Missouri State Legislative Board

Jason R. Hayden, Director
Curt Jones, Assistant Director

Open enrollment for the new SMART Transportation Division Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) is underway. Enrollment started in May and runs through Nov. 30, 2019. All dues-paying members of SMART TD living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week can apply for coverage. Members can enroll online by visiting www.smart-vltd.com, contacting a local field supervisor or by calling the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.

Since May 2019, SMART TD members have had a new disability benefit available to them. Enrollment for the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) ends November 30, 2019. Members can apply for coverage if they are a dues-paying member of SMART TD living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week.

Previously, SMART TD members had long-term disability insurance available to them through MetLife, but the MetLife plan ended April 1, 2019. The new plan is underwritten by Amalgamated Life Insurance Company. Members who were enrolled in the previous MetLife plan are guaranteed approved for a monthly benefit of up to $1,000 per month (2 or 5 years' duration).

“Applying for the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) is easy, because Amalgamated Life Insurance Company uses simplified medical underwriting,” stated Carl Galdine, the VDP enrollment director. “With simplified underwriting, there is no medical exam, only a few medical questions on the application.”

Enrollment packets including a letter, a summary of benefits, and information on how to enroll were mailed to SMART TD members in May and June. Members can enroll online by visiting www.smart-vltd.com, contacting a local field supervisor or by calling the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328 and speaking with a benefit specialist.

Below are highlights of the new Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP):

  • Members can choose between a 2- or 5-year option
  • Members can enroll in a monthly benefit ranging from $300 to $5,000 ($100 benefit increments) (monthly benefit may not exceed 60% of gross earnings)
  • Previous MetLife participants are guaranteed approved for a monthly benefit of up to $1,000
  • Benefit does not offset and pays in addition to all other benefits
  • Benefit starts paying after 180 days (6 months)
  • Pre-existing conditions are covered after 12 months on the plan
  • Benefit covers members on and off the job (24-hour coverage)
  • Benefit is not subject to repayment upon receipt of a FELA or personal injury settlement
  • Members can retain coverage even if they are furloughed or suspended (portable)

“This new plan was designed to work well with the benefits that SMART TD members already have available to them,” Galdine said. “It stacks on top of all other benefits including the Voluntary Short-Term Disability Plan and RRB benefits. Also, this plan starts after a 6-month waiting period when RRB Sickness Benefits typically end.”

Open enrollment ends Nov. 30, 2019.

For more information or to enroll, contact your local field supervisor, visit www.smart-vltd.com or call the SMART TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.



Discipline Income Protection Program:

It Pays!

What is the Discipline Income Protection Program?
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.

What benefits are paid?
You choose the level of benefits you want, from $6 to $200 per day, all at low monthly assessments. The term of benefits, from 200 to 365 days, depends on how long you have been enrolled in the program.

Who sponsors the program? SMART sponsors the Discipline Income Protection Program.

Who is eligible for coverage?
SMART Transportation Division members in the U.S. may enroll as members on a voluntary basis.

How do I join?
In the U.S., contact your field supervisor or local insurance representative for details, or write to:

Discipline Income Protection Program
SMART Transportation Division
24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340
North Olmsted, Ohio 44070-5333

More information?

If you would like more information about the SMART Discipline Income Protection Program, send requests to the email address below:


Benefits schedule: If you would like to view the Discipline Income Protection Program’s schedule of benefits, click on the link below:

Schedule of maximum benefits
Discipline Income Protection Plan summary plan description
DIPP Summary of Material Modifications

This is only a brief description of the Discipline Income Protection Program. The program is governed only by the terms of the official plan document. If there is any conflict between this description and the official plan document or between the official plan document and any statement by any person (including a SMART employee or representative), the plan document will govern.

Application: To download an application or claim form for the Discipline Income Protection Program, click on the links below:

SMART Transportation Division Discipline Income Protection Program application
SMART Transportation Division Discipline Income Protection Program claim form
SMART Transportation Division Discipline Income Protection Program authorization for automatic transfers


According to a new report from Pew Research, a nonpartisan nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC, the American middle class has not only shrunk, but it has also lost 30 percent of the wealth it held a generation ago.

The report finds that in early 2015, 120.8 million adults could claim to be in the American middle class versus 70.3 million in lower-income and 51 million in upper-income households. While the number of Americans belonging to the middle class increased due to the natural progression that results from population growth, a bigger share of the population belonged to the middle class while holding a greater share of the total wealth.  The study finds that the share of income held by middle-income families has plummeted to 43 percent in 2015 versus 6 percent of the wealth in 1971.  The share of wealth held by lower income households remained stable during this time while the share of income held by upper income Americans has exploded to 49 percent of all total wealth in 2015 as opposed to the 29 percent share held in 1971.

The demographic and income data comes from the US Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey” which serves as the basis of research on income and poverty issues.

Rail News - U.S. Class I workforce continues to shrink. 

As of mid-October, the largest U.S. railroads employed 165,606 people, down slightly from September's level. But on a year-over-year basis, the workforce shrank 2.14 percent compared with October 2014's level, according to data from the Surface Transportation Board.

On a month-over-month basis, the size of the total Class I workforce fell in four of the six employment categories: executives, officials and staff assistants, down 0.72 percent; maintenance of way (MOW) and structures, down 0.40 percent; maintenance of equipment and stores, down 0.40 percent; and transportation (train and engine), down 1.64 percent.

Two categories barely logged increases between mid-September and mid-October: professional and administrative, rose 0.05 percent, and transportation (other than T&E), inched up 0.37 percent.

On a year-over-year basis, workforce categories that posted decreases were transportation (T&E), down 6.31 percent; transportation (other than T&E), down 0.27 percent; and executives, officials and staff assistants, down 3.02 percent.

Worker categories that reflected increases year-over-year were professional and administrative, up 0.84 percent; MOW and structures, up 1.73 percent; and maintenance of equipment and stores, up 1.31 percent.

November 9, 2015

Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

OSHA publishes final rule for handling retaliation complaints from
workers in railroad and public transportation industries

WASHINGTON - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration today issued a final rule establishing procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints under the National Transit Systems Security Act and the Federal Railroad Safety Act. The final rule is effective Nov. 9, 2015.

NTSSA establishes protections against retaliation for public transportation agency employees who engage in whistleblowing activities related to public transportation safety or security. FRSA provides protections against retaliation for railroad carrier employees who report a work-related injury or engage in other whistleblowing activities related to railroad safety or security. These protections extend to employees of contractors and subcontractors who do work for public transportation agencies and railroad carriers.

Both provisions were enacted by the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. FRSA was amended in 2008 to prohibit railroad carriers from denying, delaying or interfering with employees' medical or first aid treatment. The FRSA amendments also require that injured employees be promptly transported to the nearest hospital upon request.

"Railroad workers have the right to report injuries and to follow their doctor's treatment plans for injuries sustained in the course of their employment without fearing that they will be retaliated against," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Railroad and public transit agency workers must never be silenced by the threat of losing their job when their safety or the safety of the public is at stake."

In 2010, OSHA published an interim final rule and requested public comments. The final rule responds to the comments, incorporates recent case law under the statutes and updates the rules to improve both employees' and employers' access to information about the case during OSHA's investigation and their ability to participate in OSHA's investigation.

OSHA's Whistleblower Protection for Public Transportation Agency Workers* and Whistleblower Protection for Railroad Workers* fact sheets explain who is covered under the acts, protected activity, types of retaliation and the process for filing a complaint.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, maritime, health care, workplace safety and health, and consumer product safety laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.whistleblowers.gov.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 FREE (federal relay).

Summary of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015

Improving Our Infrastructure

· Provides certainty for state and local governments to undertake large-scale, complex transportation projects

· Provides flexibility for states to invest in bridge rehabilitation and replacement

· Eliminates red tape that slows down infrastructure improvements


· Streamlines the environmental review and permitting process to accelerate project delivery

· Provides more flexibility and decision-making to states and local governments to allow them to better address their priorities and needs

· Eliminates and consolidates offices within the Department of Transportation

· Establishes a National Surface Transportation and Innovative Finance Bureau to provide assistance to help state, local, and private sector partners move transportation projects forward

· Overhauls federal truck and bus safety grant programs and rulemaking processes

· Reforms truck and bus safety programs and eases administrative burdens on small businesses

Refocusing on National Priorities

· Facilitates commerce and the movement of goods by establishing a Nationally Significant Freight and Highway 

Projects Program

· Provides flexibility to states to target driver safety grants on their pressing safety needs

· Consolidates truck and bus safety grant programs and provides state flexibility on safety priorities


· Promotes private investment in our surface transportation system

· Promotes the deployment of transportation technologies and congestion management tools that support an efficient and safe surface transportation system for all

· Updates federal research and transportation standards development to reflect the growth of technology in transportation

· Encourages the installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure equipment to reduce congestion and improve safety

· Improves truck and bus safety by accelerating the introduction of new transportation technologies 

Around SMART

Legislative News 

Created in the late 1960s by the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the United Transportation Union under the leadership of Charles Luna, "Railroad Man" is a portrait of the ordinary men who perform the extraordinary job of keeping the nation's freight and passenger trains moving. Directed by Jeri Sopanen the film's story is told by the men themselves, who speak from their own hard experience working and riding on steel rails. The film is a time capsule of American railroads in the late 1960s and 70s, with passenger service in steep decline and many railroad facilities being abandoned and downsized, and the major railroads deciding to get out of passenger service altogether.

Charles Luna (1906 – 1 October 1992) was president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) from 1963 until 1969. He became the first president of the United Transportation Union, when that organization was formed by merging the BRT and three other railroad unions in 1969.

Luna became president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen in 1963. On 1 January 1969 the BRT merged with three other unions to form the United Transportation Union. Luna became president of the combined union, with 230,000 members.In 1969 Luna was elected chairman of the Congress of Railway Unions.

In 1971 the UTU Insurance Association assumed the insurance and welfare plans of the brotherhoods who had formed the UTU. The UTU held its first national convention in August 1971 in Miami Beach. Al Chesser, National Legislative Director of the UTU, was elected to succeed Luna, who was retiring.

In 1970 Luna was chosen by President Richard Nixon to help form the National Railroad Passenger Corporation. This set up the Amtrak inter-city passenger service. Luna served as an Amtrak director for twenty years.

Amtrak’s highest safety honor is the Charles Luna Memorial Safety award, which has been presented annually since 1990.

Jeri Sopanen (14 August 1929 - 21 September 2008) was a Finnish-born American filmmaker who created movies, television series and commercials. He was five times nominated for an Emmy Award Prize and received the award once, a children's program called "The Rotten Truth".

Sopanen graduated from high school in Helsinki, studied composition at the Sibelius Academy in 1951 and received a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Lawrence United States. There he was inspired by the film and the film began studies at UCLA in Los Angeles.

Sopanen worked on "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau" and made "Gardens of the World" with Audrey Hepburn.. He also served as cameraman for the Louis Malle film "My Dinner with Andre."

This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2K. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com
E-mail your Congressperson and encourage them to support HR 233  The Safe Freight Act (Two Person Crew)


After you fill out the form on your computer, save it and then attach it to an email to your Local Legislative Representative or the State Legislative Board.

Rail/Bus Forms

Railroad Forms
Bus Forms

SMART - Legislative Action Center
SMART Transportation Division is making it easier for its members to make their voices heard in the nation’s capitol.

Our Legislative Action Center enables members to learn about issues and legislation that directly impact their jobs and livelihoods and provides them easy access to contact their representatives to let them know their views.

Members can also see how their representatives voted on legislation, learn about upcoming elections in their state and even write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper.

Visit the Legislative Action Center

PLEASE go there now and send a letter to your Congressperson and Senators asking them to support the Safe Freight Act (2 Person Crew Bill)!