Update on the shift bid program in DRT

Today we received word that Del Rio Sector management is ready to implement the shift bid program for stations in Del Rio Sector. All stations voted to opt in to the program, as listed below:

  • BRA: 84% in favor
  • CAR: 92% in favor
  • COM: 60% in favor
  • DRS: 84% in favor
  • EGS: 77% in favor
  • EGT: 85% in favor
  • RKS: 80% in favor
  • UVA: 75% in favor

The total votes for preferred shift length are:

  • 3 months: 299
  • 4 months: ...

Del Rio Sector shift bid update

Stations will begin distributing shift bid ballots at all stations and in the radio room this week. These ballots will help determine if stations will be participating in the shift bid MOU or if they will be opting out; voting will run from May 19 to June 2.

It's important that everyone gets a chance to vote, so station management and union stewards will be reaching out to every agent they can possibly reach to have a ballot filled out. Chief Karisch is responsible for deciding how long...

Reminder: scholarship applications due June 1

Applications for Local 2366's scholarship for the fall semester are due June 1.

Review the scholarship page at http://www.nbpc2366.org/scholarship for more information.

Thank you to Chief Vitiello

The National Border Patrol Council would like to thank Chief Vitiello for all the hard work he's done for and on behalf of the Agents and Agency. Understanding that there was a need for a stable life outside of work and recognizing best practices within the industry, Chief Vitiello, even though he faced opposition, decided to provide a stable work and home life for agents by agreeing to a Bid-For-Shift MOU for all of the Texas Border Patrol Sectors - El Paso, Big Bend, Del Rio, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley. The MOU is available here.

Over the past few years Chief Vitiello has been a strong advocate for agents and during his time as the decision maker he’s put the mission first while also improving our agents’ lives. Under his leadership we have been able to create more mobility for agents than ever before. We got rid of the clean shifts that Chief David Aguilar implemented just so other non-agent priorities could be met. We’ve been able to create a HIP program for all agents and we’ve been able to get much better uniforms, even though our shirts still have to be changed in the near future. Unlike most of his predecessors, Chief Vitiello has not been self serving, rather he’s made the decisions he feels are best for the agency and the agents.

Chief Vitiello understands the issues that come from some self-serving managers and agents within the Border Patrol and the need to change and improve. He’s endeavored to enact positive change through positive programs involving agent safety and stabilizing pay and not mere words. He’s the only chief that has held his managers accountable and not just agents. Commissioner Kerlikowske has been beating the culture change drum for over two years without realizing the change has been taking place under his nose by a man who goes quietly about his work with class and dignity. If the commissioner truly wants to make a positive change in the culture of the Border Patrol he need not look any further than the chief he already has in place; a chief that has the trust and respect of his managers and bargaining unit agents alike.

The new chief is supposed to be announced sometime in the middle of this month, we suspect it will be from the outside, but for the good of the Border Patrol and this country/border security, we, the NBPC, sincerely hope it will be Chief Vitiello.

Shift bid program approved for Texas sectors

The National Border Patrol Council has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Border Patrol allowing agents to bid for shifts. The program is set to run for a trial period in Texas sectors until the new CBA is implemented.

We have been dealing with some morale issues in Del Rio Sector lately, but this is something that Chief Vitiello felt was too important to delay, so we thank him for it.

There are still some final details to iron out, so we'll post more information as soon as we can.

The MOU is available here.

Upcoming special election to establish collective bargaining rights in Eagle Pass for police and firefighters

The Eagle Pass Police Association and Eagle Pass Fire Fighters Association are again asking for our support to help them get collective bargaining rights in an upcoming special election.

Last year, officers and firefighters received civil service status, granting them rights against being unjustly terminated, among other protections. Next month, there will be a special election to determine if collective bargaining will be established.

According to media reports and the police office and firefighter associations, the city manager and others have been telling citizens of Eagle Pass that simply having collective bargaining status will raise taxes – something that just is not true.

As Border Patrol agents, we are able to file grievances to address problems at work. Officers and firefighters with civil service status, but without collective bargaining, must settle their disputes via lawsuits in district court. If collective bargaining is established, the two parties would be able to meet to put together an agreement that would create processes to handle grievances and other disagreements.

The Eagle Pass Business Journal published an interview with members of the Eagle Pass Police Association and an interview with Eagle Pass City Manager Hector Chavez.

Early voting takes place from April 25, 2016, through May 3, 2016; Election Day is May 7, 2016. Voting information can be found on the City of Eagle Pass website.

Local 2366 of the National Border Patrol Council is asking any Border Patrol employees who live in Eagle Pass to support police officers and firefighters in Eagle Pass and vote FOR collective bargaining rights!

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.


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