New overtime transition plan, swaps, and fitness plan

Update, 04/29/2015: The signed MOU is available here. The MOU modifies a portion of the Physical Fitness Plan MOU -- a temporary version of it with the changes is available here until the final document is available.



Overtime Transition Plan Memorandum to be Signed

April 27, 2015

The National Border Patrol Council is expecting a signed Memorandum of Understanding with
Customs and Border Protection, concerning the Overtime Transition Plan, on Tuesday, April 28,
2015.

The Office of Personnel Management has determined that Border Patrol Agents are considered
exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act as of the signing of the Border
Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act (BPAPRA) on December 18, 2014. The determination left the
National Border Patrol Council with the decision to either fight for Administratively
Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) as the type of pay received during the transition or to adopt a
transition plan that mirrors the provisions of the BPAPRA. The pitfalls of fighting for AUO
included the loss of FLSA exempt days for leave, thus dropping all agents to either 10 or 15%
AUO.

The agreement for this Overtime Transition Plan allows agents to earn the same amount of
money as they currently do, and in some cases based on their election of tier, earn more
money. This plan removes the albatross that AUO has become and its resultant
investigations. The Overtime Transition Plan will go into effect no sooner than May 31, 2015.

In addition to the opportunity to implement improvements in working conditions that will permit
an overwhelming majority of agents to achieve a better work-life balance while continuing to
support the Border Patrol's mission, the National Border Patrol Council was able to secure the
implementation of the following programs:

  • The elimination of "clean shifts."
  • The establishment of Compressed Work Schedules for those electing the 80 and 90 hour
    tiers.
  • The establishment of a location swap program, in which two agents from different duty
    stations can exchange positions at their own cost.
  • The expansion of the CBP Physical Fitness Pilot Program to all Border Patrol
    Sectors. Travel time will not count against the allotted program time.

Upon the signing of this MOU, the National Border Patrol Council will have attained a stable
stop-gap measure to maintain pay while the BPAPRA is fully implemented. It will also have
achieved many of the long-standing desires of Border Patrol agents in the form of mobility,
alternate schedules, and the ability to improve their physical fitness at work.

More information will be forthcoming concerning the Overtime Transition Plan and its
subsidiary agreements.

2015 National Border Patrol Council elections

Below are the results of the election for National Border Patrol Council's executive board. Congratulations to everyone!

President: Brandon Judd
Executive Vice President: Chris Bauder
Vice President, Northwest: Mike Egerton
Vice President, Northeast: Eric Sparkman
Vice President, South: Paul Perez
Vice President, West: Terence Shigg
Vice President at Large: Art Del Cueto
Vice President at Large: Shawn Moran
Vice President at Large: Albert Trevino
Treasurer: Bud Tuffly
Secretary: James Stack

Eagle Pass Police Association asking for support of Proposition One

The Eagle Pass Police Association (EPPA) has asked for Local 2366’s assistance in spreading the word to Eagle Pass residents regarding the upcoming special election on May 9, 2015.

Proposition One of the special election deals with whether firefighters and police officers in Eagle Pass will be covered by civil service rules under Section 143.004 of the Texas Local Government Code. At the moment, firefighters and police officers in Eagle Pass are considered at-will employees and can be terminated for any reason. With civil service status, employees may only be terminated for just cause and they will have the ability to hire and promote only the most qualified applicants, among other benefits -- things that they are currently lacking.

A petition was presented to the Eagle Pass City Council at a meeting in February, allowing the proposition to be on the ballot in May. The EPPA is asking that Eagle Pass residents vote in favor of Proposition One on May 9, 2015. Early voting will take place April 27 - May 5, 2015.

Support Eagle Pass firefighters and police officers and vote for Proposition One!

To learn more about the process, visit the Eagle Pass Business Journal and the election announcement on the Eagle Pass website.

Click here to visit EPPA’s Facebook page.

ICE budget hearing in front of House Committee on Appropriations

On April 15, 2015, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security held a budget hearing regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In regards to ICE agents being allowed to use their best judgement and discretion in the field to decide who to arrest, Representative Carter said the following to ICE Assistant Secretary Sarah Saldana at the 1:53:20 mark:

"Ok, then let them make those decisions, but don't let the president of the United States threaten their jobs, their pensions, and their lives if they don't do it the way he wants them to do it. That's the problem we've got with this system. It's none of his business how an ICE agent operates, unless he's operating outside the law."

Watch the hearing below or click here.

Del Rio Sector canine kenneling grievance sustained

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:

  1. The Agency is to follow the Border Patrol Canine Unit Policy and Procedures without deviation;
  2. The Agency is to immediately cease and desist from ordering the general or en masse kenneling of all canines;
  3. The Agency is to follow the Canine's Policy and Procedures, namely Articles 1.1 and 2.2 before deviating from the Canine Policy;
  4. The Agency is to immediately engage in an individualized analysis of a handler's overtime before the mandatory kenneling of that Handler's canine;
  5. 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;
  6. 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.

Rights of your friends and family when approached by agency investigators

OBLIGATIONS OF NON-AGENCY EMPLOYEE WITNESSES TO PARTICIPATE IN AGENCY INVESTIGATIONS (PDF version here)

This NBPC Legal Division Advisory is intended to clarify misunderstandings concerning the obligations of non-Agency employee witnesses (spouses, friends, family and associates not employed by the Agency) to participate in interviews sought by Agency investigators. It has been reported that all too often Agency investigators contact the non-Agency employee witnesses seeking information in connection with a criminal and/or administrative investigation. In these instances, many Agency investigators have failed to inform non-Agency employee witnesses that their participation in providing a statement to Agency investigators is completely voluntary. It has also been reported that Agency investigators do not identify themselves as internal affairs investigators conducting a criminal and/or administrative investigation into the alleged misconduct of the Agency employee friend or relative. These tactics by Agency investigators have caused non-Agency employee witnesses to be misled, bullied and coerced into providing statements.

Continued below...

Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off

The Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off serves as Texas’ signature event for the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program.

NBPC Local 2366 will be participating on its adopted two-mile stretch of Highway 277, just south of Del Rio, Texas, on April 11, 2015 from 8:30 am to noon.

Join NBPC Local 2366 and help us make a difference. All union members and their families are invited. We will provide safety equipment and gear. Lunch will be provided after the event.

We will meet about 100 yards south of the Ruben Chavira Elementary School on Highway 277 (see the map below).

Click "read more" below for a map...

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