January 4, 2020
I misunderstood Tommy's issue yesterday related to the hotel rooms. The solution I provided will really only be applicable to employees who are exercising seniority to vacant bulletined positions, or when the employee being displaced chooses not to work Monday after being notified he has been displaced.
Employees, exercising their seniority, are currently required to notify the affected employee (the employee being bumped) (406 d), but the employee being displaced has no obligation to not work Monday (406 f). Please be aware that the Carrier will only provide one (1) hotel room for Sunday night for each position. We do not agree with this! We believe that 311a provides a room for any of these employees "beginning with the night before their assigned work week begins".
The Carrier will only pay for one room and it will be allowed for the incumbent of the position, or the senior employee displacing a vacant position/senior employee displacing a position that the incumbent chose not be on.
The Carrier is allowing and encouraging virtual bumping. You will be allowed to exercise your seniority with Tommy, Ed, and Dan without the need to show up on the position (and the BRS will allow this as well as an option). If you choose to do your exercising in-person or to remain on the position for the day you are displaced (as we always have) that will absolutely be allowed. The room restriction is to shorten the time the displacements take and we feel it's a violation of the agreement.
Nevertheless, the Carrier will allow employees not entitled to a room to use the "MSI rate" (but will not pay for the room - do not charge it to NS). We will collect all of this information (rooms, per diems, etc.) along with any information related to this as past-practice and file Claims for reimbursement.
All of these issues should have been presented to the BRS throughout the month of December for us to find amicable solutions. They chose to keep all of you and the BRS in the dark until December 26, and then allow the chaos to benefit the shortened time for reducing forces, at the employee's expense. I cannot agree to waive such major terms of the agreement to benefit this process (e.g., employees cannot work the day they get displaced) with this little amount of time.
I hope this clears up some of the handling of this situation.