Social media and the Hatch Act

The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) has updated their guidance regarding the Hatch Act and federal employees' use of social media and email.

The Hatch Act might not be something you typically think about, so here's an excerpt from the guidance about profile pictures that support a specific political party or have a campaign logo:

"Because a profile picture accompanies most actions on social media, a federal employee would not be permitted, while on duty or in the workplace, to post, 'share,' 'tweet,' or 'retweet' any items on Facebook or Twitter, because each such action would show their support for a partisan group or candidate in a partisan race, even if the content of the action is not about those entities."

We encourage you to read the entire FAQ, which can be downloaded from the link below. It's easy for one of us to violate the Hatch Act and not even realize it, and it's even easier to verify because everything we do on social media is tracked. Read this to learn how to avoid accidentally getting yourself in trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
OSC Press Release (PDF)

Nationwide Swap Program update

Update, 10/21/2015, 1245 hours
Emails for DRT employees will be sent today. Since there are a lot of people to email, give it until tomorrow just to be sure.

We received word overnight that NBPC will be sending emails in the next couple of days to those agents who have been tentatively selected for a swap in the nationwide swap program. These emails will be similar to the ones that were sent to employees in DRT for the local swap program and will simply ask the agents if they are still interested in a swap from their current station to some other station.

The agents will have seven days to respond to the email, saying that they accept or decline. Keep in mind, this email will not be a formal offer, as things could change down the road. For example, the person you may be matched with could decline, he/she could suddenly find him/herself under a major investigation, he/she could quit the Patrol, etc…

If you will be on annual leave or otherwise away from your work email, you will still be responsible for responding within the seven days. If you will be away, keep an eye on the FB group,, and Twitter (@NBPC2366DelRio) for an announcement that emails are going out. When we make that announcement, we’ll give an option for you to email us to check the list of DRT employees who have been tentatively selected if you will be away from work.

Final breakdown of Del Rio Sector's Voluntary Swap Program Pilot

Tomorrow, October 18, 2015, the employees selected under the second round of Del Rio Sector’s Voluntary Swap Program pilot will EOD at their new stations. The 64 employees moving tomorrow join 64 other employees who moved during the first round for a total of 128 Del Rio Sector employees in new job locations.

Below is a breakdown of the total number of agents for both rounds at each station who moved:

CAR: 30
DRS: 23
EGT: 23
EGS: 19
BRA: 16
UVA: 14
COM: 3
Total: 128

Round 1

  • 93 agents wanted to move to Uvalde Station, but only 13 Uvalde agents wanted to leave – 9 ended up moving.
  • 11 agents wanted to move to Rocksprings Station, but only one agent from Rocksprings wanted to leave – zero moved.
  • 59 agents wanted to move to Del Rio Station and 29 agents from Del Rio Station wanted to leave – 17 ended up moving, which placed Del Rio Station at the top of the list for number of swaps in Round 1.
  • 28 agents wanted to move to Carrizo Springs Station, but 53 Carrizo Springs agents wanted to leave – 10 ended up moving.
  • There were zero swaps between Uvalde Station and Carrizo Springs Station.

Round 2

  • 63 agents wanted to move to Uvalde Station, but only seven Uvalde agents wanted to leave – five ended up moving.
  • 22 agents wanted to move Carrizo Springs Station and 33 Carrizo Springs agents wanted to leave – 20 ended up moving.
  • 15 agents wanted to move to Rocksprings Station, but zero Rocksprings agents wanted to leave.
  • 31 agents wanted to move to Del Rio Station, but only 16 Del Rio agents wanted to leave – 6 ended up moving.

Del Rio Sector’s VSP pilot was unprecedented, resulting in a total of 128 agents moving, which is approximately 10% of all agents in the sector. At the moment, there are no plans to start a second year of DRT’s VSP pilot because it would unnecessarily complicate the national swap program, along with the VRP and ROB. The pilot was ultimately considered a success and was part of the inspiration for the national swap program, which is currently running.

OPM issues final regulations for BPAPRA

On Friday, September 25, 2015, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued their final regulations to implement Part 2 of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act (BPAPRA).

A review of the regulations has revealed that OPM is interpreting certain portions of the BPAPRA contrary to what was intended by Congress when they drafted and passed the BPAPRA into law. For example, the regulations prohibit Alternate Work Schedules (AWS) and additional compensation for canine handlers on their assigned days off duty. There is also confusion on the section that deals with CBP being allowed to drop employees from one tier to another; however, it only clarifies what the Union had made clear prior to the regulations being published, which is that employees will not be able to artificially enhance their retirements by working a lower level of pay for the majority of their career and then at the end, bumping up to a higher level in order to get a greater annuity.

NBPC will work with Congress in order to resolve the issues via another amendment to the BPAPRA, or in the case of the canine handlers, through litigation.

Click here to read the OPM final regulations. [PDF]

Election results for Local 2366 executive board

Below are the results of the 2015 executive board election for Local 2366 of the National Border Patrol Council:

Double-check your registration info for the nationwide swaps

NBPC has been periodically reviewing the data submitted by employees for the nationwide swap program and has found some common errors. Since NBPC will not be able to modify or correct anything after the registration period closes, employees will need to verify that they have correctly filled out the form before the registration period closes.

  • Make sure your name is entered correctly. Some people have entered their last name in the first name field and their first name in the last name field. Also make sure that the name you use matches how Outlook lists your name -- don't put nicknames or your middle name in the first name field.
  • Double-check your EOD date. Some people have entered incorrect dates, including dates far in the future. If you have multiple USBP EOD dates or other breaks in service, contact Sector HR ASAP to get your adjusted EOD date.
  • Some people have either entered an invalid station selection (like choosing a Sector name instead of a station name) and others have not chosen any stations at all.
  • Make sure that you use your own login credentials to register -- don't register for someone else. If you already have, that person will need to log in to their own account and register on his/her own.

Log back into the registration page soon to verify your submission.

NBPC assistance with OWCP cases

Navigating through even the most basic of OWCP cases can be difficult, so NBPC Local 2366 is available to employees who have been injured on the job and would like help processing their case.

If you are having trouble with your OWCP case, contact a union steward and you will be referred to someone who has undergone advanced OWCP training. NBPC also has a contract with an outside company in the event that your particular case gets more convoluted or difficult than the typical run-of-the-mill case.

NBPC has produced the following two documents to help with your case:

NBPC's table of OWCP forms (PDF)
The first document is a table containing a list of the various OWCP forms you may need, the purpose for the form, and any timelines the employee and agency are required to meet.

NBPC's FECA flowcharts (PDF)
The second document contains four flowcharts to help guide you through some of the critical aspects of filing an OWCP claim. There are clickable links within the flowcharts that point you toward the CFR or other websites with more information.

All OWCP forms are available here. However, a document that is not on that list is Publication CA-810, the handbook that agencies use when handling OWCP claims. Many questions/answers can be found within.


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