Health concerns related to Backscatter and VACIS

The Union has learned that there are at least eight confirmed cases of cancer (seven Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma and one Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma) among agents who have primarily been detailed to perform Backscatter/VACIS duties at Border Patrol Checkpoints in the El Paso Sector.

We are reviewing data that has been provided by the agency; however, we urge Border Patrol agents who have been assigned to perform those duties to seek guidance from their personal medical doctor and submit a completed CA-2 if cancer or any other medical condition is found and linked to work. Once we have received, reviewed, and analyzed all of the information requested from the Agency, we will be in a better position to offer instruction on how to proceed further. Agents should share any concerns about operating the Backscatter/VACIS with management, and if ordered to do so, inform them of the concerns involving their health and well-being prior to being ordered to operate the Backscatter/VACIS. If you are still ordered to operate them after explaining this to your supervisor, please contact a Union Representative immediately.

Unfortunately, El Paso Sector and OBP Headquarters management have known about this issue for a significant period of time and they have not addressed it, nor, to our knowledge, have Border Patrol agents nationwide been advised of the issue.

Physical Fitness Program reinstated at EGS

By now you may have heard that the Physical Fitness Program (PFP) has been reinstated at EGS after having been suspended last year. Here’s a brief rundown of what happened:

Local 2366 filed a Step I grievance against EGS management alleging they violated a memorandum of understanding between the agency and the union which expanded the PFP to all Border Patrol sectors nationwide. As part of the grievance, the union proposed some arrangements that would allow EGS employees to participate in the PFP while addressing the agency’s manpower-related concerns. Specifically, we suggested that agents assigned to certain assignments relatively close to the station could be allowed to work out after they have been relieved along with those assigned to in-station assignments and details. EGS management said our claims were without merit and denied the grievance.

The union then filed a Step II grievance with Chief Hudak and we eventually came to an agreement with the agency that would allow EGS employees to work out at the end of their shift provided there is no other work to do and they have been relieved by the oncoming shift.

As the program gets back into gear, we ask that everyone try to be flexible as both bargaining unit employees and managers get used to it again. If there is work to do, employees will not be allowed to work out and management will simply have to explain why a particular workout is canceled. Basically, if a workout will unduly interfere with operations, then it’s not going to happen. Keep in mind there will be weeks during which you get to work out all three hours and there will be busy weeks with zero workouts.

If you have any problems, find out why the workout was canceled – if it doesn’t sound right, get with a steward and it will be addressed.

Remember: the PFP is a very important benefit meant to help all of us stay fit. Make sure you follow the rules and don't give the agency any reason to believe the program is being abused.

PTIP suspension update

Local 2366 met with Del Rio Sector management to discuss the suspension of the PTIP at multiple stations.

The agency's investigation is ongoing so they are not yet able to disclose the audit/investigation results, but the union was notified that PAICs have been provided with the information relevant to their respective stations.

If you feel that you were improperly swept up in the suspension of the program you may approach your station's management to discuss your particular situation. Vanpools which were in compliance with the policy were allowed to continue with the program and the union was told that PAICs will have the specifics for each person and can discuss individual employee concerns.

2017 National Border Patrol Council national committee election results

Below are the results of the 2017 election for the national committee of the National Border Patrol Council.

Congratulations to everyone!

President: Brandon Judd
Executive Vice President: Paul Perez
Secretary: Rob Russell
Treasurer: Bud Tuffly
Vice President, Northern: Eric Sparkman
Vice President, Southwest: Art Del Cueto
Vice President, Southeast: Albert Trevino
Vice President at Large: Jon Anfinsen
Vice President at Large: Mike Egerton
Vice President at Large: Hector Garza
Vice President at Large: Christopher Kraus

Suspension of PTIP at DRT stations

Several employees at CAR, EGS, and UVA were notified of the suspension of the PTIP over the past two weeks. The agency has conducted an audit and they believe they have evidence that the directive was not being properly followed.

Section 9.1 of the PTIP directive requires a six-month suspension from the program if it is determined an employee failed to abide by the requirements of the directive. However, no one has been provided with specific information or allegations. The Union has filed a request for information so that we can review the audit and investigate the claims that some people may have been improperly suspended from the program.

In the meantime, if you have information you believe may prove that you were properly following the program, contact your respective lead steward.

CBP prepares for hiring surge

CBP has been assigned the difficult task of hiring an additional 5,000 Border Patrol agents, while trying to remain competitive when compared to ICE and other law enforcement agencies.

Therefore, CBP is requesting the authority to take several actions related to hiring, including modifying the way background checks are performed and waiving polygraphs for certain people including military veterans and current law enforcement.

Click here to read the entire memorandum.

Notice of Meeting

NOTICE OF MEETING – January 12, 2017

DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF UNION DELEGATES TO THE NBPC AND AFGE CAUCUS AND, IF NECESSARY, NOMINATE ADDITIONAL DELEGATES, DETERMINE IF DELEGATES CARRY ALL VOTES, AND DETERMINE COMPENSATION FOR DELEGATE EXPENSES

Local 2366 will hold a regularly scheduled membership meeting at 7:00 pm on January 12, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Express located at 2007 Veterans Blvd in Eagle Pass, Texas. During this meeting, members will be asked to determine the number of additional delegates, if any, they want to represent Local 2366. Local 2366’s six elected Executive Board Officers have already been designated as delegates by virtue of office. If members authorize additional delegates, then nominations for the additional delegates will be accepted and, at a future date to be determined, an election will be held for a secret vote to elect the additional delegates.

Members will also be asked to determine if the selected delegates will carry all of Local 2366’s votes, which if approved would preclude the need for alternate delegates. If members do not approve this proposal, then nominations for alternate delegates will be accepted and, at a future date to be determined, an election will be held for a secret vote to elect additional delegates.

The designated delegates will represent Local 2366 at the NBPC National Convention to be held in March 2017 and at the AFGE caucus to be held in May 2017.

NOTE: The NBPC and AFGE National Conventions and Caucuses are considered internal union business and official time to travel to and from these events, or to attend the events is not authorized. As a result, delegates attend and travel to/from these events on days off or annual leave.

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