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:
- Suspend in-station and out-of-station details;
- Suspend "non-essential" training;
- Suspend recruitment and honor guard events for employees assigned to the three stations; and
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any comments about how these changes affect you, tell your stewards or email them to email@example.com. 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.