Update on FLSA lawsuits, first case settled

Update 9/23/2016
As you may be aware, the processing and payment to the law firm of the damages in this case is taking longer than expected. The Government now says that the damages will be paid “within thirty days” of September 13, 2016. Payments will likely be made by the government in weekly increments, so the law firm will send checks as they receive the money. It will be sent to the law firm grouped by social security number, so be patient if you see other employees receive checks before you do.

Original article 8/23/2016
Last week, Union members received a letter from the law offices of Woodley & McGillivary providing an update about the pending FLSA overtime pay lawsuits originally filed in 2014 and 2016. This letter was sent to all Union members for whom the Union has a mailing address on file.

The first of four cases has been settled and the law firm has now turned its attention to the second case involving canine handlers; the other two cases for non-handlers are on hold until the second handler case is resolved.

Only plaintiffs will be paid any monies resulting from settlements or wins in these cases. If you are a plaintiff in one or more of these cases, you already received a letter from us informing you that your claim has been filed in Court.

While it is too late to join the first three cases, you can still join the last case if you are a Union member and you can still be part of a new case that the law firm will file for any canine handlers who did not previously join. To become a plaintiff in the current case or a plaintiff in the new canine handler case, you must complete and return the consent retainer form located here.

Every day that you wait, the statute of limitations is running on your claims. This is because under the FLSA you can recover, at most, three years of relief going back three years from the date that your claim is filed in court. Damages in all four cases and any new canine handler case that we file cease on January 10, 2016, when you became FLSA exempt.

If you are not yet a plaintiff, and you wish to participate, please sign and return the consent retainer form located here. Only dues paying Union members can be plaintiffs. Those who received a letter last week did so because their names appear on the Union's membership listing. As the plaintiffs in the filed cases know, once the law firm agrees to represent you, you will receive a letter from them along with a copy of the counter-signed consent retainer form.

If you wish to confirm if you have already signed up for a case, contact your local union steward.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact the law firm at 202-833-8855 or info@wmlaborlaw.com.

You can mail the consent retainer form to the mailing address below or scan and email it to info@wmlaborlaw.com.

Download the consent retainer form here.

WOODLEY & MCGILLIVARY
1101 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20005

Further updates will be posted at nbpc2366.org and bpunion.org.

Nationwide Swaps to open July 18

The USBP Nationwide Swap Program (NWS) will run from July 18, 2016 at 2:00 pm CST to August 1, 2016 @ 2:00 pm CST.

Employees will have the ability to submit up to 7 locations from a list of available duty stations. There will be no preference of choice. All choices will be considered as a location the employee is willing to move to. All selections are made on the basis of seniority.

As with the previous announcement, employees will receive an email informing them of the location they have been paired with. Employees will have 5 days to respond. Employees who decline the pairing will be removed from the current announcement. Employees who are impacted by their partner declining, will have their name placed back into the program for a second round of pairings and possibly a third round of pairings.

As per the April 28, 2105, MOU employees will considered eligible:

  • Has served a minimum of three (3) years as a BPA, is not the subject of any pending performance or disciplinary action, or is the subject of an investigation of alleged misconduct, that may prevent the performance of the full scope of the required duties;
  • Has not received or been subject to three or more disciplinary actions (reprimand to fourteen (14) days suspensions), or a single adverse action (suspension of more than fourteen (14) days) within the last two (2) years;
  • Is not under a Last Chance Agreement; and
  • Has fulfilled any time-in-station requirements associated with any previously approved relocation or assignment.

Employees who are submitting for the NWS, should strongly consider the personal cost and commitment it takes to relocate under this program and the impact it has on their fellow co-workers. Employees should only put in for locations that they truly want and willing to relocate to.

An announcement will be placed on the CBPnet's USBP homepage giving more information and a link to the NWS site. Employees will not have to request access to the site prior to it opening. Employees should carefully read and understand the conditions and requirements before submitting their names for this program. Employees should take great care when entering their data to ensure it is correct.

As with the prior solicitation, we will have the Potential Opening Tabulation Table (POTT). The POTT will allow employees to see all employees who are putting in for their station. The POTT does not guarantee any employee a swap but should only be used as a tool to gauge interest.

