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BLE Membership Growth
The BLE Proudly welcomes the 224 new members who joined
our ranks in the month of August!
OCTOBER 12-17 Newswriting and Editing for Union Publications.
Class offered by the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring,
Md. Participants will cover basic newswriting techniques and learn how to
produce their own publications. Workshops will focus on use of color, writing,
headlines, layout, design and photo editing. Participants will explore what
it means to be an advocacy press today and how newsletters can support the
labor movement's initiatives. For more details or to register, contact the
George Meany Center Registration Office at (301) 431-5422.
OCTOBER 13-18... BLE-GIA Southwestern Convention Meeting (SWCM)
holds its annual convention in El Paso, Texas. Call SWCM Chairman Mike Ortega
at (915) 581-0758, or write him at: 321 Rainbow Circle, El Paso, TX 79912-3717.
For room reservations, call the Camino Real Hotel at (800) 769-4300 during
business hours, Mountain Standard Time. Activities include golf tournament,
shopping, sight-seeing and several educational seminars.
OCTOBER 13-18 BLE Secretary-Treasurer Training Class in Texas.
Held during the BLE Southwestern Convention Meeting Association at the Camino
Real Hotel in El Paso, Texas; hotel phone (800) 769-4300. Call BLE's Carolyn
Copeland at (216) 241-2630, ext. 253 for class info.
OCTOBER 19-23 1997 Advanced Southern Labor School. Held at the
Gulf Shores State Park Resort Hotel in Gulf Shores, Ala. Established in
1952, this year's program will focus on organizing drives and strategies,
legislative issues and political action, bargaining trends, the economic
situation of workers, labor law, unemployment insurance, workers' comp laws
and much more. Participating states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida,
Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. For details, contact President
of the Southern Labor School Jim Neeley at (615) 269-7111.
MAY 30-30, 1998 BLE-GIA International Western Convention. The
desert Southwest of Tucson, Ariz. will be home for the 1998 IWC. The convention
will be held at the Westward Look Resort, located at 245 East Ina Road in
Tucson. More details to come when available. IWC Chairman Ken Kroeger encourages
early registration. Contact the hotel at (520) 297-1151 for reservations.
To contact Brother Kroeger, write: 8720 N. Myrtle, Tucson, AZ 85704; or
phone (520) 575-1002; or fax (520) 575-1705.
Want your newsletter on-line?
CLEVELAND Did you know that you could've been reading this newsletter
a week or more ago! If you have an Internet connection, you can access and
read your BLE newsletter each month by visiting the BLE Home Page at this
Besides reading BLE news sooner, you'll help your union save money, energy
If you prefer to read your newsletter on the BLE website and no longer
wish to receive this paper version via second-class "snail mail,"
just e-mail your preference along with your Membership Reference Number
(that's the top line of digits from your newsletter mailing label below)
Also, if you prefer, you can read our union's quarterly magazine on the
BLE website. Just let us know!
Please note that eliminating the hardcopy of your BLE publication(s)
will not change the status of your other mailings from the BLE International
- 1997 BLE Fees
- Objector Policy
- 1. Employee Rights
- a. Any employee covered by a union or agency shop agreement in the
United States has the legal right to be or remain a nonmember of the Union.
Nonmembers have the legal right: (1) to object to paying for Union activities
not related to collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance
adjustment, and to obtain a reduction in fees for such activities; (2)
to be given sufficient information to intelligently decide whether to object;
and (3) to be apprised of internal Union procedures for filing objections.
Employees who choose to object have the right to be apprised of the percentage
of the reduction, the basis for the calculation, and the right to challenge
- b. To the extent permitted by law, nonmembers may not participate in
Union elections as a voter or as a candidate; attend Union meetings; serve
as delegates to the Convention, or participate in the selection of such
delegates; or participate in the process by which collective bargaining
agreements are ratified.
- 2. Publication of Policy
- The fee objector policy shall be published annually in the BLE's newsletter
in the month preceding the objection notice period and mailed annually
to each objector. It shall also be provided to each new employee when s/he
first becomes subject to a union shop agreement.
- 3. Making Objection Known
- Objecting nonmembers shall provide notice of objection by notifying
the International General Secretary-Treasurer of the objection by first-class
mail postmarked during the month of November preceding the calendar year
to which s/he objects, or within thirty (30) days after s/he first begins
paying fees and receives notice of these procedures, except for 1996 only
objectors to 1997 fees shall state their objection by January 31, 1997.
- The objection shall contain the objector's current home address. Nonmembers
wishing to continue their objection from year to year must renew their
objection each year as specified in this paragraph.
- Objections may only be made by individual employees. No petition objections
will be honored.
- 4. Major Categories of Chargeable Expenses
- All objectors shall pay their fair share of expenses germane to collective
- a. All expenses concerning the negotiation of agreements, practices
and working conditions;
- b. All expenses concerning the administration of agreements, practices
and working conditions, including grievance handling, all activities related
to arbitration, and discussion with employees in the craft or class (or
bargaining unit) or employer representatives regarding working conditions,
benefits and contract rights;
- c. Convention expenses and other union internal governance and management
- d. Social activities and union business meeting expenses;
- e. Publication expenses to the extent coverage is related to chargeable
- f. Expenses of litigation related to collective bargaining, contract
administration and internal governance;
- g. Expenses for legislative and administrative agency activities to
effectuate collective bargaining agreements;
- h. All expenses for the education and training of officers and staff
intended to prepare the participants to better perform chargeable activities;
- i. All costs of strikes and other lawful economic actions.
