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Border Patrol Council - Local 1613 (San Diego, CA)

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UNION FAQ

Last Updated: February 02, 2015

If you have a question that does not appear below, please send an email to a Local 1613 Executive Officer.

Who are we and what do we do?

Please see About Local 1613.


I just received a notice that I am being sued for a job-related incident.  What do I do?

Union members should immediately call PORAC Legal Defense Fund (LDF) at 1-800-255-5610. 


I just received a notice that I am a target in a criminal investigation for a job-related incident.  What do I do?

Union members should immediately call PORAC Legal Defense Fund (LDF) at 1-800-255-5610. 


I just received a proposal for a one day suspension (or more);  What do I do?

Union members should immediately make contact with a representative at your assigned duty location. If there are no representatives at your location, contact an executive board member for assistance.  If you intend to have the Union represent you, a signed G-956, "Designation of Representative" form will be required.

You only have ten days to respond to a proposal for discipline so do not delay. Any delay on your part may result in a representative being unable to properly handle your case.

If Local 1613 determines the proposal is related to conduct that was not within the course and scope of your employment, you will be contacted at the number provided on the cover page and notified of your options.


I believe I have an issue that should be grieved.  What do I need to do and what is the timeframe for filing?

Immediately contact a Representative at your assigned duty location. If you do not have a representative at your assigned location, please contact an executive board member.

The timeframe for filing a grievance is 30 days from the date the incident/violation occurred or the Union/employee became aware of the incident/violation.


What is PORAC Legal Defense Fund?

The PORAC (the Police Officers Research Association of California) Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is one of the many benefits of being a member of the National Border Patrol Council. Click here to visit the PORAC website and learn more about this valuable legal representation available only to dues-paying members. NBPC members fall under Plan II of the Legal Defense Fund


Why do Border Patrol Agents need a Union?

Border Patrol Agents need a Union to represent their interests at all levels of labor negotiations. There are many times when certain (not all) management officials attempt to use agents and circumstances for their own political gain within the organization. This is not unlike certain situations in the private sector. However, more alarming is that agents will be used as scapegoats for political correctness.

It was not unusual in the past for Border Patrol management to "throw an agent to the wolves" to appease special interest groups such as the American Friends Service Committee, La Raza, or the California Rural Legal Assistance League. Many of these groups have deceiving names for a reason. All advocate open borders and/or the return of California (known as Aztlan) to Mexico, using whatever means necessary, including filing false allegations of abuse. They regularly make unsubstantiated allegations of civil rights abuses against agents in an attempt to slander and defame the US Border Patrol. This places a very heavy burden on management and administration officials who, at times, forfeit their personal integrity. 


Do we represent all Agents?

Yes; the National Border Patrol Council is the only legally recognized representative of Border Patrol Agents. We expand representation of Border Patrol Agents by aligning with the PORAC (Police Officers Research Association of California) Legal Defense Fund.


What would happen if nobody volunteered to run Local 1613?

The Local would just become a bank account.  Local 1613 requires volunteers to administer the daily business, represent employees, respond to agency correspondence, etc. Far too many Union members do not realize the Union is only as strong as the members.  If every member recognized the importance of being an active participant in their Union, then members would be better educated and more likely to prevent many of the unsafe working conditions that we face on a daily basis.  Being an active participant no longer means attending the monthly Union meetings.  Local 1613 has gone to great lengths to make information available to every member and to make it easier than ever before to contact a Local Executive Officer.


What is the budget for Local 1613?

Local 1613 operates under an annual budget approved by the membership, in accordance with the AFGE Standard Constitution.  Every member has a right to view the budget, to ask questions about it, and to be involved with the process of creating and developing a budget. Further, every member has a right to freely ask about expenditures of the Union without fear of harassment or retaliation.


How do I become a member of Local 1613?

Contact a Station Representative or Lead Station Representative at your assigned Border Patrol Station or contact an Executive Officer by visiting the Contact Us page for a list of active board members.


When are union meetings?

Local 1613 Union meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month and are open to dues-paying members ONLY.  Click here to see when the next meeting is scheduled and the location where meetings are held.


Why doesn't the NBPC or Local 1613 ask for input from the members before negotiating policies?

The NBPC does ask for input from the members before negotiating policies.  The information is typically posted at the NBPC official website.  Due to time constraints imposed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the NBPC typically only has thirty (30) days from the date they receive notice of a change to respond to the proposed changes.

Under to the CBA, Local 1613 only has ten (10) days to respond to a notice of change.  Therefore, Local 1613 typically seeks input from Lead Union Representatives (LURs) and station Union Representatives (URs) before responding to the proposed changes.  In many cases, Local 1613 officials asks LURs and URs to seek input at their respective stations before providing a response to Local 1613 officials.


Do non-dues paying members receive service from the union?

Only to the extent as required by law where the Union is designated as the exclusive representative and the non-member is not authorized their own representative.


Does Local 1613 provide legal coverage for personal matters?

No; but Local 1613 can provide attorney referrals for personal matters. 


Does Local 1613 provide union benefits?

You may obtain access to a significant level of union benefits through the American Federation of Government Employees and the AFL/CIO  Currently, Jim Ashley is the only person authorized by Local 1613 to appear at Border Patrol installations throughout the San Diego Sector.  Jim Ashley works for Benefit Architects, which is one of many providers authorized to offer insurance programs in District 12. There are several other benefit providers and programs available through AFGE, all of which can be viewed on the AFGE website.  Click here to see the list of programs authorized in AFGE - District 12.

There is another agent or a civilian at my station trying to sell me insurance, stocks, a 401k plane, etc...  Who are they?

They are independents who are not endorsed by the union.  They are conducting unauthorized business on government property and should be escorted out.  If it is an agent conducting the business, you may alternatively report the situation to management. 

Click here to visit the AFL/CIO benefits page to learn more about benefits available only to Union members.

Click here to visit the AFGE benefits page to learn more about benefits available only to AFGE Union members.


Do some of my dues go toward political contributions?

NO!  AFL/CIO, AFGE, NBPC, and Local 1613 are prohibited by federal law from using dues for political contributions.

AFGE and AFL-CIO do make political contributions, but these contributions are from funds created by VOLUNTARY contributions from members.  AFGE has a Political Action Committee (PAC) which is where they generate the funds to support various candidates. 

In other words, do not believe fictitious rumors that the Union is using dues to contribute to political campaigns because Federal Law prohibits it!  If you are interested in voluntarilty contributing to the AFGE PAC Fund, please visit the AFGE site to learn more.


Are Appointed Directors and Lead Station Representatives elected Union Officers?

No, they are appointed by the executive board and serve at the discretion of the executive board.  They derive their authority from the executive board in order to provide expeditious service to our membership.


The Lead Station Representative or Station Representatives have been negotiating with management at our station and changing policies and/or working conditions without our knowledge.  Is this appropriate and if not, what can I do?

Lead Station Representatives and Station Representatives cannot negotiate with management without the approval of the executive board.  However, once a Lead Station Representative receives authority from the executive board, Lead Station Representatives can negotiate changes to policies and/or working conditions without notifying every member in the bargaining unit.

If significant changes are being made and you believe the executive board is not aware of the changes, please contact an executive officer with the information (click here for the executive board Directory).


If I transfer to another sector, can I remain a member of Local 1613?

Yes, but it really is in your best interest to contact the gaining Local and have your membership transferred to ensure you are covered by the new local.

Local 1613 is not responsible for the termination of dues; the member and HRMO are solely responsible for terminating dues. 

Local 1613 cannot cancel membership, only the agency has the authority to do so after the employee authorizes the cancellation on form SF-1188. Requests to terminate dues allotments are effective the first full pay-period following September 1, if the request is received in the Servicing Human Resource Office by September 1.

Local 1613 will not be able to provide representation to you in another sector, even if you continue paying dues to the Local. 

Local 1613 is not informed of those individuals who transfer or are promoted and cannot refund membership dues that were inadvertently paid to the Local following a transfer or cancellation of membership. 


Why is Local 1613 affiliated with the AFL-CIO?

In order to remain the exclusive labor organization for agents, all National Border Patrol Council locals are required to maintain affiliation with the following organizations:  AFL-CIO, AFGE, and NBPC.  If we were to sever affiliation, Local 1613 (or any NBPC local) would lose all its assets, third-party legal insurance, as well as exclusive representative status and be placed into trusteeship, whereby AFGE national representatives (non-BP) would assume control of your union and your representation.  The AFL-CIO per capita is paid for by AFGE and as of 2006, amounted to $0.54 per month per member (or $6.48 per year).

Although NBPC Local 1613 is opposed to the promotion of illegal aliens by the AFL-CIO, NBPC Local 1613 must work through internal measures to change the position of AFL-CIO or risk jeopardizing our Local (as explained above).  Since AFL-CIO represents over 11 million workers in the United States, the NBPC only represents a very small amount; thereby making us the overwhelming minority.  In order for change to occur, the NBPC must convince AFGE, the various Councils within AFGE, and other Unions affiliated with AFL-CIO to oppose AFL-CIO efforts that promote illegal immigration. 


What about FLEOA or Wright & Co. Insurance?

Local 1613 has historically recommended all agents supplement their Union membership with professional liability insurance to provide an extra layer of protection for civil matters.  Currently AFGE also offers professional liability insurance which is comparable to the insurance offered by Wright & Co.  The policy is underwritten by Evanston Insurance Company, who has a financial rating from the A.M. Best of "AX" (excellent).  Click here to find out more about the AFGE policy.

FLEOA is designed for federal law enforcement officers who have no collective bargaining rights and exclusive representative (Union).  FLEOA is a great option if you have no collective bargaining rights and they do a tremendous job of representing the interests of criminal investigators and Air Marshals.

Local 1613 representatives frequently hear members mistakenly stating how FLEOA offers the same coverage as Local 1613 for less money.  Although it is true FLEOA does cost less than being a member of Local 1613, the coverage is significantly different. In late 2006, I conducted research on the coverage offered by FLEOA and Wright & Co. and compared it to the coverage offered by Local 1613.  In conducting my research, I contacted a representative from Wright & Co. and asked them questions regarding coverage. A majority of the responses were "I do not know", but then they directed me to the specimen benefit plan .  After reading the document, I was able to better determine the coverage they provided to use in completing the chart below.

In addition, I contacted a FLEOA Vice President and spoke with him directly.  I explained why I was comparing the coverage, and he stated that FLEOA does not want NBPC members to drop the Union and join FLEOA.  He said all of the FLEOA Directors realize the importance of the NBPC and admitted that FLEOA is not designed to support our membership.  Nevertheless, I compiled the following chart to show the differences between FLEOA, Wright Inc., and NBPC Local 1613 and asked the FLEOA Vice President to verify the validity of it before it was published.  The following chart represents any and all changes recommended by the FLEOA Vice President (click on the chart to view a larger image).

 

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