International Vice President Russ Oathout oversees the Social Services Department which assists members with questions or problems concerning retirement, unemployment or sickness benefits, health and welfare coverage, or Medicare for railworkers.
If TCU staff cannot answer or resolve the specific concern, the staff will put you in touch with the right person to help you. Each benefits program has its own designated personnel to handle members’ inquiries; TCU staff can serve as liaisons to get the necessary help. Department staff can step in as advocates or troubleshooters and, when appropriate, will take the issue to higher authority if necessary. All it takes is a request for help.
Social Services also works on behalf of TCU members with many of the Union Privilege/Union Plus programs in which TCU participates and with the AFL-CIO’s Community Services department.
Throughout contract negotiations, at the national agreement and others, this department provides expertise on health and welfare issues. The department reviews and analyzes the proposal language to determine the impact it might have on members and plays a key role in comparing health and welfare policies and proposals made by railroads and other employers.