Letter To Big Bend Sector Agents

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to eliminate the possibility of being misunderstood, so I will be as clear and transparent as possible and share with you what I would want someone in my shoes to share with me.

I want to thank each of you for the sacrifices you have made and struggles you have endured in light of the attacks and cutbacks to AUO.  Unfortunately, the rollercoaster ride that is AUO seems to be ending with many, if not all Border Patrol Agents on the losing end.  With the current investigation ongoing and the position by position review regarding the use of AUO, we all need to be aware, as we have stated all along, AUO could be gone as soon as tomorrow.

We are facing an unprecedented change within the Border Patrol.  The importance of Immigration and border security has been watered down and public opinion and support continues to wane.  We have seen our authority challenged, and now one of the cornerstones, AUO, which allows us to perform our duties effectively is on the verge of being nonexistent.  Our families, careers, the Border Patrol, and border security will all be negatively affected with the loss of AUO.

Presently, we anticipate all Big Bend Sector Headquarters staff to be decertified upon the complete review of AUO, followed by station level non FLSA earning positions (Watch Commander to Patrol Agent In Charge).

We have and will continue to engage (A)CPA Porvaznik in discussions with regard to how this will impact Big Bend Sector bargaining unit members.  As of our most recent discussion we expect all collateral duties at the station level that are full time, such as Vehicle Control Officer, to be moved from full time to intermittent to allow those agents to continue to earn AUO.  Currently all programs should be run as status quo until the position review is completed.

Please know that we are doing everything in our power to keep the pay you rightfully deserve, but as President of Local 2509 I cannot fight this battle alone.  The stewards of this local, cannot fight this battle alone.  No individual Border Patrol Agent can fight this battle alone.  This is the time we all need to stand together as one.  While our current pay situation looks bleak, the character and willpower of the Agents I have worked with tells me we can and will get through this.

Items I would ask you to assist in are;

  • Report all got-aways, preferably by way of radio and over a repeater as it is recorded.
  • Report all got-aways by creating an FIR.  These numbers will help us in justifying the need and use of AUO.
  • If you are actively pushing a group and are asked to return to the station, clearly over a repeater ask if you are being ordered to stop pursuing the group.  Then report this to your stations chief steward or a member of Local 2509’s Executive Board.

If you are a dues paying member please remember you have financial resources available to you thru AFGE, these range from Credit Counseling Programs which provides members with high quality confidential financial guidance, free consumer credit counseling services and debt management assistance too How To Manage Your Debt providing members with resources which can help identify any problems they might have as well as provide tips and resources to help them take action.  If you cannot access the AFGE website please send us an email and we will assist you.

Finally, please take the time to talk with your families and paint a clear picture of what is coming and if you have not started preparing for the negative changes, in an effort to reduce the impact to you and your families, do so now.

Lee Smith
NBPC Local 2509 President