NCFO PRESS RELEASE

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Newark, NJ

Newark, NJ – The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU 32BJ (NCFO), announced today that a Tentative Agreement with New Jersey Transit (NJT), has been reached.

On December 1, 2019, pursuant to Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the NCFO served formal notices for changes in current rates of pay, rules and working conditions.

This agreement provides solid wage increases during a National Emergency Pandemic for the NCFO members and all New jersey Transit employees, who have continued to provide professional service for NJT during this crisis.”

NCFO President Dean Devita

“Because of the pandemic, never in the history of NJT have the NCFO members needed a wage increase more and this increase is well deserved. The NCFO members must be treated with dignity and respect for their action during this National Emergency.”

NCFO Assistant to the President Michael Pistone

We look forward to presenting the Tentative Agreement to the NCFO membership for their consideration.

The Ratification process will take place in the very near future.

The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.

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Railroad Enrollment Services

2022 BENEFITS OPEN ENROLLMENT

Between Oct. 1-31, 2021, you can enroll in or change your Medical or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefit selections for the 2022 benefit year. For more information about the FSA, please visit yourtracktohealth.com or ytth.com. Note that you must enroll in the FSA program each year to participate.


Your Track to Health is your online enrollment site – it provides the ability to view your personal information, update dependent information, view enrollment materials, or opt out of coverage. Go to yourtracktohealth.com or ytth.com to learn more. If you need further assistance or require a paper enrollment kit, please call Railroad Enrollment Services at 1-800-753-2692, Mon-Fri 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (EST).

NCFO PRESS RELEASE

NCFO logo
Washington, DC

On behalf of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU 32BJ, President Dean Devita issues a statement regarding the Amtrak derailment in north-central Montana.

“The NCFO would like to send our condolences to the loved ones of those who passed away and well wishes to those who are still recovering from injuries after the tragic accident this past weekend. At around 4 p.m. mountain time on Saturday, Sept. 25, the Amtrak Empire Builder passenger train 7/27, heading west from Chicago, IL to Seattle, WA, derailed operating on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks near Joplin, MT. Eight of the ten train cars came off the tracks. There were approximately 160 people onboard including crew members. Sadly, three people lost their lives, and more than 40 were injured. Five people were hospitalized, two of which remain intensive care. We are hopeful that the survivors all recover from this horrific and unlikely event, and we expect a full investigation will uncover the cause of the derailment. It’s imperative that we determine the problem to prevent this from happening again. Rail safety is the utmost priority for our railroad brothers & sisters and the passengers who opt to take a train over other travel options.

To the family & friends of the victims of this tragedy, words aren’t enough, but we hope you can find strength during this difficult time. We all share in your sorrow with love, support, and kindness.”

– NCFO President Dean Devita

The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.

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COORDINATED BARGAINING COALITION

The Rail Unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC), negotiating together in the current round of National Negotiations, have issued the following statement:

“As we advised in January of 2021, the CBC and the nation’s rail carriers have been at the bargaining table since the beginning of 2020. Since January, CBC has continued to meet with the Rail Carriers, returning to in-person meetings in August. At that meeting, CBC made it clear to the Rail Carriers that neither our Bargaining Coalition, nor our collective memberships, would accept a concessionary agreement on a voluntary basis. The Carriers were told that our members have been asked to work as essential workers throughout the Pandemic, while being treated more like expendable workers. Our members are infuriated that they have worked through these conditions without a wage increase in over two (2) years and it is unacceptable that the Nation’s Rail Carriers continue to stonewall CBC Unions in our effort to settle our contract negotiations on a voluntary basis.

“In January, we said that ‘the Rail Carriers have not made any proposals worthy of consideration by the membership of the CBC Unions.’ No Carrier proposals have been received since our January 2021 update that would change the veracity of that statement. We will continue to negotiate in good faith, fully recognizing that it is our members who must ratify any voluntary agreement.”

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The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are: the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD).

Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations.

Help Secure Federal Funding for High-Speed Rail Projects

NCFO logo
Washington, D.C.

Dean Devita

President

Robert Smith

Secretary Treasurer

NCFO Brothers and Sisters:

The NCFO is a proud partner of the U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition

Building high-speed rail in multiple regions is one of the most transformative ways our nation can build back better. High-speed rail is a remarkable, proven technology that can address multiple challenges simultaneously, including the revival of domestic manufacturing, creation of strong, Union jobs, increased interconnections between rural and urban areas and climate change mitigation through the reduction of inefficient trucks on our highways.

To help secure federal funding for high-speed rail projects, we are asking all NCFO members to call the legislators in Washington, D.C. at 1-877-206-1846. Below is a script you can recite to help with our pitch:

Hello, my name is {{NAME}}, and I live and vote in {{LOCATION}}. I’m asking you to make sure that we include major funding and strong labor standards for high-speed rail in the budget reconciliation bill.
 
High-speed rail will create strong stable union jobs and boost local economies with increased good-paying employment opportunities.
 
High-speed rail also connects communities, while highways have a history of by-passing neighborhoods, leaving behind small businesses and the people living in those communities.
 
To compete in the 21st century, we need to build high-speed rail across America. But the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill won’t fund even one new high-speed rail line. We are woefully behind other countries when it comes to high-speed rail and this decision to cut funding is a huge strategic error.
 
We need to go big on high-speed rail funding in budget reconciliation. Will you commit to passing a budget reconciliation bill that dramatically increases funding for high-speed rail and includes strong labor standards?

Please join us in securing rail as a prominent and vital American infrastructure project. We need to insist that rail be a focal point in this country – now and into the future.

High-speed rail is a win-win for America

By RAY LAHOOD, ANTHONY FOXX and NORMAN MINETA for the Chicago Tribune
China’s CRH high-speed trains sit on tracks at a maintenance base in central China’s Hubei province in 2012. (AP)

Across the country, overcrowded highways are bottling up our cities and choking economic life. At the same time, oil-fueled cars and planes are pumping masses of carbon and toxic pollution into the atmosphere, polluting vulnerable communities and accelerating global warming.

As three former secretaries of transportation, we believe that high-speed rail is the single most effective way to move America’s transportation system into the 21st century. A robust network of high-speed rail corridors with high-performance connections is the most powerful strategy to dramatically reduce climate pollution while reducing traffic congestion and improving intercity travel.

The interstate highway system, which began decades ago as a fast and efficient means of travel, is now fueling climate disaster and undermining our ability to compete at home and abroad. Congestion cost our economy $179 billion in 2017, according to the Texas A&M University Transportation Institute’s 2019 Urban Mobility Report. Highway congestion is expected to cost us $237 billion in 2025. Americans waste 105 million weeks per year in their cars, and enough fuel to load 58 supertankers to the brim.

High-speed rail provides a systemic solution to our climate, pollution and congestion woes. Powered by electricity, high-speed trains can run on renewable energy. Throughout the world, bullet trains have reduced demand for polluting highways, short-haul flights and single-occupancy vehicles. They also move huge numbers of people efficiently, with a proposed single highspeed rail line in California matching the capacity of six highway lanes, 91 airport gates and two new runways.

Compared with highways, high-speed rail lines are a bargain. According to a study by the Washington State Department of Transportation, a proposed high-speed rail line between Eugene, Oregon, and Vancouver, Canada, would cost $42 billion while generating $355 billion in economic benefits — a nearly 10-to-1 return on investment. By contrast, widening the I-5 highway between the cities by one lane in each direction would cost $108 billion and do nothing to relieve congestion.

The question is: If we build it, will they come? The answer, without question, is yes.

History has shown that as soon as a country inaugurates a high-speed rail line, the public demands more. That happened after Japan opened its Tokyo-to-Osaka line in 1964. After France opened its Paris-to-Lyon line in 1981, not only France but all of Europe wanted one.

