Member Notification

January 28th, 2015

 

Membership Notification: February meeting will be held in Sierra Vista

January 28th, 2015

The February 11, 2015 General Membership meeting will be held at 6:00 pm at the following location:

 

Who is watching the Investigators?

January 23rd, 2015

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A manager in the USBP San Diego Critical Incident Investigation Team was arrested for placing surveillance cameras in the women’s bathroom. This speaks volumes of a continual problem throughout government departments; Who is watching the Investigators? There are many entities in DHS for investigating employees for allegations but who do they report to. Where is the oversight? Did no one notice a camera was missing?

In 2013, two Office of Internal Affairs Agents, in McAllen Tx, were indicted for conspiracy and falsifying documents. Once again – NO OVERSIGHT! How can any government employee have faith that they will get a fair investigation?

But how do we stop such problems from happening? Maybe if Border Patrol managers assigned to these Sector Investigation Teams were rotated more often, like the Agents, there would be less chance of this happening. But not in Tucson, we follow the good old tradition allowing managers to sit in job assignments for years, giving them absolute free reign over their minions. We call it “kingdom building”.

 

 

Read the report here: SDC CIIT

 

 

From President Del Cueto

January 14th, 2015

I want to thank each and every one of you that participated in Local 2544’s election process. I would especially like to thank the election committee for putting in countless hours to make this happen. I would like to thank all of our members who voted, which was more than the usual turnout in union elections.

I am grateful and humbled that I was elected to serve you again for another term. I want to thank all of you who voted for me but I also want to thank those who participated in our Democratic process and voted for my opponent. As the vote proved, our members were open other ideas and I want to ensure our members that I will be working hard to listen and to be open to new ideas and opinions.

There are a lot of issues we will face over the next few years and I hope you will provide the input you believe necessary for the Executive Board to serve you the best we can, and that will allow us to remain the strongest Local in all of AFGE. We have a great board that has substantial experience and I would like to Congratulate them. I would also like to congratulate their opponents for being willing to run for very demanding and difficult offices. In closing let us all move forward, move forward united, to continue and provide proper representation to all our members.

Sincerely,
Art Del Cueto
President
Local 2544

Pay Reform FAQ

January 5th, 2015

The NBPC has taken the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act to the Law Firm of Woodley McGillivary for a comprehensive overview of the law that was signed by the President on December 18, 2014. The law firm of Woodley McGillivary is considered an expert in Title 5 law that deals with pay for Federal Employees. Based upon their analysis, we will answer the most common questions or assumptions.

 

Question: Can the Agency unilaterally lower a Border Patrol agent to a lower level than the one elected by the agent?

Answer: No. Although there are several sections that have given agents angst, none of them give the agency the authority, outside of being placed on the rubber gun squad, to unilaterally lower a border patrol agent from the level of their choosing.

The most common section that has caused confusion is found close to the end of the law on page 25, line 21 of the law as shown on the NBPC Website. This section talks about a “Comprehensive Staffing Analysis.” This analysis is a report that must be submitted by the agency to the Comptroller General after one year of the law’s enactment. The Comptroller General has 60 days after receipt of the agency’s report to submit a comprehensive analysis of the report to certain committees of Congress. Although a report must be submitted, nothing in this section of the law gives the agency, Comptroller General, or Congress the authority to unilaterally lower an agents rate of pay from that which the agent elected.

Also, on page 9, line 6 you will find a section entitled “Implementation.” This section talks only about enhancing one’s retirement annuity. This section allows the agency to ensure an agent doesn’t “artificially enhance his/her retirement by choosing a level higher than one they generally elected for the majority of their career in order to increase their “high three.” Example: If an agent works the majority of their career at the basic rate of pay or at the level 2 rate of pay, that employee may not elect the level 1 rate of pay for the last three years of his/her career for the purpose of gaining extra in their retirement. This is not a unilateral authority of the agency to lower an agent’s level of overtime pay. The agent will have made a conscience decision to work at a certain level, and thereby choosing what his/her retirement will be.

On Page 4, line 21 – “In Lieu of Election.” This section specifically says that if an agent does not make a timely election that agent “shall be assigned to the Level 1 border patrol rate of pay.” Please not, the agency can not assign someone lower than the Level 1 rate of pay.