- 5. Determination of Chargeable Share
- The BLE shall retain a certified public accountant to perform an independent
audit of the records of the International Division. The BLE shall also
retain an independent referee for the purpose of determining the percentage
of expenditures that fall within the categories specified in Section 4.
The amount of the expenditures that fall within Section 4 shall be the
basis for calculating the reduced fees that must be paid by the objector.
The independent referee shall also give an opinion concerning the adequacy
of the escrow amounts maintained pursuant to Section 10, and later will
verify the existence and the amounts of money in any escrow account.
- 6. Report of Chargeable Share and Basis of Its Calculation
- The independent referee shall report the determination no later than
May 31. This report shall include an analysis of the major categories of
union expenses that are chargeable and nonchargeable. A copy of the independent
referee's report shall be sent to all nonmembers whose timely objections
have not been revoked.
- 7. Challenge Procedure
- Each person entitled to receive the referee's report may challenge
the validity of the calculations made by the independent referee by filing
an appeal with the International General Secretary-Treasurer. Such appeal
must be made by sending a letter to the International General Secretary-Treasurer
postmarked no later than June 30.
- 8. Arbitration of Challenges
- a. After the close of the appeals period, the International General
Secretary-Treasurer shall provide a list of appellants to the American
Arbitration Association (AAA). All appeals shall be consolidated. The AAA
shall appoint an arbitrator pursuant to its Rules for Impartial Determination
of Union Fees. The AAA shall inform the International.
- b. The arbitration shall commence by August 1 or as soon thereafter
as the AAA can schedule the arbitration. The arbitrator shall have control
over all procedural matters affecting the arbitration in order to fulfill
the need for an informed and expeditious arbitration.
- c. Each party to the arbitration shall bear their own costs. The appellants
shall have the option of paying a pro-rata portion of the arbitrator's
fees and expenses. The balance of such fees and expenses shall be paid
by the BLE.
- d. A court reporter shall make a transcript of all proceedings before
the arbitrator. This transcript shall be the official record of the proceedings
and may be purchased by the appellants. If appellants do not purchase a
copy of the transcript, a copy shall be available for inspection at the
International during normal business hours.
- e. Appellants may, at their expense, be represented by counsel or other
representative of choice. Appellants need not appear at the hearing and
shall be permitted to file written statements with the arbitrator instead
of appearing. Such statement shall be filed no later than fifteen (15)
days after the transcript becomes available, but in no case more than thirty
(30) days after the hearing closes.
- f. Fourteen (14) days prior to the start of the first hearing, appellants
shall be provided with a list of all exhibits intended to be introduced
at the hearing and a list of all witnesses intended to be called, except
for exhibits and witnesses that may be introduced for rebuttal. On written
request from an appellant, copies of exhibits (or in the case of voluminous
exhibits, summaries thereof) shall be provided to them. Additionally, copies
of exhibits shall be available for inspection and copying at the hearing.
- g. The International shall have the burden of establishing that the
reduced fees set forth in the referee's report are lawful.
- h. If the arbitrator shall determine that more than one day of hearings
is necessary, hearings shall be scheduled to continue from day to day until
completed. The parties to the appeal shall have the right to file a brief
within fifteen (15) days after the transcript of the hearing is available,
but in no case no more than thirty (30) days after the hearing closes.
The arbitrator shall issue a decision within forty-five (45) days after
the submission of post-hearing briefs or within such other reasonable period
as is consistent with the rules established by the AAA.
- i. The arbitrator shall give full consideration to the legal requirements
limiting the amounts that objectors may be charged, and shall set forth
in the decision the legal and arithmetic basis for such decision.
- 9. Payment of Reduced Fees
- Objectors shall pay reduced monthly fees based on the most recent report
of the independent referee pending determination of the objection year's
- 10. Escrow of Disputed Funds
- An amount equal to 25 percent of the reduced monthly fees, or such
other greater amount as the independent referee may recommend, shall be
placed in an interest-bearing escrow account pending final determination
of the chargeable share. Escrowed funds shall be disbursed to objectors
and the Union upon issuance of the arbitrator's decision or fifteen (15)
days after the conclusion of the appeal period if there are no challenges
to the independent referee's determination. ·
Volume 11, Number 9 · September 1997
- BLE Publications Committee
- Clarence V. Monin, International
- Edward Dubroski, First Vice-President
& Alternate President
- Russell W. Bennett, General Secretary-Treasurer
- Leroy D. Jones, Vice-President &
U.S. National Legislative Representative
- William C. Walpert, Vice-President
- John Bentley Jr., Associate Editor
- COPYRIGHT 1997, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
- THE LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEER NEWSLETTER
- is published monthly by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers,
- 1370 Ontario Street, Cleveland, OH 44113-1702.
END OF SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER
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