Why? High-speed trains are convenient and comfortable. They depart and arrive in city centers instead of remote airports, and do not require TSA checkpoints. They have legroom for all and Wi-Fi that actually works. Want to stretch your legs? You can get up and wander.

Thirty-two nations currently have operating high-speed rail systems. French, German, Italian and Japanese travelers have enjoyed bullet trains for decades. With a fraction of America’s gross domestic product, Morocco began operation on a 201-mile line between Casablanca and Tangier in 2018.

There’s one simple reason we have fallen so far behind the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to high-speed rail. You get what you pay for, and since World War II, Washington has prioritized funding for highways and aviation over passenger rail. Since 1949, Congress has invested over $2 trillion in highways and over $777 billion in aviation. Meanwhile, Congress has provided roughly $100 billion toward passenger rail, with just $8 billion dedicated solely to high-speed rail development, according to a report from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Since 2008, China has invested a mind-boggling $525 billion in high-speed rail. The result? The Chinese now operate about 23,500 miles of state-of-the art high-speed rail safely carrying millions of people around their nation at rapid speeds. These farsighted investments helped pull the Chinese economy out of the global financial crisis and create an entirely new domestic export industry.

To compete in the 21st century, America needs high-speed rail. The infrastructure debate in Washington provides a historic opportunity for us to catch up with the rest of the industrialized world and build the transportation infrastructure of the future.

In order to spark the second great American rail revolution Biden has called for, Congress should provide a minimum of $20 billion in dedicated funds for high-speed rail operating at speeds above 186 mph in the budget reconciliation bill winding through the House and Senate. These funds should include the robust labor standards outlined in the American High-Speed Rail Act. Congress should also establish a Rail Trust Fund to provide a reliable, dedicated funding source for rail development and a High-Speed Rail Development Authority within the Department of Transportation to plan and coordinate the development of a national high-speed rail network.

To this end, we are serving as co-chairs of the U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition, a new alliance of business and labor leaders calling on Washington to finally get serious about high-speed rail. This is our moment to make high-speed rail a reality across America. Let’s not waste it.


The authors all served as U.S. secretaries of the Transportation Department: Ray LaHood and Anthony Foxx in the Obama administration and Norman Mineta in the George W. Bush administration.

NCFO PRESS RELEASE

NCFO logo
Washington, DC

August 10th, 2021                                                                  

STATEMENT FROM NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF FIREMEN & OILERS’ PRESIDENT DEAN DEVITA CONCERNING THE SENATE’S BIPARTISAN INFRASTRUCTURE LEGISLATION.

“Today, the Senate voted 69 to 30 in favor of passing the H.R. 3684, INVEST in America Act. Though it is one step away from reaching the oval office as it must also pass back through the House, the $1 trillion bill includes $550 billion in new investments on the nation’s roads, public transit, water and broadband. This directly translates to millions of good paying union jobs over the next ten years and will benefit current and future generations of Americans across the country. It isn’t as aggressive as the original bill that passed the House, but it is a giant leap in the right direction towards growing the economy, enhancing our competitiveness, and making our economy more sustainable, resilient, and just. The NCFO and our rail labor partners will continue to work with Congress to ensure the final bill stands to benefit our rail workers across all Unions.

President Biden is about to make history as presidents over the last few decades have tried and failed to pass an infrastructure package. He ran on the “Build Back Better” platform with improvements to infrastructure being the centerpiece of his agenda. He vowed to reach across the aisles to get America back on track, and this bill is a prime example of his efforts as both Republicans and Democrats worked together on the bipartisan bill and got it passed. Let this be an example of how we all need to put politics aside and work together for the greater good of our nation.”

The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.

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NCFO PRESS RELEASE

NCFO logo
Washington, DC

August 5th, 2021                                                                    

On behalf of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU 32BJ, President Dean Devita issues a statement regarding the untimely passing of President Richard L. Trumka of the AFLCIO.

