By now you may have heard that the Physical Fitness Program (PFP) has been reinstated at EGS after having been suspended last year. Here’s a brief rundown of what happened:
Local 2366 filed a Step I grievance against EGS management alleging they violated a memorandum of understanding between the agency and the union which expanded the PFP to all Border Patrol sectors nationwide. As part of the grievance, the union proposed some arrangements that would allow EGS employees to participate in the PFP while addressing the agency’s manpower-related concerns. Specifically, we suggested that agents assigned to certain assignments relatively close to the station could be allowed to work out after they have been relieved along with those assigned to in-station assignments and details. EGS management said our claims were without merit and denied the grievance.
The union then filed a Step II grievance with Chief Hudak and we eventually came to an agreement with the agency that would allow EGS employees to work out at the end of their shift provided there is no other work to do and they have been relieved by the oncoming shift.
As the program gets back into gear, we ask that everyone try to be flexible as both bargaining unit employees and managers get used to it again. If there is work to do, employees will not be allowed to work out and management will simply have to explain why a particular workout is canceled. Basically, if a workout will unduly interfere with operations, then it’s not going to happen. Keep in mind there will be weeks during which you get to work out all three hours and there will be busy weeks with zero workouts.
If you have any problems, find out why the workout was canceled – if it doesn’t sound right, get with a steward and it will be addressed.
Remember: the PFP is a very important benefit meant to help all of us stay fit. Make sure you follow the rules and don’t give the agency any reason to believe the program is being abused.