Unfair labor practice in DRT Prosecutions resolved

In April, the union was approached about a special operations supervisor (SOS) assigned to the Prosecutions office who was being unprofessional and generally making life miserable for the employees who worked there. The union contacted management and told them what was happening so they could take action.

However, three days later, the SOS held an all-hands meeting with Prosecutions employees and said, among other things, something to the effect of:

“It has come to my attention that one or some people talked to the union and had a problem with the way we talk to or treat you guys. If you have a problem with me, you talk to me or [redacted]. My door is always open.”

SOS [redacted]

The employees present said the SOS said it with a coercive tone and inflection rather than sincerity that both options were available to the bargaining unit employees. The message received was that they should not be talking to the union.

The union alleged this to be an unfair labor practice — a “union bypass” — effectively bypassing the union and engaging directly with bargaining unit employees over a matter that was raised by the union regarding the conditions of employment in the Prosecutions office, and filed charges with the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

Comments like this can have a chilling effect on employees, especially when some of the employees in this office had already discussed the issues with the union. As a result of the SOS’s actions, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the SOS.

In the months that followed, because of the behavior of the SOS originally raised by the employees and this unfair labor practice, Del Rio Sector permanently moved the SOS out of Prosecutions to another assignment in the sector. They then brought in a different SOS and another supervisor — both reasonable people with prior prosecutions experience — to fix the numerous issues that had developed in the office. They listened to the employees to figure out how to undo the problems and toxic environment, and it’s been reported that the office is running more smoothly now.

Last month, the union and agency signed a memorandum of understanding in which the agency acknowledged that they cannot bypass the union regarding the conditions of employment for the bargaining unit and that supervisors are not allowed to make comments that might pressure or coerce bargaining unit employees into not bringing their concerns to the union.

Ultimately, a great many of the concerns were resolved when the SOS was reassigned, and we appreciate Del Rio Sector investigating the matter and making changes to do what is best for the workforce and mission.

Notice of Membership Meeting

Local 2366 Membership Meeting
Friday, September 29, 2023, at 6 pm
801 Kings Way, Del Rio, Texas 78840

Meeting topics
-Overtime pay cap update
-NDAA legislation
-Safety and health issues
-HtW mileage waivers
-ULP/Grievance updates
-Control period calculation issues
-National swap program update

If you cannot attend the meeting, we will continue to publish the latest news on the website.

Grievance filed re: new pursuit policy training

The NBPC recently filed a grievance with the agency over its failure to properly train the workforce regarding the new pursuit policy. The union has many opinions about the new policy, but even if we agreed with every piece of it, the agency simply did not provide any semblance of training to ensure that agents know how to stay within policy.

CBP set a hard date of May 1, 2023, to implement the policy and decided to use Microsoft Teams to hold training sessions for the workforce, scheduled across 528 sessions held nine times a day across all three shifts. However, when the union flagged problems with the policy in January 2023, the agency delayed the training by five weeks and reduced the total number of training sessions to 222.

And then, just a day before the policy was supposed to go into effect, the agency postponed the implementation date until June 1, 2023, and added 40 more training sessions. However, by May 15, 2023, over 500 Border Patrol agents, including over 100 senior-level managers and supervisors assigned to U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters, had not yet attended the training.

The Teams sessions included little more than an instructor pressing play on a pre-recorded video of someone reading PowerPoint slides to the students, followed by Q&A sessions that created more Qs than answer As.

Unfortunately, students either had language from the policy read to them verbatim instead of being provided with examples and context, or they were told to contact their local Office of Chief Counsel for guidance. However, perhaps even more reckless was the agency’s failure to ensure that sectors had informed agents of the restricted areas in their areas of responsibility (AOR).

The policy requires sectors to determine and publish to the workforce a list of all restricted areas in their AOR, including maps, so they know which areas the agency has determined are too unsafe for a pursuit to take place. However, we know of only two sectors that have done this so far: El Paso and Tucson. The rest of the sectors became out of compliance on July 1, 2023.

There is still plenty of work to do with this new policy, so we will post updates as they become available.

DRT in-sector job swap announcement opening soon

In June, Local 2366 announced we had signed an MOU with Del Rio Sector implementing an in-sector job swap program.

This week, we met with Sector to finalize some of the details regarding the information that needs to be collected, the process that will be followed, and everyone’s roles and responsibilities.

If everything goes to plan, the first announcement should open up near the end of August. We will provide more updates as they become available.

You can access a copy of the MOU on Local 2366’s mobile app (go to the Agreements and Policy Section) or download a PDF copy here.