NS Rethinks July 12th START Modifications

Thankfully, the Carrier has rethought the changes to the START Policy concerning GR-13 and GR-14 violations that were initiated on July 12th.  I think the fact that our Committee and the UTU on Norfolk Southern stood together with unity throughout this process was a very contributing factor to these changes.  The changes as of today are:

1)                GR-13/GR-14 violations will continue to be treated as Serious offenses under START.  They will be subject to the normal 24-month rolling period for counting purposes.  The 3-day removal from service portion of the START modifications will, effective today, be held in abeyance.  This means that employees will not be removed from service following an observed violation; however, the Carrier may still send the employee home for the remainder of the tour of duty (with pay).  The supervisor and local chairman will attempt to meet within three days of the violation for purposes of explaining the seriousness of the rule violation, and deciding whether to handle the violation through a START waiver, or through investigation.  The START Oversight Committee will meet again in approximately six months to review the results of this modified approach—were there less violations, and were there no serious injuries as a result of these violations. 

2)                 Rule violation derailments/incidents resulting in damage will be treated as Serious offenses under START.  If the FRA damage threshold is not met, the Carrier will evaluate the incident to determine if the following occurred:

a.     Failure to protect a shove move;

b.    Failure to secure equipment;

c.     Failure to properly line and double-check route.

                  If yes to any of the above, it will likely be treated as a Serious offense.


Once again, thanks for the solidarity that was shown at each of our locals.  Communicate these changes to your members and feel free to contact us with any questions or problems.