On January 22, 23, and 24th (2015), Chief Fisher appeared at several musters in the Tucson Sector and informed agents of the imminent de-authorization of AUO. The timing of his announcement caught everyone off guard; however, the announcement about the de-authorization itself should not have caught anyone off guard. Due to the ongoing legal issues of AUO, the agency has been slowly decertifying Border Patrol Agents in phases. The first phase was management at HQ and all academy personnel; the second phase was upper managers at the sector level; the third phase was second line supervisors and above at both the station and sector levels as well as certain details at both the stations and sectors, and the last phase, which apparently will happen soon is the rest of the Border Patrol. The culmination of which, is the total de-authorization of OBP.
The agency is waiting for legal guidance from OPM on how to proceed with the de-authorization, but upon receipt of that guidance, the NBPC should be properly notified, followed by each individual agent. The de-authorization cannot take place until at least 30 days after you receive your notice. There is no exact time line on when OPM will provide it's guidance, but as Chief Fisher put out in the musters, we know it will happen soon, and at that time, he will move forward with CBP’s plan to de-authorize all agents.
In order to get out in front of this issue, the NBPC has been in contact with the agency in an effort to obtain working conditions that will benefit all agents. There are several initiatives being worked on at this time Although we cannot get into the specifics at this time, we can tell you that your pay checks, due to negotiations, should not suffer and in some cases will actually increase. We can also tell you that we are confident that we will be going away from clean shifts and that an alternative work schedule will be provided. Specific details will be given when the issue is finalized.
If you have any questions, please get with your Local Union Executive Board Officers and if they do not have an answer readily available, they will get you one.
This topic was also discussed in the latest edition of NBPC's State of the Union podcast.