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 


Scott Brewer 557                      Art Del Cueto 562 


Martyn Blood 424                    Andrew Brady 635 

Executive Vice President:

Keith Bocharski 642             Richard Martinez 444


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

Tucson Sector Agent assaulted

December 8th, 2014

An AJO Agent was assaulted saturday and was airlifted to a local hospital. Again and again we are reminded of the dangers our Agents face on a daily basis. A Border Patrol Agent does not do the common Law Enforcement Officer’s job, our Agents routinely work alone in desolate areas with little or no back-up. The suspect, identified as: Carlos Manuel Pena-Nieblas, is still at large.

We are happy to report the Agent is doing well is reported that he will make a full recovery. Pres. DelCueto met with the Agent after his arrival at the hospital and stated that he was amazed at how well the Agent was able to function in such a state.

Read more HERE

The ROB is open

December 8th, 2014

Please see the link for all the details:



2544 Elections start today

December 2nd, 2014

We encourage all our members to vote at their prospective sites


Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Ajo Station –Training Rooms 418C/418D 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

850 N. Highway 85, Why, AZ 85301


Willcox Station – Conference Room A131 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

200 S. Rex Allen Jr. Road, Willcox, AZ 85643


Douglas Station – Conference Room 115A 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

1608 S. Kings Highway, Douglas, AZ 85607


Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Casa Grande Station – VMF Use of Force Garage 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

9480 W. Adams Road, Eloy, AZ 85131


Brian A. Terry Station – Training Room 1073 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

2136 S. Naco Highway, Bisbee, AZ 85603


Sonoita Station – Intermediate Force/Mat Room 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

3225 Highway 82, Sonoita, AZ 85637


Thursday, December 4, 2014


Nogales Station – 2nd Fl. Equipment Issue/Quite Rm 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

1500 W. La Quinta Road, Nogales, AZ 85621


Three Points Station – Outside Main Bldg. Awning 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

16435 W. Ajo Highway, Tucson, AZ 85735


Tucson Station – Bldg. #7 Conference Room A 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

2430 S. Swan Road, Tucson, AZ 85711


Membership Notification- Updated

November 20th, 2014

From DOL concerning the election delay and updated election notice:

Revised Timeline

Election Notice Final



DOL Letter

Member Notification on Elections

November 14th, 2014

The DOL Supervisor sent an email giving new dates for the Local 2544 elections.

The new dates are Dec. 2,3, & 4. Please check the attached documents for your prospective station and for requesting Absentee Ballots


Election Notice Final

Absentee Ballot Request Form


Anybody have an M-4 we can borrow?

November 11th, 2014

m4Everyday we are reminded of how mismanaged our Agency is but this takes the cake.

Imagine you are at work. Your company only has limited amount a pens. Some people use them, some don’t. But as the years pass, some pens become broken and some run out of ink. The managers at your company act surprised “We didn’t know that they would get broken we didn’t know they would run out of ink!”. To remedy the problem, they replace half as many pens that were thrown away.

Now imagine your a Border Patrol Agent and it is not a pen but a M-4 rifle! Imagine it’s not about some report your doing but about protecting your life!

Border Patrol M-4 rifles are being deadlined at an alarming rate and not all are being replaced. Again we have to ask “HOW DID THESE PEOPLE GET IN CHARGE?” Did they honestly think that these rifles would last for ever and they wouldn’t need to be replaced. How is it that managers didn’t see this coming?  How is it the a Border Patrol Agent can’t get an M-4 that is “sighted in” for him or her?  Every LE Agency we talk too, scoff at the idea of officers sharing weapons, especially a weapon that needs to be “sighted in”. Millions of dollars are spent on “feel good” programs ran by good ole boy managers and sending managers to foreign countries to do who knows what while the Agent on patrol gets the shaft.  This is a slap in the face to every Agent who does the day to day job of patrolling the border and protecting our nation.

Disclaimer: The Border Patrol will not accept donated weapons but thank you to the Gun Shops and citizens who have offered.

Read more HERE


Pay Reform Issues

November 4th, 2014

Many of you are being told that you had no say in the Pay Reform. That is largely incorrect, as explained below.

National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd has visited our sector on multiple occasions. He explained the facts of the Pay Reform in many musters and meetings. The presentations took approximately 30 minutes and afterwards he opened it up to Q&A. He answered every question that was asked. He told everyone that he was not there selling the Pay Reform but that he was there to explain the facts and to get feedback.

At the end of each muster or union meeting, he asked everyone present three questions.

-Who wants the NBPC to kill the pay reform?
-Who wants the NBPC to continue forward with the pay form?
-Who hasn’t had enough time to consider the information?

After he asked the questions, a vote was taken and counted from each muster and union meeting, and the overwhelming majority was in favor of continuing forward with the pay reform. There were some who voted against it, and there were some that voted that they hadn’t had enough time to consider the info, but the vast majority voted to continue forward. Notwithstanding the vote, Brandon gave out his personal email address and told everyone that if they changed their mind and if they wanted the NBPC to kill the pay reform they should email him and he would keep a running tally.

Brandon or a member of the NBPC has since been to every sector and has done the same informational presentation at musters. He has also held the same off-site union meetings throughout the country. The response everywhere has been the same.

To help add clarity to what’s already happened and why there is a serious sense of urgency, here are some key facts to consider about the Pay Reform. Please note that the NBPC notified all agents of what was coming well before it happened:

-The NBPC informed everyone that agents at the academy were going to be de-authorized the use of AUO.
-The NBPC informed everyone that all HQ personnel were going to be de-authorized the use of AUO.
-The NBPC informed everyone that second line supervisors and above were going to be de-authorized the use of AUO.
-The NBPC informed everyone that light duty agents would be de-authorized the use of AUO.
-The NBPC informed everyone that certain details would be de-authorized the use of AUO and that is currently happening as we speak.

