Follow Up on AUO Restrictions on Protective Class Employees Light Duty/OWCP Personnel

 

 

The following is the understanding of Local 2554 based on the information that was discussed at the second meeting with Sector Management last Thursday, October 16, 2014.

Effective October 4, 2014, any agent that was/is placed on “Light” Duty status due to an injury that was suffered/occurred while in the “Performance of Duty” and resulted in the same agent having to file a/an (OWCP) Office of Workers Compensation Program Claim, (then that agent) is entitled to compensation for any loss of wages including “Lost Wages” that are a direct result of an assignment to “Current” Light Duties/AUO Non-Compensable Duties.

In this case, the discussion specifically referred to OWCP “Light Duty” agents that are assigned to duties classified as AUO Non-Compensable, and which subsequently restrict the agent from working any AUO.

The agency has not uniformly employed procedures by which “issues such as the ones currently affecting OWCP Light Duty personnel were addressed in order to make the agent whole” but will be assisting agents by providing personnel that is trained to assist the agents in filing the necessary paperwork/documentation needed to recover such wages if the agent is eligible.

The proper documentation in this case consists of a CA-7 (as we know of at this time) and are to be filed on a biweekly basis simultaneous to the filing of the agent’s Time and Attendance Sheet and the 1012. Although Sector Management made it clear that agents in this status would be assisted by agency personnel the logistics of this assistance (and for that matter the correct/designated forms) have not been completely worked out or identified by Sector Management. This fact could be the reason for the delay in an official announcement on the part of the Agency.

Bottom Line is:

Agents on “OWCP Light Duty” should know that he/she would be compensated for loss of wages at some point.

Agents on “OWCP Light Duty” should also know that he/she would be assisted in the preparation and the submittal of documentation in order to recuperate any lost wages as a result of being assigned to an AUO non-compensable assignment/duty.

The complete details of how the assistance will be made available were discussed but not resolved. Local 2554 expressed concern that the personnel assigned/employed by the Agency to perform this task understand and demonstrate sensitivity to the fact that this group of agents have suffered various types of injuries and are vulnerable or may be under a great deal of stress thus it is not necessary to burden the agent with any additional or unnecessary stress.

Any agents that are place on Light Duty Status should also know that when the agent is no longer in Light Duty Status (OWCP) and is released back to full duty; the agent should be placed back at the AUO rate he/she was at when the incident, injury/illness took place.

Please (agents) document this situation (keep records) in the event that future action is needed.

Unfortunately the issue involving agents in an “OWCP Light Duty” status was the only issue that Local 2554 and the Agency agreed upon. All other issues remain unresolved including issues that involve “Agents Injured While off Duty” and also “Pregnant Females” assigned to Non-Compensable Duties as a result of an illness/injury/pregnancy.

Because the issues that involve agents on “Light Duty Status” as a result of an illness/an off duty injury and/or pregnancy are very complex these issues must be analyzed on a case by case basis to determine whether a “disability” discrimination has occur and also because this group of agents will not be eligible to recovery of any loss in pay as a result of assignment to AUO Non-Compensable Duties, it is highly recommended that agent(s) who find themselves in this category seek or obtain additional guidance, representation and or even legal advice from an experienced source with these types of issues, regulations, codes and/or laws, as the case may be if the agent so desires.

If you have questions on about the above, please contact you union representative, VP Gurrola, or President Amaya

AUO Restrictions on Protective Class Employees

The Following statement is signed and endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council Local 2554 President Lombardo Amaya.

Union Members and Bargaining Unit employees,
In regards to the current AUO restrictions that are being imposed and applied, specifically the restrictions that are being applied by Calexico Management, that are discriminatory in nature, and target personnel that are on “light duty status”, please be advised that Local 2554 and Sector Management had engaged in discussions regarding the impact and implementation regarding such proposed changes therefore it is not understood why Agency Representatives, specifically DPAIC Westerling and Watch Commander Martin implemented changes prior to the completion of discussions.
It is the intent of Local 2554 and Sector Management to develop or to establish a proper procedure, one that previously was not implemented, enforced or employed by the Agency and by which all eligible personnel, was fully compensated or made whole for any loss of wages, specifically personnel that qualifies under the category or is otherwise identified as “light duty personnel”.
Additionally, a meeting is scheduled for 10/16/2014 in the afternoon that will clarify, address and resolve the issues so that sector personnel subjected to these conditions will be protected from any further harm of this nature. In the meantime any Bargaining Unit Employee that is subjected to this type of discrimination needs to contact their Union Representative, Vice President Fernando Gurrola or Local President Lombardo Amaya, and document the incident.
In other words…
Who, What, When, Why and How. Provide a narrative description of the event. Who told you to go home? What job function, action and or duty were you performing? When did the event occur? Why did the manager or supervisor tell you to go home? How is this discriminatory (“light duty status, OWCP/Injured off duty”, Pregnant Female) ? If at all possible state the names, titles, and number of agents that were present when the event occurred.

