Today, NBPC Local 2366 received word that the arbitrator handling the grievance over the mandatory kenneling of dogs in Del Rio Sector had sustained the grievance.
The grievance stemmed from Del Rio Sector’s (DRT) practice of arbitrarily kenneling dogs before the handlers got close to the statutory cap, contrary to OBP’s canine policy. During the course of multiple years, DRT began kenneling at the start of the fiscal year, even though handlers had earned zero dollars of overtime.
The arbitration hearing took place in December 2013 and written briefs were submitted in February 2014. The arbitrator ultimately decided that the agency had violated the canine policy when it began kenneling dogs at the start of the fiscal year.
The arbitrator found that the agency violated Section 6.1 of the canine policy and that the same section prohibits the general or en masse kenneling of canines. The agency was directed to:
- The Agency is to follow the Border Patrol Canine Unit Policy and Procedures without deviation;
- The Agency is to immediately cease and desist from ordering the general or en masse kenneling of all canines;
- The Agency is to follow the Canine's Policy and Procedures, namely Articles 1.1 and 2.2 before deviating from the Canine Policy;
- The Agency is to immediately engage in an individualized analysis of a handler's overtime before the mandatory kenneling of that Handler's canine;
- The "is-close" language of Article 6.1 of the Border Patrol Canine Unit Policy and Procedures precludes the Agency from imposing a mandatory kenneling to manage a Canine Handler's overtime until the Handler has earned ninety percent of the applicable overtime pay limit established by the Agency. The Agency has the freedom to establish an overtime pay limit. However, the limit cannot exceed the statutory overtime pay limit;
- This Arbitrator is to retain jurisdiction for thirty days to ensure compliance with the five preceding remedies and to answer questions from the Parties.
NBPC Local 2366 is very happy with the arbitrator’s decision and sincerely thanks NBPC Attorney Jim Calle for all of his hard work.
We’ll post more information as soon as things get sorted.