten dollars [$10.00], for meals and ten dollars [$10.00] for travel, when engaged on Union assignments authorized by the President of the Local Union.  All hours under this paragraph will be paid at straight time.  [G10] Executive Board members [Committeeperson] [shop stewards] [G11] shall be advanced one hundred fifty dollars [$150.00] eight [8] hours at the bus operator’s top rate [G12] a month for expenses including the delegates to the New Jersey State Council and the Vice President.

Section 3:  The President and Secretary-Treasurer and all Delegates to all Conventions are to be elected at the General Elections.  The President and Secretary-Treasurer, number one [1], Operators Delegate to the State Council and the number two [2], Mechanical Delegate, and number three [3] Field Salary Delegate to the State Council [G13] will be the four [4] [5] [G14] Delegates to the International Convention by virtue of their office. 

Section 3 – paragraph 2:  If the size of the membership warrants, the number three [3], Field Salary Delegate to the State Council Vice President will be the number five [5]  six [6] [G15] delegate to the International Convention.

Section 3 – paragraph 3:  Alternate Delegates to the International Convention shall be as follows:  Vice President for the President; Field Salary, number three [3] Delegate is first alternate to any; number four [4], Operators Alternate Delegate will be the second first alternate, number five [5], Mechanical Alternate Delegate will be the third second [G16] alternate to the International Convention only.

 

Article III

Nominations and Elections

Section 1-paragraph 4:  Members nominated for office or offices at the nomination meeting must notify the Secretary-Treasurer, in writing, [G17] within seven [7] days if they decline to run.  If nominated for multiple offices, failure to notify the Secretary-Treasurer within seven [7] days will forfeit eligibility for any nominated office.

 

Section 2-paragraph 5:  The voting will be at each garage and the Atlantic City Terminal[G18] . The polls shall open at 7:00 6:00 A.M. and close at 5:00 6:00 P.M.[G19]   Interim elections to fill shop steward positions only, will be done by mail using prior practice laid in the bylaws revised in 2002[G20] .

 

Section 4:  In order to fill vacancies that may occur in any elective office during the term, the President shall have the power to temporarily appoint a successor to fill the vacancy if required, and an election must be held within ninety [90] one hundred twenty [120] days[G21]  if there is more than one year left on the vacancy.  [G22] 

Section 4 – paragraph 2:  Notice will be given in the call of the meeting for nomination and will be given under Article III, Section 2.  Plurality system and secret ballot will prevail, the member receiving the majority of votes cast is hereby elected to fill the unexpired term.[G23] 

 

Article IV

Duties of Officers

Section 6-paragraph 2:  They shall have the authority to submit the results of negotiations on agreements or other matters of importance to the entire membership for a referendum vote of the members to be conducted under conditions and at times and places determined by the Executive Board.  They shall meet the third [3rd] first [1st][JC24]  Tuesday of each month at seven-thirty [7:30] seven [7] [G25] P.M.  Special meetings shall be called by the President when it is deemed necessary.  The majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum to do business.

Section 7 – paragraph 3:  The expense of any Arbitration case and legal fees [G26] will be divided equally amongst the active membership of this Local Union on a yearly basis or when deemed necessary[G27] .

Section 8:  The officers and Executive Board of the Local Union shall direct and handle the affairs of the Local Union, subject to the laws and rules of this Association and in conformity with instructions of the Local Union.  They shall be required to attend twelve [12] regular and twelve [12] executive board meetings per year.  Members who fail to attend all required meetings without being properly excused by the President or Financial Secretary, (or Vice President in lieu of the full time officer) shall forfeit their $150.00 cash advancement eight [8] hours pay for that month.[G28] 

 

Article IX

Mileage of Officers

Section 1:  The President shall be reimbursed at the prevailing rate established by the I.R.S. for each mile and rounded off to the nearest penny for a maximum of 1,500 miles per month for Union business.  During contract negotiations, daily mileage established will be additional.

The President will be paid at the prevailing rate established by the I.R.S. for each mile rounded off to the nearest penny for a total of 1,500 miles per month for union business.  During contract negotiations, daily mileage established will be additional.[JC29] 

 

Section 2:  Automobile insurance for President or Business Agent shall be paid by the Local and must be carried as business coverage. 

Section 3:  The Secretary-Treasurer shall be reimbursed at the prevailing rate established by the I.R.S. for each mile and rounded off to the nearest penny for a maximum of 300 miles per month.