— Lombardo Amaya
President
AFGE/NBPC Local 2554
El Centro, California
lamaya@nbpc2554.org
www.nbpc2554.org

FLSA & K-9 LAWSUIT UPDATE!!!!!!

Attention!!!!!!!!! as per today 10-14-2014 : if you are a union members and still have not file the lawsuit docs, you can still do it and send the documents to the address on the form.

K-9’s are highly urged to do it if you have not.

Contact us via email if you have questions on this regards.

Forms are at the bottom for you to print and file.

 

Reminder

Deadline to submit paperwork for FLSA Lawsuit was March 31, 2014( IT HAS BEING EXTENDED UNTIL FUTURE NOTICE.

We advise you to follow up with the law firm to see if they will receive it and accept it late.

*** Questions such as whether your letter was received can be sent directly to the law firm at the following email address: info@wmlaborlaw.com

Also if you need to change your mailing address please email the Union Secretary, Rebecca Haro, at the following email address: rharo@nbpc2554.org

Respectfully,

FLSA_Lawsuit

Leave Donation (VLTP) for Porfirio “Poki” Abarca

Poki, needs leave donations.

 

After his surgery and a long period in ICU his leave is gone.

He and Sector are in the process to Medically Retire him but it will take between 6 to 8 weeks.

Lest help our union brother with some leave donations!

Read info below and use the forms attached::::::

Thank you!

 

image001-1

 

opm630a – Request to Donate Annual Leave Within Agency

 

opm630b – Request to Donate Annual Leave Outside Agency (2)

 

FOLLOW-UP POST TO THE VRP and ROB

FOLLOW-UP POST TO THE VRP and ROB

What is the VRP?  On August 26, 2010, the agency and the NBPC entered into the most recent VRP agreement that continued a test program that was approved by Congress and that was intended to provide Federal Agencies and Federal Employees more move opportunities by decreasing the amount of money an agency would have to pay for relocations.  The test program expired on April 29, 2014, which also ended the negotiated VRP.

 

Under the VRP, the agency identified vacancies at Border Patrol Stations and posted those openings on USA Jobs.  Agents were provided an opportunity to apply for the openings and were able to put in for a maximum of five locations. OPM compiled referral lists of all applicants by seniority and sent the lists to the selecting officials at the individual sectors.  On each referral list, the selecting official (management) was able to consider the top seven (7) names, which became the list of consideration, for the first vacancy. For each additional vacancy, one more name from the referral list was added to the list of consideration.  Management was able to select anyone from the list of consideration regardless of seniority.

 

  • Example:Station “A” has two vacancies and 10 agents apply for those openings. Management would be given the referral list containing the names of all 10 agents but would only be able to select from the list of consideration or the top 8 agents based upon seniority. With their two selections, management would be able to choose the two most junior agents from the list of consideration even if those agents only had 3 years in the patrol and the most senior agents had 20 years in the patrol. Management would be required to take into consideration the seniority of all agents on the “consideration list,” but if they determined the junior agents were more qualified, management would be free to choose those agents.   

 

  • Recent examples of how selections were made under the last few VRP announcements:After management received their lists, they called the duty stations of the applicants to compile a matrix on each agent (the matrix’ were not negotiated and at times management refused to admit that they used them.  The NBPC found out about the matrix through management. A matrix was not used on all selections).  In many cases, they were looking for specific qualifications or certifications such as Firearms Instructors, Boat Patrol Certifications, Horse Patrol Certifications, etc., and they made their selections based upon those certifications and other factors, including overall seniority.  About 4 or 5 years ago, we saw a great many Firearms Instructors selected in the VRPs even though in many instances they were some of the most junior agents on the “consideration list.”  We also saw an awful lot of senior agents passed over because management claimed they weren’t the most qualified agents when they made their selections.