CBP Headquarters Approves Abilene Resident Agent Positions

The National Border Patrol Council would like to commend Customs and Border Protection for approving two Resident Agent positions in the Del Rio Sector. These agents will be stationed in Abilene, Texas. These positions will improve border security by reducing response times, increasing Border Patrol presence, and developing strategic partnerships with law enforcement and other community groups.

The Resident Agent Program places Border Patrol agents in strategic locations that do not currently have a strong Border Patrol presence. These positions expand operational coverage and reduce response times to these previously unsupported areas. Resident Agents help establish operational control of the border in accordance with the National Border Patrol Strategy. Resident Agents will be tasked with improving overall border security, by developing strategic and community partnerships to improve situational awareness in the Del Rio Sector.

This investment in people will keep our nation safer and more secure by stopping dangerous drugs, criminals, and illegal immigrants from flooding our communities. We commend CBP leadership in the Del Rio Sector for recognizing a problem and developing a solution. This program is a win-win for the Agency, agents, and the overall community. We encourage the Agency to continue to work with us to develop a strategy that secures our borders and improves the overall morale of the men and women responsible for protecting our borders.

Update on the shift bid program in DRT

Today we received word that Del Rio Sector management is ready to implement the shift bid program for stations in Del Rio Sector. All stations voted to opt in to the program, as listed below:

  • BRA: 84% in favor
  • CAR: 92% in favor
  • COM: 60% in favor
  • DRS: 84% in favor
  • EGS: 77% in favor
  • EGT: 85% in favor
  • RKS: 80% in favor
  • UVA: 75% in favor

The total votes for preferred shift length are:

  • 3 months: 299
  • 4 months: ...

Del Rio Sector shift bid update

Stations will begin distributing shift bid ballots at all stations and in the radio room this week. These ballots will help determine if stations will be participating in the shift bid MOU or if they will be opting out; voting will run from May 19 to June 2.

It's important that everyone gets a chance to vote, so station management and union stewards will be reaching out to every agent they can possibly reach to have a ballot filled out. Chief Karisch is responsible for deciding how long...

Reminder: scholarship applications due June 1

Applications for Local 2366's scholarship for the fall semester are due June 1.

Review the scholarship page at http://www.nbpc2366.org/scholarship for more information.

Thank you to Chief Vitiello

The National Border Patrol Council would like to thank Chief Vitiello for all the hard work he's done for and on behalf of the Agents and Agency. Understanding that there was a need for a stable life outside of work and recognizing best practices within the industry, Chief Vitiello, even though he faced opposition, decided to provide a stable work and home life for agents by agreeing to a Bid-For-Shift MOU for all of the Texas Border Patrol Sectors - El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley. The MOU is available here.

Over the past few years Chief Vitiello has been a strong advocate for agents and during his time as the decision maker he’s put the mission first while also improving our agents’ lives. Under his leadership we have been able to create more mobility for agents than ever before. We got rid of the clean shifts that Chief David Aguilar implemented just so other non-agent priorities could be met. We’ve been able to create a HIP program for all agents and we’ve been able to get much better uniforms, even though our shirts still have to be changed in the near future. Unlike most of his predecessors, Chief Vitiello has not been self serving, rather he’s made the decisions he feels are best for the agency and the agents.

Chief Vitiello understands the issues that come from some self-serving managers and agents within the Border Patrol and the need to change and improve. He’s endeavored to enact positive change through positive programs involving agent safety and stabilizing pay and not mere words. He’s the only chief that has held his managers accountable and not just agents. Commissioner Kerlikowske has been beating the culture change drum for over two years without realizing the change has been taking place under his nose by a man who goes quietly about his work with class and dignity. If the commissioner truly wants to make a positive change in the culture of the Border Patrol he need not look any further than the chief he already has in place; a chief that has the trust and respect of his managers and bargaining unit agents alike.

The new chief is supposed to be announced sometime in the middle of this month, we suspect it will be from the outside, but for the good of the Border Patrol and this country/border security, we, the NBPC, sincerely hope it will be Chief Vitiello.

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