Lastly, on page 5, line 8 you will find the word “unable.” If an agent is “unable” to perform overtime work for purposes of having their law enforcement authority revoked, the agent will be assigned to the basic level of pay. This was meant to mirror AUO and when an agent is not allowed to earn AUO because their law enforcement authority was revoked.

The BPAPRA is a right and outside the enactment of another law, no one, not even Congress can mandate agents to a lower level of pay.

 

Question: Will an agent have to make up overtime hours for taking AL or SL?

Answer: No – if it is a full day of AL or SL. Yes – if it is a partial day of AL or SL. Like AUO if an agent takes a full day of AL or SL, the agent does not accrue an obligation to make up the hours. It’s the same as a current excludable day. If, however, and like AUO, an agent takes a partial day of AL or SL, the agent will have an obligation to make up those hours as under AUO that day is not excludable.

 

Question: Will training days be excludable?

Answer: There are no more excludable days. The level an agents elects under the BPAPRA will be treated as if it is their base rate of pay. In other words: If an agent elects Level 1 there scheduled work day will be 10 hours and training will be done during that 10 hour block and son on for the other levels of pay.

 

Question: Can alternative work schedules be negotiated under the BPAPRA?

Answer: Yes. In fact, one of the main concerns the agency has voiced with regards to the levels is scheduling agents for different times during the shift. The easy answer would be to negotiate a 4-day work week and 8-day pay period for those that choose the basic level of pay. For those that choose level 2, we would try to negotiate a 9-day pay period. Five days one week and 4 days the second or vice versa.

From the law firm of Woodley, McGillivary: The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act does not reference or evince any intent to rescind the provisions of title 5 that provides for compressed work schedules. 5 USC 7106(b)(1) and where employees are represented by a Union, allows an agency to negotiate tours of duty for employees including alternative work schedules. The Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act does not change

 

Question: Does it go towards retirement?

Answer: Yes, see page 25, lines 1 through 20.

 

Question: Use of Comp Time to go home early?

Answer: Yes, the Union and the agency are finalizing an MOU stating that Comp Time will be used like AL.

BPPRA-S.1691

Flagstaff PD Loss

December 28th, 2014

Our thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of Flagstaff Police Officer Tyler Stewart, who was killed in the line of duty on Dec. 27, 2014 while investigating a domestic violence complaint.

 

Holiday Message

December 24th, 2014

Local 2544 would like to extend our deepest wishes for a Happy Holidays to all Border Patrol Agents and their families.

Everyday we are reminded of the difficulties and dangers that our Agents face on a daily basis and your commitment and sacrifices are truly appreciated by this Local. We hope that you remain safe and continue to be vigilant in your duties.

 

2544 Final Election Results

December 23rd, 2014

From the Election Supervisor:

 

2544 Election run off Dec 16 – 18

December 16th, 2014

There is a run-off election for the the 3rd Vice-President position. The voting location and times are at the following:

 

Dec. 16

Ajo:  7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Wilcox: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Douglas: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Dec. 17

Casa Grande: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Brian Terry: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Sonoita: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Dec. 18

Nogales: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Three Points: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tucson: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm

2544 Preliminary Election Results

December 8th, 2014

AFGE Local 2544 Preliminary Election Results 

The preliminary results of AFGE Local 2544’s election of officers held December 2-4, 2014, are as follows:

Office Candidate Votes 

President:

Scott Brewer 557                      Art Del Cueto 562 

Treasurer:

Martyn Blood 424                    Andrew Brady 635 

Executive Vice President:

Keith Bocharski 642             Richard Martinez 444

Secretary:

Joey Spann 709                    Thomas Vought 379

1st VP:

John Howard 477                   Robert Pepperdine 608 

2nd Vice President:

Samantha Covino 538            Robert Lopez 549 

3rd Vice President:

Aaron Kiracofe 244                 Jose Marrero * 416                Gary Young * 383 

 

Candidates marked in BOLD are declared the tentative winners.  These are not the final results.

There are approximately 14 challenged ballots that remain uncounted because of questions regarding the eligibility of those voters. The election results may change after the challenges to those ballots have been resolved.

 

* Because no candidate obtained a majority of the votes for the position of 3rd vice president, a run-off election between Jose Marrero and Gary Young (the two candidates receiving the highest votes) will be held December 16-18, 2014.  Please see the official election notice for the polling dates, times, and locations. 

AFGE Local 2544 Preliminary Election Results-1