 

Albeit a big factor, seniority isn’t the only component to being selected under the VRP.

 

What is the ROB?  The Relocation Opportunity Bulletin is almost the same as the VRP.  The biggest difference is that the VRP is a funded program and the ROB is a non-funded program.  There are a few other subtle differences such as:

 

  • Agents will be able to apply for three locations instead of five.
  • Agents will be required to submit a resume.
  • There are no seniority limitations to make the consideration list.  Seniority will still be a factor and must be considered when making a selection, but it’s not the only factor.

 

Another reason the ROB is considered a non-funded program is because it doesn’t provide the same moving benefits as the VRP.  Under the VRP and prior to moving, an agent is given 5 days of admin leave to take a house hunting trip. At the time of moving, agents are given three more admin days to pack their household belongings and another three admin days to unpack upon arrival at their new duty location.  Agents are also given admin leave for travel to get to their new duty station, but there is no per diem.

 

Most Commonly Asked Questions:

 

  1. Is the ROB a location swap program?
  2. No, you do not have to find someone to trade locations with you. It is an application and selection program just like the VRP.  It is anticipated that Nationwide ROBs will be announced on USA Jobs and that in sector ROBs will be announced via memorandum.
  3. Is every station going to have slots available?
  4. Staffing levels are determined by the agency and, like the VRP, those levels will determine the openings.
  5. How many agents will be able to leave one station?
  6. Just like the VRP, there is no hard number.  Because this is a test program that will last only two years, and if the agency wants it to continue after the initial expiration, they will make proper selections regardless of the number of agents from one station that will be reassigned.
  7. How much time in service must an agent have to participate in the ROB?
  8. Eligibility begins once an agent is off probation.
  9. If an agent accepts a ROB, is there a waiting period before an agent is eligible to apply for another relocation?
  10. Like the VRP, there is a two-year waiting period.
  11. Will management prevent agents in focus sectors such as Tucson and RGV from being selected under the ROB?
  12. If management wants this program to continue beyond the initial two-year trial period, they will not exclude anyone from being selected. As management did with some provisions of the VRP, however, they can violate provisions of this agreement and the NBPC will have to take appropriate action. Unfortunately, there are no provisions the NBPC can add that will ensure management does not violate an agreement, but we retain the right to file grievances, ULPs and EEO complaints.
  13. Can an agent apply for the same number of stations under the ROB as he/she could under the VRP?
  14. No, under the ROB an agent may apply for up to three stations per announcement and under the VRP an agent may apply for up to five stations per announcement.
  15. Will the ROB inhibit or replace any other negotiated agreements, whether national or local.
  16. No, the ROB does not replace or inhibit any agreement already set forth.
  17. Is the NBPC working on a location swap program?
  18. Yes, the NBPC proposed a location swap program to the agency more than a year ago and we’re still in negotiations.

 

As you can see, the ROB is an inferior program when compared to the VRP, just like the VRP is an inferior program to fully funded moves, but when the ROB is coupled with the VRP and hopefully a location swap program in the near future, the possibility of agents being able to move will be greatly enhanced.  We haven’t had any mobility announcements in almost three years and this agreement ensures there will be regular mobility opportunities for the next two years.  If you have any other questions, please get with your local and they will get you an answer.

RELOCATION PROGRAMS WILL OPEN TO ALL BORDER PATROL AGENTS

RELOCATION PROGRAMS WILL OPEN TO ALL BORDER PATROL AGENTS RESULTING IN INCREASED MOBILITY AND BETTER MORALE

We are pleased to inform you that the Union and Management have agreed to open up two relocation programs. These two programs could start as early as next month. They are the Voluntary Relocation Program (which originally expired on April 29, 2014) and a new program that will be called the Relocation Opportunity Bulletin (ROB).

The main difference is that the VRP is a funded program that pays agents to move, whereas the ROB is non-funded and agents will be required to fund their own moves. The ROB will be in place for two years, after which, the NBPC will be able to evaluate and renegotiate if necessary. The ROB will expire on September 30, 2016. The VRP requires Congressional approval, which the Union and the Agency are currently seeking. We hope to have a quick resolution to the approval issue so that both programs will move forward expeditiously.

