March 24, 2015

The Voluntary Relocation Program (VRP) Is Open

Click HERE to visit USAJOBS

Job Title: JOURNEYMAN BORDER PATROL AGENT - VOLUNTARY RELOCATION PROGRAM (VRP)
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: Customs and Border Protection
Job Announcement Number: MHCBPVRP-1301040-SLH
SALARY RANGE:
$34,513.00 to $79,936.00 / Per Year
OPEN PERIOD:
Monday, March 23, 2015 to Friday, April 10, 2015
SERIES & GRADE:
GL-1896-05
POSITION INFORMATION:
Full Time - Permanent
PROMOTION POTENTIAL:  12

DUTY LOCATIONS:
Many vacancies in the following locations:
Ajo, AZ 
Bisbee, AZ 
Douglas, AZ 
Nogales, AZ 
Sonoita, AZ 
Tucson, AZ 
Wellton, AZ 
Willcox, AZ 
El Cajon, CA 
Pine Valley, CA 
Jacksonville, FL 
Orlando, FL 
Calais, ME 
Fort Fairfield, ME 
Jackman, ME 
Detroit, MI 
Gibraltar, MI 
Marysville, MI 
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 
Havre, MT 
Malta, MT 
Plentywood, MT 
Saint Mary, MT 
Scobey, MT 
Bottineau, ND 
Portal, ND 
Lordsburg, NM 
Champlain, NY 
Massena, NY 
Ogdensburg, NY 
Tonawanda, NY 
Watertown, NY 
Port Clinton, OH 
Alpine, TX 
Big Bend National Park, TX 
Brackettville, TX 
Carrizo Springs, TX 
Comstock, TX 
Cotulla, TX 
Del Rio, TX 
Eagle Pass, TX 
Marfa, TX 
Presidio, TX 
Sanderson, TX 
Sierra Blanca, TX 
Uvalde, TX 
Van Horn, TX 
Newport, VT 
Richford, VT 
Swanton, VT 
Blaine, WA 
Curlew, WA 
Sumas, WA 

March 20, 2015

NBPC Local 1613 Facebook Page Relaunch

Local 1613 members,
We have relaunched our Facebook page.  The page can be found at: 

https://www.facebook.com/bpunion1613

Please like and share our page as we rebuild our subscriber base.  This will be a primary source of information dissemination. We have a lot of crucial issues facing us as a union.  Stay informed with the latest information.

NBPC Local 1613 President Terry Shigg has posted a special video message.  

OVERTIME TRANSITION PLAN SHELVED...BORDER PATROL STAYING ON AUO

The Union has been notified by OBP HQ's that the Overtime Transition Plan will not be implemented and AUO will remain the compensation method for agents who are currently earning AUO. The AWS will not be implemented for those employees earning AUO; however, FLSA-exempt agents, and those agents not earning AUO and who are currently earning FEPA due to sector assignments, will be scheduled overtime in accordance to the election selected (level 1, level 2 and basic).

OBP is also encouraging sectors to transition to the 6a, 2p, 10p schedules, unless operational flexibilities prevent such a change.

More information will be put out as it becomes available.

March 18, 2015

The Border is Not Secure

I want to be crystal clear - the border is not secure. That is not just my opinion or the position of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). Ask any line Agent in the field and he or she will tell you that at best we apprehend 35-40% of the illegal immigrants attempting to cross. This number is even lower for drug smugglers who are much more adept at eluding capture. How can this enormous gap exist between what the DHS tells you here in Washington and what our Agents know to be the truth in the field? Frankly, it is how you manipulate the statistics and let me give you one example. A key metric in determining our effectiveness is what is known as the “got aways”. If we know from footprints or video surveillance that 20 individuals crossed the border and we ultimately catch 10 of them, then we know that 10 “got away.”

Agents who repeatedly report groups larger than 20 face retribution. Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment. Needless to say Agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group.

The above statements are excerpts from the testimony of NBPC by Union Representative Chris Cabrera before the Homeland Security Government Affairs Committee on March 17, 2015.

