Notice of meeting

The August 2019 membership meeting will take place at the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center in Uvalde, Texas, on August 28, 2019, at 7:00 pm.

During this meeting, nominations will be held for the offices of Local President, Executive Vice President, Vice President North, Vice President South, Treasurer, and Secretary. Nominations will be accepted from the floor or via email sent to nominations@nbpc2366.org – all nominations must be received by the close of the nominations portion of the meeting. A second for a nomination is not required.

Qualifications for office are: 1) be a member in good standing of this local; 2) be a member for one year of an AFGE local, immediately preceding the closing of the nomination process; and 3) not be a member in any labor organization not affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Candidates shall not run for more than one office in the same local election. Any member who is current on their dues payments and/or any member who has signed a dues withholding form (SF 1187) accepted by a responsible officer of the local, is in good standing and eligible to nominate candidates.

Candidates must accept his or her nomination at the nomination meeting or, if not in attendance, submit a written acceptance to the election committee, to be received by close of nominations. A lone letter of acceptance is a self-nomination. The member making the nomination has the responsibility of informing the nominee of his or her nomination. Placement on the ballot will be determined immediately following the nominations.

The term of office will run for two years, ending with the installation of officers following the regularly scheduled elections in September 2021.

The secret ballot election will be held prior to the September 2019 meeting via mailed ballots sent to the last known mailing address for all members of Local 2366. If your address has changed, please notify Local 2366 immediately or change it via www.AFGE.org.

Additional information regarding the election shall be provided in a separate written notice, sent to the last known mailing address for all members of Local 2366.

Each candidate may have a reasonable number of observers, who are members, present throughout the election process, including the tally of ballots.

Scholarship from Local 2366

Each spring and fall semester, Local 2366 gives out one $1,000 scholarship to a dues-paying member, member's spouse, or child of the member for use at an accredited college, university, or vocational/trade school.

Applications for Fall Semester are due June 1, but the current application period has been extended until July 31, 2019.

Applications for Spring Semester are due November 1.

Instructions are available here PDF
Application is available here PDF

CBP's safety and health program leaves much to be desired

Note: a letter for your doctor is available here, but read on for more information about its purpose and getting CA-2 claims successfully submitted.

Despite knowing that Border Patrol agents are being exposed to infectious diseases across the southwest border on a daily basis, CBP has sat on its hands and offered only one solution to employees who get sick: you should have worn your personal protective equipment (PPE).

That advice, of course, does nothing for someone who has already gotten sick and taken an illness home, potentially exposing their family and others in the community to illnesses that are not typically seen in the United States on a regular basis. The union contacted CBP's Office of Safety and Health (OSH) to find out what the agency expects agents to do after they come down with an infectious disease -- when PPE no longer matters. At the sector level, they say they have not gotten any new guidance from CBP. At CBP OSH, they can't even be bothered to respond to our questions, because they know they don't have any acceptable answers. So the union is left to do what it can to help employees get covered by the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) for illnesses they believe were contracted at work.

CBP's safety and health program has processes in place to deal with an employee being exposed to tuberculosis (TB) and bloodborne pathogens, but it does not have a plan in place for dealing with other infectious diseases or illnesses, such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, and scabies, among many others. Plans for TB and bloodborne pathogens are included in the agency's 2012 Safety and Health Handbook, HB 5200-08B, but only because OSHA requires those plans to exist. Clearly, CBP will only do the bare minimum, as required by law or regulation, when it comes to looking out for the safety and health of its workforce.

Since CBP refuses to look out for the wellbeing of its front-line employees via its own safety and health program -- after employees have become infected -- they leave it up to employees to attempt to get approval via OWCP, a process which is typically daunting and can be especially difficult to get approval for when dealing with infectious diseases.

We have seen numerous instances of employees being forced to make appointments with their personal physicians to get treatment for all sorts of illnesses. Therefore, the union has generated a letter for employees to take to their personal doctors when they believe they got sick at work due to contact with immigrants who were sick.

If an employee's personal physician believes that the employee did indeed get sick at work due to contact with sick immigrants, the medical report needs to explain, in detail, why the physician believes that to be the case, along with all of the information required by OWCP.

This letter provides the physician with a history of the increase in immigrants coming across the southwest border, explains the illnesses frequently encountered, and explains what information the physician needs to provide in the medical report. Fill out a Form CA-2 and submit it to your supervisor along with your doctor's medical report -- just make sure that the report has all of the required information listed in the letter.

