Last week the NBPC wrote about what we believe is one of the Border Patrol’s biggest issues, which is how it protects bad managers. We felt we had no other recourse but to bring this problem to light due to traditional methods being ignored. Sometimes it just takes a healthy dose of sunlight and truth to force someone’s hand and help marginal “leaders” find their way back. While this ultimately falls upon the Chief of the Vermont Sector, John Pfiefer, we will continue to mention both him and the guy who keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper, Paul Kuhn, Patrol Agent in Charge of Beecher Falls Station.
Kuhn is one of the worst managers that I have encountered in my 24 years in the Patrol. Sorry D’Arcy Rivers, this guy actually appears to be worse. While I have never met the guy, I have the unfortunate duty of reviewing grievances, disciplinary actions and arbitrations that come out of his station. I have also spoke to almost a dozen people who have directly worked for him and I have yet to find anyone who has something nice to say about him. At least Keith likes D’arcy, so he is outpacing this wonderful example of someone the Border Patrol keeps trying to hide.
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.
The USBP Nationwide Swap Program (NWS) will open on February 8, 2016 @ 0800 PST until February 29, 2016 @ 1600 PST
Employees will have the ability to submit up to 7 locations from a list of available duty stations. There will be no preference of choice. All choices will be considered as a location the employee is willing to move to. All selections are made on the basis of seniority.
As with the previous announcement, employees will receive an email informing them of the location they have been paired with. Employees will have 7 days to respond. Employees who decline the pairing will be removed from the current announcement. Employees who are impacted by their partner declining, will have their name placed back into the program for a second round of pairings.
As per the April 28, 2015 MOU employees will be considered eligible if he/she: