RRB labor member announces staff appointments

July 22, 2013

RRB_seal_150pxWalter A. Barrows, the labor member of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), recently announced two senior-level staff appointments within his immediate office.

Michael J. Collins, who has been an assistant to the labor member since April 2003, will assume the position of legislative assistant. In that capacity, he will advise the labor member on legislative issues related to the benefit programs administered by the RRB, as well as rail employees and the industry as a whole, and serve as a liaison to congressional offices and legislative directors at rail labor unions.

Barrows also appointed Brigitte A. Munoz as an assistant to the labor member. Munoz, an RRB employee since June 1990, was a railroad retirement claims examiner specializing in disability cases at the time of her appointment.

Before joining the Office of the Labor Member, Collins served as the RRB’s director of survivor benefits. An agency employee since July 1975, he previously served as deputy director of disability and Medicare operations and, before that, as an assistant to the chairman of the board.

Collins, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago (B.S., 1975), is married and has a daughter. He resides in Oak Lawn, Ill.

“Mike Collins has solved hundreds of problems for our members over the past twenty years,” said SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director. “He deserves to be commended for this promotion.”

Munoz joined the RRB in June 1990 as a claims examiner in the sickness and unemployment benefits program, transferring to the disability benefits program in 2006.

A graduate of Concordia University in River Forest, Ill., (B.A., 1990), Munoz is married with two daughters. She lives in Orland Park, Ill.

Both appointments follow the recent retirement of James C. Boehner, who previously served as legislative assistant to Barrows. Boehner retired in June after almost 40 years of service to the RRB, including more than 33 years in the Office of the Labor Member.