The union usually sees claims filed via a Form CA-2 initially denied because the medical report does not contain the required information. It is our hope that this letter will improve the chances of getting a case approved more quickly.

Agency representatives have stated publicly that employees are being exposed to illnesses at an ever-increasing rate, but they have done nothing about it other than to state that employees should be wearing their PPE. CBP has the ability to cover the treatment and monitoring of infectious diseases and other non-covered illnesses via its existing safety and health program, but until they expand that program to include these other illnesses, employees have no choice but to pay for the medical care on their own or attempt to get the illness covered via OWCP.

In the event that CBP does eventually decide to better look out for the safety and wellbeing of its workforce, we will update this information accordingly. Until then, contact your local union representative if you need help with the OWCP process and we'll do whatever we can to help.

Links:
Form CA-2, Notice of Occupational Diseaseand Claim for Compensation
Background letter for employee's personal physician
Publication CA-810, general OWCP information
Form CA-35, checklists used to gather medical evidence

Update your contact info

If you have moved or never updated your mailing address or email address, make sure your contact info is up to date so you can receive the mailers and articles we send from time to time.

You can do this via AFGE's website, or send an email with your info to union@nbpc2366.org.

Know your rights - Do I have to write a memo?

Most of us have had to write a memorandum at some point or another — it is just a fact of life as an employee of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The union is frequently asked by members if they must write a memorandum. The short answer is, yes, generally, you can be ordered to write a memorandum regarding just about anything. However, there is one significant rule that needs to be observed: Article 4, Section H, of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Article 4, Section H, of the CBA states:
Any inquiry into an employee’s off-duty conduct must be based on activity which, if verified, would have a nexus to the employee’s official position. The Service and the Union agree that the conduct of employees while off duty shall result in action concerning the employee only where there is a nexus between that conduct and the employee’s official position. Employees will not be subjected to harassment or frivolous inquiries.

This means that you get to be just a person living your life without being made to explain your every action while you are away from work. However, if an allegation is made that you did something while off duty, and that action has a nexus to your job — that is, your conduct is likely to have a negative effect on the agency’s operations — then the agency can look into it.

If you are ordered to write a memorandum about your off duty activities and you believe there is no nexus to the job, contact a union representative so the issue can be investigated. Ultimately, it may be best to write the memorandum and file a grievance, rather than face a charge of insubordination. As always, when ordered to write a memorandum, you have the right to union representation pursuant to Weingarten and Article 31 of the CBA.

When in doubt, contact a local union representative for help.

Know your rights - What are my Weingarten rights?

You have the right to union representation anytime you are examined by a supervisor/investigator if you reasonably believe the examination may result in disciplinary action.

Most of the time, your supervisors will hand you a Weingarten form before asking you questions or having you write a memo because of Weingarten and the requirements of Article 31.B(3) of the CBA. But sometimes they won’t, and it will be incumbent upon you to assert your rights.

This rule applies when:

  1. an examination of a bargaining unit employee by an agency representative takes place;
  2. the examination must occur in connection with an investigation (vehicle damage, UoF allegation, etc. An investigation does not need to be performed by OIG/OPR/MI);
  3. the employee must reasonably believe that the examination may result in discipline; and
  4. the employee must request representation.

Weingarten applies whether it’s a verbal meeting or written, like in a memo, and applies to employees who are both on probation or off probation — don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you are going to be counseled by a supervisor, Weingarten does not apply. However, if during that counseling the supervisor begins asking you questions and you think the questions could lead to discipline, you need to ask for a union representative.

If you invoke your Weingarten rights, the agency can do one of the following:

  1. agree to your request and wait for the union representative to arrive or reschedule the meeting;
  2. deny your request and end the meeting immediately;
  3. give you the choice of ending the meeting or continuing without representation; or
  4. deny the request and continue to ask questions. You should then repeatedly but respectfully ask for union representation and protest the denial of your rights.

When in doubt, contact a local union representative for help.

Memorial service for BPA Donna Doss

Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss lost her life on the evening of February 2, 2019, when she was struck and killed by a passing vehicle while assisting a DPS trooper with a vehicle stop.

The friends and family of Border Patrol Agent Donna Doss will gather to celebrate her life on Friday, February 8, 2019, at 2pm at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, Texas. The funeral procession, led by law enforcement vehicles from numerous agencies, will begin at The Hamil Family Funeral Home and end at the Expo Center.

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