To each and every delegate of the SMART Transportation Division, I would like to thank you for electing me to the position of vice president of SMART’s bus department.

My request to all SMART members is to please work with all of your newly elected officers at all levels of the organization. Keep all of your officers informed regarding the issues you face on a daily basis so they can bring your issues to the table and together, we can get the best deals for our membership.

As a local officer, I was not only a member of this organization, but I also worked for the membership. I was, and remain, a middleman between our individual members and our entire SMART organization. I am here to serve.

We have a very powerful organization in SMART, with more than 130,000 active and retired Transportation Division members. We must continue to work together with our brothers and sisters – for our brothers and sisters – to keep our union strong. We – your officers – are ready to work for you if only you allow us to do so.

Knowledge is power. I ask each of you to try to attend all of your local meetings to stay informed and to educate yourself about your agreements and your fellow members. There are a lot of federal and state rules and regulations in the transportation industry, along with workplace policies. Change is happening all the time, so try your best to keep up with changes that affect you. It is easier to follow the rules by knowing them in advance than learning about them after you have been disciplined.

In our business, time limits are very important. If you feel your contract has been violated, contact your local officers immediately, or leave a note in the union mailbox. I have seen, too many times, members waiting too long to notify their local officers of violations and losing cases because they were not filed in a timely manner.

My telephone number is (216) 287-9324 and my email address is areddy@smart-union.org. I am here to assist you.

The holidays will be here before we know it, so I wish all of you and your families a very happy holiday season. Be “SMART” and be union! I hope to see all of you soon.