The Secretary-Treasurer will be paid at the prevailing rate established by the I.R.S. for each mile rounded off to the nearest penny for a total of 300 miles per month for union business.[JC30] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO:                  Amalgamated Transit Union Local # 880

                        126 West Kings Highway

                        Mount Ephraim, New Jersey 08059

 

From:              Jerome M. Page Bus Operator’s Shop Steward EHT Garage

                        Cell Phone # 609-513-8922

 

Date:               March 4, 2016

 

Re:                  Proposed Changes/Amendments to Local Union 880 BY-LAWS

 

Article III        Nominations and Elections                            1

Article IV        Duties of Officers                                           7

Article V         Duties of Shop Stewards, and Members                    1, 4

Article VII      Dues and Initiations                                       3

Article VIII     Step Grievance Procedures                            1

Article IX        Mileage of Officers/Transportation for Officers      2, 3

 

 

 

 

Article III

Nominations and Elections

Section 1: An Election Committee of five (5) members in good standing who are eligible to be elected as officers or Executive Board members, the majority appointed by the President, and the minority appointed by the Vice President, shall take charge of the election and provide safeguards to ensure a fair election. No candidate for office shall be eligible to serve on the election Committee nor can unchallenged candidates not on the ballot participate during the election process.

 

 

 

 

Article IV

Duties of Officers

Section 7: When a member’s case has been presented and is denied by the Executive Board that member can request their case be presented at the General Membership as an appeal for Arbitration.

 

Article V

Duties of Shop Stewards, and Members

Section 1:  Shop Stewards shall participate in each step 1 grievance procedure, unless the steward is the grievant, in which case they also be entitled to union representation. Union stewards, unless the Steward is the grievant, shall be recognized by the Employer as representatives of the employees for the purposes of enforcing the contract/agreement, and shall generally act as representatives of this Local Union on the job. All Shop Stewards are elected by the general membership per classification within their locations.

 

Section 4:  Members of this Local Union shall be governed as to their duties according to this Local Union Member Vs Member CONDUCT CODE OF ETHICS, and ATU International Union Laws governing conduct of members. (Note: Code of Conduct attached to these proposals on last page.)

 

 

 

 

 

Article VII

Dues and Initiations

Section 3: Except for increases mandated by the International Constitution, rates of dues and initiation fees shall not be increased and no special or general assessment shall be levied unless (1) reasonable written notice of intent to vote on the increase and/or assessment is approved by a majority vote, by secret ballot of the members in good standing voting at a special or general membership meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article VIII

Steps Grievance Procedures

 

Section 1:  All grievances must take the proper steps: and all member vs Member grievances will stop at the fourth step and if not resolved may move forward to be considered ATU International Union possible charges filed by the member.

            1st Step:           All grievances must be taken to the Shop Steward.

            2nd Step:          To the Business Agent or President.

            3rd Step:          To the Local Executive Board.

            4th Step:          To the General Membership.

            5th Step:          To the New Jersey State Council.

            6th Step:          To Appeal to the International Office.

 

 

 

 

 


 [G1]Change the meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. because many members work early the next day.

 

 [G2]Change from 9:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. because the meeting is starting 30 minutes earlier

 [G3]Change to 5 delegates because we have an extra seat on the State Council now.

 [G4]Add secretary-treasurer because we have an additional seat to the State Council now.

 [G5]Change from committeeperson to shop stewards

 

 [G6]Delete sentence because it is unnecessary.

 [JC7]We will explain how the President’s and Secretary-Treasurer’s rate of pay is determined.

 [G8]Correct typo from have to has

 [G9]Add except election committees because the election committee members work over 10 hours on election day.

 [G10]Add sentence – all hours under this paragraph will be paid at straight time. 

 [G11]Change from committeeperson to shop stewards

 [G12]Change from $150 per month to eight hours at bus operator’s top rate because the shop stewards have not had a real raise in over 15 years.

 

 [G13]Add number 3 field salary delegate because we have 5 seats at the International Convention dues to the size of our membership.

 [G14]Change from 4 to 5 because we are now entitled to 5 delegates.

 [G15]Change to vice president and sixth delegate because the first 5 delegates already attend the convention.

 [G16]Delete field salary delegate and change second to first and third to second because the field salary delegate already attends the convention.

 [G17]Add  “in writing” to avoid confusion.

 [G18]Eliminate Atlantic City Bus Terminal as a polling locations.  Not enough members voting in ACBT to justify the cost.

 [G19]Change polling hours to 6am to 6pm to give more members the opportunity to vote.  This is an additional two hours.

 [G20]Add sentence regarding interim elections for shop stewards.  This will save money.

 [G21]Change to 120 days in accordance with international constitution

 [G22]Add sentence to agree with international constituion

 [G23]Changing to the highest number of votes could conflict with international constitution.  This section needs further review.

 

 [JC24]Change the Executive Board meeting from the third Tuesday to the first Tuesday of the month.  This change will only affect union officers.

 [G25]Change Executive Board meeting from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

 [G26]Add “and legal fees” because legal fees are part of arbitration expenses.

 [G27]Add “on a yearly basis or when deemed necessary.”  It would be a bookkeeping nightmare to assess for every individual arbitration case.

 [G28]Change from $150 to 8 hrs pay.  Executive Board members will be forfeiting their 8 hours pay instead of $150.  This rarely happens , if ever.

 [JC29]Replace Section 1 paragraph with this paragraph because this is the current past practice that has been in effect for approximately 20 years.

 [JC30]Replace Section 3 paragraph with this new paragraph because this is the current past practice that has been in effect for approximately 20 years.