In all cases the NBPC was correct. The NBPC is now telling us that CBP is drafting a new AUO policy and that AUO directives will be forthcoming. The policy and directives will ensure that AUO is used and administered in strict accordance with the law. As evidence, here are some excerpts from Deputy Secretary Mayorkas’ memorandum about the forthcoming policy and directives. Areas in bold are for emphasis.

Given the poor state of the administration of AUO in many parts of the Department, I am now directing each of you to develop a comprehensive Component-specific plan to achieve and/or maintain full compliance with the law as explained in this memorandum.

Record keeping is a critical component of proper AUO management, both as a means to ensure that hours claimed as AUO are, in fact, payable as AUO and to ensure that employees earn AUO premium pay at the appropriate rate. Without adequate records, managers cannot adequately evaluate hours claimed or differentiate between uncontrollable overtime and overtime work that can be scheduled in advance. Moreover, in a time of limited budgets, sound record keeping permits Components to actively manage overtime expenditures, including by varying schedules, delaying or shifting work to minimize overtime, or staggering shifts.

In part because of insufficient record keeping, many Department supervisors and managers do not appropriately review the AUO hours claimed to ensure that the work performed was necessary overtime, that the amount of time claimed was appropriate, and that the duties could not have been scheduled in advance. Under OPM regulations, an employee’s appropriate rate of AUO premium pay depends on the average number of hours of irregular or occasional overtime work performed per week. When supervisors and managers approve claimed hours without appropriately reviewing these records, employees receive inflated rates of AUO pay based on the approval of work that should have been scheduled in advance.

A challenge of particular note is supervisors who routinely approve one-and-a-half to two hours of “administratively uncontrollable” overtime for the same employees performing the same tasks at the same time on the same days of the week. As a result of this pattern, AUO rates- which should fluctuate based on mission needs and the specific circumstances that arise during the duty day-generally remain steady, often at the maximum level, for much of the Department’s workforce. Work that is steady and consistent is not “uncontrollable” even under a commonsense understanding of the term, and therefore the AUO pay rates based, at least in part, on steady and consistent work exceed the actual AUO pay rates that employees should be receiving under statute and regulation.

Managers should not use AUO as a general overtime payment system to permit employees to complete any work that arises after normal working hours. Although AUO provides management a flexible tool for compensating employees with irregular and unpredictable responsibilities, it is not a shortcut to avoid proper workforce and overtime management and should not be used to routinely extend the workday.

Some Components, relying on a legacy policy created by the Department of Justice long before the Department of Homeland Security was established, “exclude” certain days, such as days spent on annual leave, from the required weekly calculation of the average number of AUO hours worked in a particular week. Because AUO premium pay rates depend on an employee’s weekly average of AUO hours worked, excluding non-work days from the weekly average calculation results in higher weekly AUO averages and may result in a higher rate of premium pay than would otherwise be appropriate.

Discipline Requirements. The Department will not tolerate overtime abuse. The DHS AUO Directive will establish clear policies governing AUO administration and make clear that failure to follow those policies will result in disciplinary action, to include disciplinary action for supervisors and managers who permit their employees to misuse AUO. The Directive will require all Components to update their tables of penalties to include sanctions for failure to comply with the laws, rules, and policies governing AUO.

As explained above, each of you is required to submit to my office and to the Office of the General Counsel your Component-specific plans to remedy the Department’s current noncompliance with AUO laws and regulations. Once we have received and reviewed your Component’s plan, the Human Capital Office and the Office of the General Counsel will coordinate with you to implement these plans and to monitor Component progress in achieving full compliance with law and regulation. If, in the course of developing and implementing these plans, you discover additional AUO administration problems not mentioned above, nothing in this memorandum should be read to prohibit you from taking any additional steps to remedy AUO misuse. Moreover, you are also free to decide that, after weighing the costs of reforming your Component’s AUO practices, the costs of proper AUO management outweigh the benefits of the AUO system and to eliminate the use of AUO in favor of other forms of overtime compensation for employees.

As you can clearly see, there are more bad things on the horizon for AUO, and because it’s a legal issue and a budget issue, the best way to mitigate these things is to get a change in the law. The NBPC has been working on this for over four years. During those 4 years, including the 1 1/2 years Brandon has been NBPC president, they’ve been working as hard as possible to get the best possible Pay Reform.

The NBPC has not been doing this alone. In order to ensure they can meet with all possible congressional officials, the NBPC employs two high-powered but distinctly different lobbying firms. They’ve also been using as many of AFGE’s substantial resources as they can possibly use.

Even with the NBPC utilization of highly skilled professional lobbying and law firms, Congress has been very specific as to what it will take if the NBPC wants the legislation passed. Congress has told the NBPC that the law must be supported by both the Agency and the Union and that it MUST save money. And even though those two parameters have been met, the NBPC and the Agency are still facing an uphill battle to get this done.

Again, the NBPC has been 100% on the mark regarding what they’ve told everyone was going to happen. Read the excerpts from the Mayorkas memo. If you still feel AUO isn’t going away as we know it, you should fight the Pay Reform. No one likes the idea of losing FLSA, and if there was a way we could keep it, we would.

If someone in this Local has the answer on how to get Congress to pass a law that will allow us to continue with AUO as we know it, please ask him to explain it in detail. The Agency’s intentions with AUO have been made abundantly clear, so how exactly would he fix it?

Member Notification

October 31st, 2014

There will be an Election Committee budget meeting on:

Nov 10, 2014

4 pm

Union Office

We encourage as many members to show for this important meeting