Over the past several years, the Vermont Sector of the Border Patrol has steadily deteriorated in every way imaginable.
The refusal of the Office of Border Patrol to address the myriad of issues has done nothing but emboldened the already poor managers who are trusted with fostering a professional work environment.
The problems are highlighted by Paul Kuhn, one of, if not the worst Patrol Agents in Charge (PAIC) in the entire Border Patrol. Beecher Falls Station has suffered a mass exodus that includes the Deputy Patrol Agent In Charge (DPAIC) busting down to a line agent to get away from PAIC Kuhn. In addition, another agent with nine years in the Patrol transferred there only to walk away from the job after just four days at the station. This has led to manpower issues that not only has compromised national security, but the safety of the agents stuck working there. The Swanton Sector has serious leadership issues and the overarching affect has been a decrease in border security, which is an issue no one should tolerate.
On January 29, 2016, Border Patrol agents began receiving the first paychecks under the recently enacted BPAPRA of 2015.
Many members expressed surprise that this paycheck reflected a decrease in their net pay. Fortunately, most members were aware and prepared, as the Union had been talking with members about this for years — ever since the Office of Special Counsel reports demonstrated abuses in claiming AUO throughout the agency.
Once the OSC reports substantiated the claims made by fellow agents, some of whom bragged about abuses on social media, there was little support for maintaining the old system. In fact, many in DHS and CBP lobbied for a system that would have netted every agent a loss of nearly 30 percent of their annual pay. The Union believed that this was extremely excessive and would penalize the vast majority of agents who only worked the hours they claimed and claimed the hours they worked.
IMPORTANT: NBPC members must complete, sign, and mail the below consent-retainer form to Woodley & McGillivary at the address below in order to participate with the lawsuit to recover pay for uncompensated work:
WOODLEY & MCGILLIVARY
1101 Vermont Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
If you have been a canine handler throughout the period for which we are claiming damages, you do not have to join Abad as this case will cover all of your claims.
NOTE - if you did not receive the letter from the NBPC with the forms, your mailing address probably needs to be updated. To update your mailing address, visit the AFGE website, login as a member, and update your contact information.
Recently OBP published a document on the intranet entitled "BPAPRA Frequently Asked Questions." One of the answers given to one of the questions had to do with FEPA pay for canine agents on their days off.
The Agency stated that canine agents will receive one hour of BPAPRA pay for care of the dog on their regular work days. This is to cover care of the dog regardless of when that care is performed.
The National Border Patrol Council strenuously disagrees with the Agency's interpreatation and will oppose it if it remains unchanged. Nothing in this section of the law gave our attorneys, including prominent overtime pay attorneys, any concern that canine agents would not be paid fairly for off-duty care of the animals.
The NBPC will litigate this, if necessary, and we are confident we would prevail. This issue is far from over.