FILING A GRIEVANCE
February 02, 2015
The information presented here is intended to serve as
broad practical guidance for the
National Border Patrol Council, Local
1613 union member. This page is not
intended to provide technical guidance to union representatives on
grievance processing procedures. Union representatives seeking
technical guidance should contact their Lead Station Representative or the Vice
President assigned to their respective Border Patrol Station.
Simply put, a
pure grievance is a litigation method by which the union seeks to address
specific or general alleged violations of the collective bargaining
agreement (other grievance types mainly deal with disciplinary actions). Grievances vary in complexity from the most mundane of
matters to very intricate, complex, and multi-jurisdictional matters.
Although grievances allege a violation of some type in respect to specific
negotiated provisions of the contract, that is always not the case.
Grievances can actually encompass just about any issue related to
conditions of employment.
Conditions of employment is a very broad category of issues ranging from
locker sizes to deadly force policies. This
page is intended to provide information to the union member on how to have
their individual claim reviewed for union litigation.
The objective of a
grievance is twofold. First, it seeks to protect the negotiated
provisions of the contract and the bargaining unit as a whole.
Second, it seeks some type of remedy for the affected individual.
The remedy may be in the form of a promotion, lost wages, reassignment,
detail, or some other method of making the aggrieved party "whole."
Grievances never seek punitive damages as they are not provided for under
existing labor law.
What to do if you think you have been
Document everything related to the suspected grievance.
negotiated agreement to see
if the Agency violated any sections of the agreement.
Contact a certified union representative within
10 days of the
alleged grievance (the union only has thirty days from the date of the
alleged violation to file a Step I grievance.)
The union representative will conduct a preliminary review of the
matter. He may ask you to fill out a union complaint form. Failure to complete the form will
result in a delay of the processing of your grievance. In many
cases, it will result in a "non-review" of your matter.
Please note: Local 1613 rarely
entertains anonymous grievances.
The union representative will consult with the lead union
representative assigned to your Border Patrol Station.
The union representative will respond to your inquiry regarding the
weight of your grievance. At that time, he or she will inform you
whether or not the grievance will be pursued and on what basis it was
accepted or rejected.
The grievance will be processed according to internal union
Article 33 of the contract, beginning with a Step I filing
(informal), unless otherwise provided by the contract.
what to do if your grievance request has
been rejected by the union
A grievance may be rejected by the union for many
reasons. There may not actually be a violation of the contract or
the alleged grievance may be harmful to the good of the membership as a
whole. In some cases, your grievance allegation may actually be an Unfair Labor Practice Complaint. Either way, you, as a
member of Local 1613 have a right to not only be told the exact reason for
a rejection, but to also appeal that rejection to higher union
If you feel that your request for a grievance has been inappropriately
rejected, do the following:
Immediately contact the lead union representative of your
Border Patrol Station.
If he or she is not available,
contact an National Border Patrol
Council, Local 1613 Executive Officer as soon as possible. Be sure to have the completed
union complaint form ready to be faxed upon request.
Explain your situation using only facts. Also, explain your
reasons for disagreeing with the initial determination.
Allow a day or two for review of the alleged grievance.
Please note: This appeal procedure is
internal and specific only to National Border Patrol Council, Local 1613; it is not provided for by law,
contract, or any other obligation. There is no appeal procedure
beyond this step. The decision of the higher union official is