“Today we mourn the loss of a true legend in the labor movement. President Richard Trumka dedicated his life to uplifting the working class for nearly 50 years starting as a young staff attorney with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in 1974. A third-generation coal miner himself, he was an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice and lead the labor movement’s efforts to create an economy based on broadly shared prosperity. He believed in holding employers and political leaders accountable to our working families. It is incumbent upon us to follow his example of exemplary leadership in fighting for workers’ rights.”

NCFO President Dean Devita

President Richard L. Trumka passed away today at age 72. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family & friends during this time, as well as the many people whose lives he has impacted throughout time as a leader.

The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.

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NCFO Press Release

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Washington, DC

It was announced on May 19, 2021 that Jennifer Homendy would be President Biden’s pick to serve as Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the governing body responsible for making transportation safer by conducting independent accident investigations, advocating safety improvements, and deciding certification appeals for pilots & mariners. The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU 32BJ (NCFO) stands behind this nomination and urges the Senate to quickly advance her appointment to the board.

Jennifer Homendy has served as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board since August 2018. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Homendy served more than 14 years as Democratic Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in the U.S. House of Representatives. She previously held positions with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and American Iron and Steel Institute.

With more than 25 years of experience in transportation safety, you could not find a more suitable candidate than Jennifer Homendy. Her documented expertise and unwavering efforts to advocate for safety should earn her another unanimous confirmation by the Senate as they did 3 years ago. We applaud President Joe Biden for this nomination and look forward to welcoming Jennifer Homendy as the new Chair of the NTSB.“

NCFO President Dean Devita

The NCFO believes that Member Homendy has the knowledge, skills, qualifications, and the record to prove she will be a distinguished leader at the National Transportation Safety Board, and we proudly support her confirmation.

The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.

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NCFO Press Release

NCFO logo
New York, NY

NCFO JOINS HIGH-SPEED RAIL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Dean Devita, President of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU 32BJ (NCFO) announced today that the Executive Board of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers unanimously voted to join the U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition Executive Committee. The Committee is comprised of passenger and high-speed rail stakeholders, proponents and supporters.

The Committee’s campaign will focus on educating both the public and all levels of elected officials on the benefits of investing in the expansion of high-speed rail services.

Goals of the Campaign

  • A minimum of $205 billion for true high-speed rail
  • The establishment of a Rail Trust Fund
  • Formation of a High-Speed Rail Development Agency within USDOT
  • Maintaining the robust labor standards outlined in the American High Speed Rail Act

The U.S. High-Speed Rail Coalition is chaired by three former secretaries of the Department of Transportation. Through their fierce efforts advocating for more high-speed rail funding, the High-Speed Rail Coalition has increased the funding from $20 billion to $30 billion over five years in the INVEST ACT.  The Coalition hopes to increase high-speed rail funding even more in the next few months during reconciliation.

High-Speed Rail means jobs for all rail partner unions. As well as members in SEIU, the building and construction trades, steel workers and plumbers.  The Buy America provisions will help revitalize our domestic manufacturing and steel production.  Increasing high-speed rail funding opens up an avenue for new union members in this new transportation sector.  It is the future of those unions, especially the rail unions, and most of all the members of the NCFO, SEIU and our rail union partners.

NCFO President Dean Devita issued the following statement:

“If not today, when will our Nation address the desperate need for High-Speed Rail? TODAY is the opportunity to rebuild our transportation infrastructure. The NCFO is proud to join the High-Speed Rail Executive Committee. Together WE will make sure America rebuilds, rides and prosperous because of High-Speed Rail.”

NCFO Secretary-Treasurer Robert Smith stated:

The NCFO is excited about this opportunity, for commuters, NCFO members and for the entire Labor Movement.”   

The NCFO is are an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy. The NCFO represents members employed in the Commercial Sector and Freight Railroads, Amtrak, Commuter Rail and short line railroads.

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