Under these two programs move opportunities will be announced every quarter, which will greatly enhance the chances for mobility to a far greater number of agents. The VRP and ROB will alternate quarter to quarter and we anticipate that moves under the ROB will be announced in a few weeks while we await Congressional approval for VRPs. Because moves under the ROB are non-funded, agents may exclusively apply for relocations under the VRP. Agents selected under the VRP will receive lump sum payments to help with move expenses.

The VRP Lump Sums pre tax are:
Multiple person household who own a home – $35,275
One person household and own a home – $27,375
Multiple person household who do not own a home – $16,850
One person household and does not own a home – $8,950
We will update the moment VRP approval is given by Congress.

Union Newsletter September 21, 2014

NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL
LOCAL 2554
American Federation of Government Employees
Affiliated with AFL-CIO

“Protecting Those Who Protect Our Borders”

Union Newsletter
September 21, 2014
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Information on Union Meeting

When: 10/21/2014
Time: @ 5pm
Location: 1413 State Street El Centro CA 92243

Union Meetings are every 3rd Tuesday of the Month at 5pm at 1413 State St in El Centro.
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Information on Pay reform

Senate Passes Border Patrol Pay Bill: The Senate this week passed the AFGE-backed Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act that would stabilize agent pay amid today’s uncertain budgetary environment and secure the hours necessary to protect the border. The bill, S. 1691, would allow border patrol agents to choose among three pay schedule options: 100 hours per pay period with 20 hours of overtime; 90 hours per pay period with 10 hours of overtime; or 80 hours per pay period with no overtime. The bill would also initially require that 90% of agents at any given location work 100 hours per pay period. This means that if fewer than 90% of agents at any given location choose to work less than 100 hours per pay period, the Customs and Border Protection is authorized to unilaterally assign agents to work extra hours in order to meet the staffing floor. This staffing floor could be lowered if the detailed staffing assessment of each station, which is also required by the bill, shows that the agency needs less hours to be worked.
The bill now heads to the House, which is not expected to take it up until after the November elections. AFGE endorsed the bill as the current pay scheme has been applied inconsistently and has been subject to much political manipulation in the context of budget debates.
“We still have a lot of work to do as this is not yet a done deal. But we are grateful for all of those elected representatives that put an awful lot of work into getting this through the Senate,” AFGE National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd said.
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. praised Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and John McCain of Arizona for introducing the legislation and thanked cosponsors Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and John Cornyn of Texas. Cox also thanked Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Tom Carper of Delaware and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada for their help in securing Senate passage.
“This legislation is absolutely crucial for bringing stability and predictability to Border Patrol pay and will make a huge, positive contribution to our agents’ ability to provide the most effective border security,” Cox said.

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Information on AUO Decertification

On September 19, 2014, El Centro Sector Management sent out an email stating that effective October 05, 2014, agents working in modified duty positions cannot earn AUO. El Centro Sector Management is defining “Modified Duties” as follows:

“Any agent not able to dispense the full duty status of a Border Patrol Agent, ie, light duty for medical reasons, loss of law enforcement status pending investigation or LER action, and or criminal charges. Nearly all positions occupied by agents on modified duty are administrative in nature, and those that are not, are certainly predictable and can be taken over by the oncoming shift.”

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Information on Union Representation Activities

– On September 17, 2014, two Calexico Station Agents were given a Formal Counseling Letter for failure to complete VLC Courses by the deadline imposed by the Calexico Station. The charge as stated on the letter is, “Failure to Follow Supervisor Instructions.” Both Agents sought Union Assistance and are being represented by a Union Executive Board Member. A Request for Information was submitted to the Agency on September 19, 2014. An extension to file the Step 1 Grievance was granted until the Union receives the requested information.

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Information Regarding Night Differential Pay

– A Union Executive Board Member has reviewed information provided by the Agency with regards to Night Differential Pay. The Union asked for this information because an IDO Agent believed that Night Shift Differential Pay was not being applied correctly. A determination was made that a Union Initiated Grievance is not warranted at this point. If at any time you feel that Night Differential Pay is not being applied correctly to you, please reach out to a Union Representative and we can file a grievance for you or assist you in filing one.

