I spent this week in Contract Negotiations in Dallas. We spent much of the week working on the Scope Article. The Fleet and M&R rooms worked together to ensure that the language did not pose conflict across Title Groups, and also to maximize the work that we perform. As this is among the most complex articles in the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), it is proving to be a time-consuming process. The Scope article describes the very work that we do. As there are significant differences between the Scope language in the IAM/LUS and the TWU/LAA contracts, the compiling of data, the combining of existing language, and the writing of new language requires significant time and resources. As most everyone has understandingly become anxious to reach a settlement in these talks, getting hasty and rushing through this process is simply not an option. The entire Negotiating Committee is committed to bring an industry leading contract to you, and well written Scope language is the very foundation for long-term job security for us all. The work on Scope will continue throughout the weeks ahead until both the Fleet and M&R Negotiating Committees meet in DCA on January 8, 2018. Again, Scope is among the economic articles and economic issues are historically discussed toward the end of the negotiating process.
On to the other hot topic: Equity Distribution. There has been significant progress toward the distribution of these funds recently, yet, the necessary arrangements have not been finalized at this time. Unfortunately, there has been some information shared on social media this week that is simply premature and unverifiable. Again, the two hurdles that remain include verification of the tax implications for the capital gains realized, and, the actual method that will be utilized to deliver the money to you. Until such time that both of these matters are resolved, no official information can be shared. Finally, Local 512 has absolutely no say whatsoever of how and when these funds will be distributed, yet, we have made it very clear to the International Leadership that our membership is becoming very impatient. We will pass along any information as soon as it becomes available.
My calendar is very full in the upcoming weeks. As the year draws to an end, there are two big issues relating to benefits that are must be attended to before 1/1/2018. The first involves the change of the Union’s Short Term Disability (STD) carrier from The Standard to The Hartford. For those members that have the coverage, a seamless transition will occur with no action necessary on your part, however much work and planning has been going on for some months behind the scenes to achieve that goal. Secondly, for those members moving into the Long Term Disability Plan (LTD), much work is being done to ensure a smooth transition for 1/1/2018. One very beneficial thing that resulted from the move to The Hartford for both the TWU STD and LTD plans is for those that transition from STD to LTD, there will be a much easier and seamless claims process. Contract negotiations continue the week of January 8 in DCA. Benefits and Workers Compensation meetings are scheduled for the week of January 15 in DFW. Contract negotiations are scheduled for the week of January 22 in DCA. Finally, I will be attending meeting of the International Executive Board during the week of January 29 in MIA.