The IAM supports a letter written by rail labor and industry groups opposing Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administrative funding cuts. The groups, including the Transportation Trades Department, the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Railroad Association, are urging the Republican-led Congress to adopt funding levels included in the Senate bill.
The House GOP bill would slash RRB funding by $25 million, severely impacting the board’s ability to process retirement and sickness benefits for railroad employees and retirees living in every state and congressional district.
The proposed funding level for the RRB would force the agency to make drastic cuts to its workforce, which include customer service personnel, field office staff and claims agents. The RRB’s backlog for processing disability claims is currently a year behind. If this budget were to become law, railroaders, retirees, and their spouses can expect months-long wait times on any issues with the agency – be it retirement, unemployment/sickness, or disability claims.
“This new limitation is especially troubling because, though it was included under the guise of lowering federal spending, it does not cut spending at all,” reads the letter. “The overwhelming majority of funding for the RRB, including the administrative funding capped by this bill, comes from payroll taxes paid by railroad employers and railroad employees.”
“The RRB is a critical agency that provides essential benefits to railroad workers, retirees, and their families,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The limitation on administrative funding in the House bill would be a devastating blow to the RRB and make it more difficult for the agency to do its job. Our union will fight to protect the retirement security of our members and their families. We urge the House to adopt the Senate language and ensure the RRB has the resources to continue providing quality service to railroad workers.”
TAKE ACTION: Please call your House Representative today at 202-224-3121 and tell them to oppose any cuts to the Railroad Retirement Board.