With regards to Night Shift Differentials, 5 CFR 532.505 reads as follows:

(a) Employees shall be entitled to receive night shift differentials in accordance with section 5343 of Title 5, United States Code.
(b) Absence on holidays. An employee regularly assigned to a shift for which a night shift differential is payable shall be paid the night differential for a period of excused absence on a legal holiday or other day off from duty granted by Executive or administrative order.
(c) Travel Status. An employee regularly assigned to a shift for which a night shift differential is payable shall be paid the night shift differential for hours of the employee’s tour of duty while in official travel status, regardless of whether the employee is performing work.
(d) Temporary tour of duty.
(1) An employee regularly assigned to a night shift who is temporarily assigned to a day shift or to a night shift having a lower night shift differential shall continue to receive the regular night shift differential, a temporarily detail for training purposes is also included — see 5 CFR 410.602
(2) An employee regularly assigned to a night shift, who is temporarily assigned to another night shift having a higher differential, shall be paid the higher differential if a majority of the employee’s regularly scheduled non-overtime hours of work on the temporary shift fall within hours having the higher differential.
(3) An employee regularly assigned to a day shift who is temporarily assigned to a night shift shall be paid a night differential.
(e) Leave with pay.
(1) An employee regularly assigned to a night shift shall be paid a night shift differential during a period of leave with pay.
(2) An employee regularly assigned to a day shift who is temporarily assigned to a night shift shall be paid a night shift differential for any leave with pay taken when scheduled to work night shifts.
(3) An employee assigned to a regular rotating schedule involving work on both day and night shifts shall be paid a night shift differential only for any leave with pay taken when scheduled to work night shifts.
(4) An employee who is not regularly assigned to a day shift or a night shift but whose shift is changed at irregular intervals shall be paid a night shift differential during leave with pay if the employee received a night shift differential for the last shift worked preceding leave with pay.
***NOTE*** Border Patrol – Employees are paid N/D when leave used is less than eight hours per pay period. SEE 5 CFR 550.122

With regards to Night Shift Differentials, 5 CFR 550.122 reads as follows:
5 CFR 550.122 Computation of night pay differential.
(a) Absence on holidays or in travel status. An employee is entitled to a night pay differential for a period when he is excused from night-work on a holiday or other non-workday and for night hours of his tour of duty while he is in an official travel status, whether performing actual duty or not.
(b) Absence on leave. An employee is entitled to a night pay differential for a period of paid leave only when the total amount of that leave in a pay period, including both night and day hours, is less than 8 hours.
(c) Relation to overtime, Sunday, and holiday pay. Night pay differential is in addition to overtime, Sunday, or holiday pay payable under this subpart and it is not included in the rate of basic pay used to compute the overtime, Sunday, or holiday pay.
(d) Temporary assignment to a different daily tour of duty. An employee is entitled to a night pay differential when he or she is temporarily assigned during the administrative workweek to a daily tour of duty that includes night-work. This temporary change in a daily tour of duty within the employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek is distinguished from a period of irregular or occasional overtime work in addition to the employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek.

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END OF NEWSLETTER
AFGE/NBPC/LOCAL 2554

E-BOARD MEMBERS
LOMBARDO AMAYA (PRESIDENT)
email: lamaya@nbpc2554.org

FERNANDO GURROLA (CAX V-PRESIDENT)
email: fgurrola@nbpc2554.org

ARTURO ALCARAZ (IDO/RIV V-PRESIDENT)
email: aalcaraz@nbpc2554.org

TONY SERNA (ELS V-PRESIDENT)
email: aserna@nbpc2554.org

PORFIRIO ABARCA (SECRETARY)
email: pabarca@nbpc2554.org

JOSE ARROYO (SERGEANT OF ARMS)
email: jarroyo@nbpc2554.org

TONY PLATTEL (TREASURER)
email: tplattel@nbpc2554.org

Border Patrol Pay Reform Act Passes Senate

Border Patrol Pay Reform Act Passes Senate

The National Border Patrol Council would like to thank Senators Tester and McCain for reaching across the aisle and sponsoring the bipartisan Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act. The BPAPRA was combined with the Cybersecurity Authorization today and it passed the Senate. It has now been sent to the House for consideration. We still have a lot of work to do. This is not a done deal yet.

We are grateful for the elected representatives and their staffs who put so much work into getting this through the Senate. Along with Senators Tester and McCain, we would also like to recognize and thank Senators Cornyn, Heitkamp, Ayotte and Flake for co-sponsorsing this important legislation.