For the full new hire presentation you received in your new hire orientation CLICK HERE!
Starting any new career is scary. Starting a career on the railroad can be down right frightening. We've all been there at one time or another. We recommend every new hire complete the following steps to ensure a prosperous career.
Sign Up For Discipline Income Protection
- What is it? It is a plan providing payment for a specific amount and period of time to an employee suspended, dismissed or removed from service by the carrier for alleged violation of rules or operating procedures,provided that such violations do not come within the list of exceptions not covered by the program.
- If you work on the railroad, you better have it.
- Railroad employment is unlike any other. Members get fired, and fired often, many times not doing anything wrong. You can get fired for set amounts of time, before returning to work. This means going without income for up to 1 year. Discipline Income Protection helps protect you during these times.
- A SMART Discipline Income Protection application can be found here.
- A schedule of benefits under the SMART Discipline Income Protection plan can be found here.
Set-up an Account with the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
- Anytime RRB benefits are paid, (unemployment, sickness, survivor) an account is needed. Take the time to set one up today! It can be done easily online at www.rrb.gov. You must request a PRC (password request code) which will be mailed in around 10 days. Once you receive your PRC by mail, you may access your account online with RRB as well as change your PRC
- Once you have established an account with the RRB, we recommend you submit all vital records with them. In order for benefits to be paid, the RRB needs to have copies of your, your spouse, and any children's birth certificates, your marriage license as well as both your, your spouse, and children's social security numbers. This can only be done by taking the originals of each directly to the Railroad Retirement Board offices in Denver. They will not accept copies that you make. They are located at 721 19th Street Denver, CO in Room 177. They are open from 9:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. Monday thru Friday, and closed on weekends and holidays.
- Please allow 4-6 weeks after your new hire class before contacting the Railroad Retirement Board. This will give the RRB enough time to process your information into their systems.
Set-up Beneficiaries with MetLife
- Under the National Railway Carriers and United Transportation Union (NRC/UTU) Health and Welfare Plan, Group Life Insurance Policy through MetLife, SMART members have a free Basic Life Insurance Policy in the amount of $20,000.00, and an additional $16,000.00 accidental death and dismemberment. At retirement, the Basic Life benefit reduces to $2,000.00. Members have the option to convert the $18,000.00 differential at retirement. The Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage cancels upon retirement. If you are not married, be sure to contact MetLife at 1-800-310-7770 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST to set up a beneficiary. Tell them you are calling about plan Railroad-105147.
Fill out this Form
- We strongly encourage every member download this form and fill it out. Be sure to update it at least once a year. Also, make sure your spouse/loved one has a copy of it or knows where to find it.
Be a Union Member
- Seek out Union leaders at work. They are there to help you. Remember, they are members on the job just like you. You can learn a lot about how to become a great union member from them.
- Become familiar with work rules and do not violate them. There is no excuse for a member violating a work rule. They were fought hard for long before you were around, and you violating them is the quickest way to get labeled a "scab". If you see others violating our work rules, let them know you don't appreciate it.
- Become familiar with time claims. The only way to enforce our agreements made with the carrier is to know what an agreement violation is and how to properly claim it.
- Don't do another crafts work. Unless you are specifically instructed by management, do not take it upon yourself to do another crafts work. You wouldn't want a Carmen doing your work. Don't do theirs. If you are instructed by management to perform another crafts work, question why they are having you perform the work, and promptly notify your local chairman.
- Don't let management perform your work. If you see a manager performing "covered service", promptly notify your local chairman.
- Be open to learning. No one expects you to know everything as a new hire. Ask lots of questions, its the only way you will learn anything.
Remember the "BIG 3"
- Never get in a hurry. It doesn't matter if the work gets done or not, as long as you are working safely. If you are working with someone who is "rushing", let them know they need to slow down. Don't let others rush you (management or other members). If you feel like others are rushing you, explain to them that your are doing the job, "as safely and efficiently" as you can. Getting in a hurry is the quickest way to get hurt or fired.
- No one knows everything. Whether you are a new hire or 30+ year employee, if you are ever unsure of what to do, stop and ask questions. It doesn't make a difference if your blocking a mainline, another train, or have a yardmaster yelling at you, if you are unsure of what to do, stop everything until you know where you are at, and what you should be doing.
- You may not always get along with all your fellow Brothers/Sisters. However, it is important to always remember that you are a UNION MEMBER. You should always look out for your fellow brothers/sisters first and foremost.
Watch Your Finances
- Most new hires stand a good chance of becoming furloughed, which means little to no pay.
- Always be prepared financially to be out of work. Don't purchase "luxury" items, such as a new car, new house, or other expensive items, until you are sure you will not get furloughed.