June 19, 2014
Information on Union Meeting
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.
Information on Riverside Station
On June 15, 2014, the Riverside Station was officially deactivated. Agents were reassigned to Indio and Murrieta Stations. A few Agents chose other locations. Some Agents chose to remain on an OPT-Out List. Basically they will be notified of any stations that open up between now and the end of the fiscal year and will have the opportunity to choose to be reassigned to one of those stations.
Information on CAX ATV Unit
On June 11, 2014, a Union Executive Board Member met with CAX Managemet to discuss issues/concerns with CAX ATV Unit. The following was addressed.
ATV Agents were informed that their hours would change and could change at the Agencies whim. As a result, some Agents opted to go back to the line but were denied their shift preference. The Union negotiated and was granted the shift preference for the Agents.
Information on Union Representation Activities
In June 2014, a Union Executive Board Member met with ELC Management to assist an Agent in filing a Step 1 Grievance for a letter of caution that was issued for an allegation of Inappropriate Association. The Union was successful in having the letter of caution rescinded and removed from the Agents personnel file.
In May 2014, a Union Executive Board Member met with ELC Management to assist an Agent in an oral reply for a letter of reprimand that was issued for an allegation of Failure to Follow Policy. The Union was successful in mitigating the letter of reprimand to a letter of caution.
Information Regarding NOPA Letters
Union Executive Board Members and Union Representatives have been assisting Agents throughout El Centro Sector in responding to NOPA letters.
Nationwide there have been an increase of Notice of Proposed Action (NOPA) Letters being sent out by the Office of Internal Affairs/Personnel Security Division (OIA/PSD). These letters are being sent to Agents after their 5-year background investigation or sometimes after an investigation into an allegation of misconduct. The letters state something similar to this effect, “This letter informs you that due to derogatory information discovered during the course of your periodic reinvestigation, PSD is unable to provide a favorable determination at this time.”
The PSD Office gives Agents 10-30 days to respond to the letter and present information as to why they should be found favorable for continued employment. Failure to respond to the letter could result in a finding of unfavorable/unsuitable for employment decision.
If you receive one of these letters we strongly encourage you to reach out to the Union for Assistance. The Union submits a data request asking for specific documentation that PSD relied upon to make their decision. Sometimes, after the Union submits the data request PSD rescinds their decision and finds the Agent favorable for continued employment without them having to submit a written response to the NOPA letter. At the very least you would be able to see the information that PSD relied upon to issue the NOPA letter and would afford you the opportunity to give a well-written response.
Information on Union Donations
In the Month of June 2014, Union Executive Board Members and Union Members voted for and approved monetary donations to two Union Members. One monetary donation was made to an ELS Agent for an illness of an immediate family member. Another monetary donation was made to a CAX Agent for an illness of an immediate family member.
Information on Health and Safety Committee Meeting
On June 17, 2014, Union Executive Board Members met with ELC Management for a Health and Safety Committee meeting. As of now these meeting will be held quarterly.
A discussion was held on the following topics:
– The recertification/renewal of first aid/first responder training. IDO has many Agents with expired first aid/first responder certificates. IDO is going to see about getting some training in the near future.
– The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees when removing drug seizures from vehicles. An e-mail with a power point was sent out addressing the need to wear PPE.
-The disassembly of vehicles believed to be containing narcotics falls on the contractor. (ie dropping gas tanks, removing dashboard etc). Sector garage has had Agents come and ask them to take apart vehicles to search. Sector garage was informed that it is not their responsibility but the Contractors responsibility to do these tasks. Sector Garage was advised to coordinate with ELC/AFO as they have the statement of work that lists the contractor’s responsibility.
-Border Tactical ventilation fans do not work sometimes. Agents were still shooting with fans not working and exposing themselves to hazardous condition (lead). Some Agents submitted a CA-1 form. Firearms Instructors and Supervisors are going to be informed of the need to stop shootings when conditions like this are present.
Information on K-9 Lawsuit/Grievance
The Canine Agents at El Centro Sector may have a separate lawsuit or grievance with regards to 10 percent of their salary was taken away immediately not gradually. This is separate from the NBPC lawsuit. Management advised a Union Executive Board Member that Tucson and San Diego paid out to some their canine handlers already but only for fiscal year 2013. ELC Management informed a Union Executive Board Member that Canine Handlers dropped on their own in 2013, that canine handlers self-managed their AUO, and that they don’t owe ELC Handlers anything because they did things right.
A Union Representative from San Diego Sector took the lead on this issue with regards to the San Diego Canine Handlers and was successful. This representative advised that he will come to ELC the first or second week of July to meet with the ELC K-9’s and have them answer a questionnaire. From there the Union is contemplating filing a grievance or lawsuit.
Information on Pay Reform
For an update on pay reform please visit the following link:
Senator Tester is pushing for Pay Reform to be sent to Mark Up.
END OF NEWSLETTER
LOMBARDO AMAYA (PRESIDENT)
FERNANDO GURROLA (CAX VICE PRESIDENT)
ARTURO ALCARAZ (IDO/RIV VICE PRESIDENT)
TONY SERNA (ELS VICE PRESIDENT)
PORFIRIO ABARCA (SECRETARY)
JOSE ARROYO (SGT AT ARMS)
TONY PLATTEL (TREASURER)