To read the fully transcript click the link below,

Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) hearing testimony

March 11, 2015

Border Patrol Agents benefit from union membership

Border Patrol agents protect the American public by deterring drug, weapons, and human trafficking into the country. When it comes to protecting agents’ safety, they rely on their union representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees.

“I see the union as being the checks and balances, as being the guys that are going to say ‘OK, if there’s something wrong, let’s fix it,’ ” said Terence Shigg, president of AFGE NBPC Local 1613, which represents about 2,300 Border Patrol agents throughout the San Diego Sector.

AFGE video Border Patrol Agents benefit from union membership

March 9, 2015

Union Meeting March 10, 2015 at 7pm

Date: 03/10/15
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Agenda
Convention Training updates:
AUO and OT Transition Plan
Contract negotiations.
ROB and VRP's
More proactive in the media (national and local talking points)
Delegates and the upcoming election
Lawsuit
Lobbying 

What's happening in other sectors?
Official time battles
Increase of Fit for duty referrals
Increase in denials of compassionate transfers

Local Issues:
Tactical Communications Center
DUI Work group
Media/ Legislative Policy
Social media
Military Leave
BPA(I) positions and selections
Training
Picnic

 

February 20, 2015

Response to Chief Fisher’s “Overtime Transition Plan” memorandum

February 21, 2015

The Chief of the Border Patrol Michael J. Fisher has released a memorandum detailing the agencies plan to decertify All GS-1896 series employees (Border Patrol Agents) from earning Administrative Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO). In the memorandum it states that the Agency and the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) have discussed a transition plan. The memorandum is misleading in that it gives the impression that this was agreed to by the NBPC and not only did NBPC agree, but NBPC was happy with the results and will not be pursuing the matter further.

I assure you this is not the case. The Agency and Chief Fisher have been intent on decertifying the remainder of the workforce. This is the fulfillment of their wish to get out from under the scrutiny of the multiple agencies that continue to investigate the Office of Border Patrol (OBP) and our use of AUO. It should be noted that in all of those investigation it was shown that Border Patrol Agents were working the hours that they claimed. The legal point of contention is whether or not those hours should be classified as AUO. This “Overtime Transition Plan” or “Bridge to Nowhere Plan” may save the Chief some time and energy, but it will hurt the agents and the union immensely!

The Agency can legally decertify agents. As most agents know we are certified on a yearly basis. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Chief Fisher was in San Diego February 13, 2015. When asked about this decertification he stated that it would give the agency more flexibility and avoid the ongoing investigations. After about 5 minutes into his explanation I realized this was the same reason I had heard over the years for why we were paid AUO and not overtime. It seems to me as the head of the agency, you shouldn't be afraid of investigations and you should fight for what is right for your troops. That is what I thought leaders did. If Chief Fisher’s goal is to avoid investigations, he is in the wrong line of work!        

To answer the question we've been getting, “What is the union doing about it?” The NBPC and Local 1613 will continue to fight this transition plan. We have and continue to speak with Congress and express our displeasure with the way Agents are being treated. For the last 3 years agents have been mistreated and bullied by this agency. Our morale is the lowest in the federal government and Chief Fisher has stated that he can’t change that. Not the answer I want to hear from the leader of my agency. We will fight this by bargaining to the full extent of the law. We will lobby congress to ensure CBP provides the information needed by OPM to write the regulations to implement BPAPRA as soon as possible. We will work to ensure this “plan” has as minimal impact on the retirement of our agents as possible. That is done by making sure this “plan” is not in effect for long and BPAPRA is implemented ASAP. 

On the horizon:

OPM has yet to determine if the Agency can make Agents FLSA exempt prior to the full implementation of the BPAPRA. If OPM sides with the agency and says they can agents will be paid FEPA (time and a half but a maximum of what it would be for a GS10/1) under this plan and not 45 act (Time and a half based on your actual GS Level).

The agency is also looking into making it so that there are no excludable days even after BPAPRA is implemented. 

I reiterate for emphasis, NBPC and Local 1613 do not and never will agree with the decertification of all agents!