By Adhi Reddy, 
Transportation Division Vice President – Bus – 

The year 2015 is a special one for our organization because we left our First SMART Convention as a united membership. Together, with one voice, we are a stronger body throughout the nation.

All of our newly elected representatives from the 2014 conventions have now taken office and I congratulate each of them on their elections. I also ask each of them to always do what is best for the membership. Most of our local elections, and some of our general committee of adjustment elections, have been completed. To the officers that have been elected or re-elected, congratulations.

As officers, we must always remember to do what is the best for our membership. Not only are we officers, but we are the membership as well. So, we must always think like a member first, then as an officer. Our decisions should be in the best interest of all. Also, don’t be afraid to ask others for advice if you are struggling with a decision.

We, your vice presidents, are only a request away from visiting your property. Your general chairperson or your local president may send a request to our Transportation Division president so that we can assist you in a variety of issues, including preparing contract proposals, negotiations, arbitrations and grievances. Remember, your Transportation Division officers are here to help.

We are currently working on guidelines to reduce dues for members in locals where earnings are reduced and hours may not be 40 per week. I will keep you updated about this effort.

On the local level, many of us may not pay much attention to our Legislative Department, which plays a major role in lawmaking efforts. I ask you to pay attention to their efforts and support them, on the state level and the national level, up to the White House. Please see your treasurer to enroll in UTU PAC, an investment in our future.

In many workplaces, discipline policies are getting tougher and tougher to follow, with new managers straight out of college, that never worked the jobs many of us do. If you are experiencing this issue, please talk to your local chairperson as soon as possible.

Happy New Year and God bless.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – UTU members employed by Santa Monica Regional Bus Lines (UTU Local 1785) have ratified a new three-year contract by a three-to-one margin.

The contract, which expires June 30, 2014, includes pay raises, maintains and improves work rules, retains full-coverage health care insurance, and provides that discipline for using cell phones on duty must be verified on camera or witnessed by two or more independent sources. (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration cell-phone ban affects only drivers in interstate commerce.)

Adhi Reddy

UTU International Vice President Vic Baffoni, who assisted in negotiations, praised the efforts of General Chairperson Adhi Reddy and Local 1785 officers Moses Avila and Martin Guerrero.