Del Rio Sector cancels details, PFP, and training for BRA, COM, and EGS before completing bargaining

At the end of March, Del Rio Sector management notified us of their intent to cancel out-of-station details and in-station details in Brackettville, Comstock, and Eagle Pass South supposedly due to their low effectiveness ratings. Over the course of the next two weeks, we learned that they intended to:

  1. Suspend in-station and out-of-station details;
  2. Suspend "non-essential" training;
  3. Suspend recruitment and honor guard events for employees assigned to the three stations; and
  4. Cancel the physical fitness program for agents assigned to "line-watch or other field duties."

These changes were planned to start on April 3, 2016.

Local 2366 filed a demand to bargain over the proposed changes on March 30, 2016; Chief Karisch decided to postpone the plans for one pay period. The union met with the agency on April 5, 2016, to formally bargain with the agency. During the meeting, the union and agency made a few agreements, but still had some outstanding issues to be resolved before the agency implemented.

The union heard nothing from the agency until April 15, 2016, 11 days after we first met to bargain over the issues, and was notified that the agency intended to go forward with its plan. However, the agency's response to the union's demand to bargain inaccurately described conversations and agreements that were reached during the bargaining session.

The agency has the right to assign work, however they are first required to bargain over how those changes will adversely affect employees. Despite the requirements to not implement changes pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement and statute, Del Rio Sector opted to put their proposed changes into motion on April 17, 2016, contrary to contract and law.

The union suggested numerous alternative ideas to help Brackettville, Comstock, and Eagle Pass South with their effectiveness ratings, but it is unclear which of those suggestions, if any, the agency will use.

It is now more critical than ever for agents to notify Local 2366 of any issues related to irregular overtime in the field. We hear on a regular basis that supervisors are denying agents the use of irregular overtime sector-wide to pursue groups of illegal aliens, but we need specific examples. We've told Chief Karisch that it is happening, but we need dates, times, places, and information on the group so it can be addressed. Give the information to your station's stewards or send the details to intake@nbpc2366.org.

If you have any comments about how these changes affect you, tell your stewards or email them to intake@nbpc2366.org. We will compile the comments and share them with Chief Karisch so he knows how his agents feel about his plans.

Local 2366 is addressing these violations of contract and law and will update the membership when available and appropriate.

Update on the pending lawsuit

If you did not previously sign up for the lawsuit that was filed in 2014, you can still sign up for a new lawsuit that was recently filed to allow you to participate.

NBPC members must complete, sign, and mail the below consent-retainer form to Woodley & McGillivary at the address below in order to participate with the lawsuit to recover pay for uncompensated work.

If you are a BORTAC, BORSTAR, or Intel agent who was moved out of the bargaining unit when you started in your new position, you may still participate in the lawsuit if you previously paid union dues, however the lawsuit is only able to go back three years.

Download the form here.

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

If you have been a canine handler throughout the period for which we are claiming damages, you do not have to join Abad as this case will cover all of your claims.

BPAPRA Resources

Below you will find some resources related to the U.S. Border Patrol's new pay system, known as the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act.

Click here (PDF) for a summary of CBP's BPAPRA Directive that went into effect January 6, 2016.

A copy of OPM's BPAPRA regulations, with comments, is available here (PDF).

The directive is available on CBP's intranet in the BPAPRA resource center.

NBPC Statement on Body-Worn Cameras

Despite our best efforts to answer questions posed by reporters and the public, our position on body-worn cameras (BWC) has been misunderstood or worse yet misinterpreted to fit a certain narrative. Several media outlets have incorrectly stated that the National Border Patrol Council opposes body worn cameras. This is simply untrue.

Our position on body-worn cameras is the same position we have on any proposed new technology, equipment or program. It requires us to always ask three simple questions:

  1. Will the equipment work in the harsh and varied conditions our agents operate in?
  2. Does the program/equipment enhance border security?
  3. Is this expenditure more important than other critical needs, including additional
    Agents in the field, vehicles and a communications system that enables agents to talk to each other
    in the field?

The recently completed body worn camera feasibility study report issued by Commissioner Kerlikowkse found that the cameras utilized in the extensive field study did not perform well. The feasibility study report states, “most of the BWCs available in the marketplace today “provide limited effectiveness, and for the most part are not suited for CBP operational use.” In fact, the study pointed out that the video quality in low light was poor and the audio in windy conditions was nearly inaudible.

The Border Patrol is a unique and specialized law enforcement agency that operates in some of the most remote areas of the country. We are not an urban police force and equipment that works in urban areas doesn’t necessarily work for us.

Today, our nation faces enormous challenges at our borders, from the continued onslaught of unaccompanied minors, to the threats posed by drug cartels, human smugglers and terrorists. We must remain focused on securing our border and cannot divert an estimated $100 million-plus for equipment that 1) does not work in our harsh conditions, 2) fails to enhance border security and 3) is a lesser priority than other pressing needs on the border.

AFGE's Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

Today, AFGE announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president of the United States. It is a decision that will please many of its members, but will displease a lot of Border Patrol agents.

AFGE’s selection process is spelled out in detail on its website. AFGE reached out to all announced presidential candidates, Republican and Democratic, with a questionnaire to gauge their positions on federal employees. Two candidates responded and agreed to an interview, all other candidates refused to meet with AFGE.

The National Border Patrol Council, as part of AFGE, made its concerns and preferences known in terms of presidential candidates. We emphasized the issues that are important to our members and voiced our anxieties on border security and immigration.

After reviewing every candidate’s record on federal employee pay and benefits, furloughs, shutdowns, and government services, the AFGE National Executive Council voted to endorse Secretary Clinton.

We recognize that our agenda is not always AFGE’s agenda and so do our supporters on Capitol Hill. This is why our strategy to work both sides of the aisle to advance legislation has benefited agents and their families. In addition, we have also established a Political Action Committee that allows us to support individual candidates that support our agenda of strong enforcement and an end to phantom amnesty programs like DACA, DAPA and “catch and release” that only encourage illegal immigration.

If you do not support Clinton, you have a choice to make. You can be mad at AFGE’s endorsement and disengage, or you help us advance our agenda by joining our PAC. The American public has been demanding border security for far to long. With your support, we will help candidates that recognize that the first line of defense against our borders being infiltrated by transnational criminal cartels, human smugglers and possible terrorists is you, our Border Patrol agents.

The work we do has an impact on every community across this country. We intend to stay focused on that work and not politics. As the exclusive representative of Border Patrol agents, the National Border Patrol Council has not and will not endorse a candidate for president of the United States.

You may send any comments you have on this issue to dearAFGE@nbpc2366.org and we will share them all with AFGE.

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, nbpc2366.org, 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.

Pages

Subscribe to NBPC Local 2366 - Del Rio, Texas RSS