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November Chapter Update

Good morning Chapter 141,


Please see the attached Chapter Update.


Please note that we have a Chapter 141 Facebook Page. It is called “NTEU

Chapter 141.” For those who do not have Facebook, we also have a website. It is

NTEU141.com. You will have to sign up with your personal email address. Once

you are verified, you will have access to the full website.


Shift Differential on Leave

Unfortunately, there is no major updates to either of these issues. A positive note is

that NTEU has won a decision for folks on Paid Parental leave. The decision held

that employees who take paid parental leave are entitled to shift differential. CBP

still has the option to appeal the decisions. We are still waiting for an arbitrator’s

decision on leave taken on Sundays as well as taking more than 8 hours of leave in

a pay period. We will keep you updated as we get those updates.


COVID Hazard Pay

We are being told that the arbitrator is waiting for a supreme court decision of

another pending litigation matter prior to issuing his decision on COVID Hazard

Pay. We will update you when we get updates on this issue.


COVID Leave

As a front line employee, contracting COVID is assumed to have been work

related. As long as you have had contact with the general public or you co workers

in the last 30 days you are eligible to have your sick leave restored after testing

positive for COVID.

This is your reminder that if you plan on filing a CA-1 after testing positive for

COVID that the Department of Labor requires either a positive PCR test or a note

from your doctor diagnosing you with the positive test.

Essentially the process is:

Step 1- stay home on personal sick leave if you are sick/know you have COVID

Step 2- Get a positive PCR test or get a doctors note diagnosing you with COVID


Step 3- within 45 days, file a CA-1 and your sick leave will be restored as

continuation of pay

Some managers have told officers that a test is not required.

This is also your reminder to reach out to us instead of your managers, especially

when it comes to your benefits.


Ad hoc Leave/ PT FIT Grievance

There was an executive order signed in 2020 which we hope will eliminate

management playing the “we don’t have minimum staffing at ____ Port of Entry”

game that is played throughout the state.

The grievance we filed deals with ADHOC leave and PT Fit denials. An officer

requested ADHOC leave at a port of entry where staffing is usually 2 per shift. The

request would have reduced them from 3 officers to 2 for that day and the request

was denied. Later in the same pay period, the normal staffing was scheduled for 2

per shift and overtime was not authorized to bring them to 3. That grievance is

currently at the step 2 level.

Executive order 14003 allows for types, numbers, and grades to be a permissive

bargaining subject. With that in mind, we are arguing that the reasonableness of

approving ad hoc leave and PT fit is now subject to an objective standard.


Disciplinary Actions

We cannot understate the importance of having a union representative involved

when you are questioned by OPR or a local “fact finder.” Asking for a union

representative does not make you look guilty. We are there to ensure your rights as

employees are respected, we help explain the process and ensure that members are

not subjected to fishing expeditions that these investigations are often turned into.

Collectively over the last few months in 141 we have completed the following

disciplinary action cases:

14-day suspension mitigated to a Letter of Counseling

Removal mitigated to a 15–30-day suspension

Removal mitigated to a Letter of Counseling


7-day suspension mitigated to a 1-day suspension

2- day suspension mitigated to a letter of reprimand

2-day suspension mitigated to a Letter of counseling

14-day suspension mitigated to a 5-day suspension

We also have 9 additional cases we are representing members on that have yet to

come to a resolution. Those range from proposed removals to 3-day suspensions.


Hardships

There is currently a national grievance over the undue burden of employees who

have approved hardships that are not allowed to move because there are no

vacancies at the gaining port of entry. NTEU national is currently waiting for an

arbitrator’s decision on if management must send an employee if there are no

“vacancies.”


Local Bargaining

We are currently undergoing bargaining over the Jackman AOR Sick Leave

approval issue that at previously set for arbitration. We are hopeful that will be

resolved quickly.


Portsmouth/Manchester Transition

Over the last year, the Boston Field office has reassigned Portsmouth and

Manchester Ports of entry to be covered by the Area Port of Boston. In doing so,

they are also attempting to unilaterally change the overtime pools at those

locations. The area port of Boston allows all officers in the area to sign up to be in

the overtime pool at all locations within the area port. For example, an officer at

Boston Logan can sign up to work overtime at the Beverly Airport and be mixed

into their call out list. Here in Chapter 141, volunteers within that port of entry get

the first crack at overtime before it goes to a separate port of entry (if there is one

available). We are currently grieving this unilateral change and maintain the

separate overtime pools for separate ports of entry that we have in Chapter 141.


Fort Fairfield AL MOU

The officers in Fort Fairfield have decided to switch from the traditional Sunday to

Saturday AL week selection and moved to Monday through Sunday selection. This

was already being conducted at the Lubec Port of Entry and has worked well.

Depending on your CWS agreement, it may benefit your location as well.


NTEU Sponsored Training

Last week, your chapter stewards attended their annual fall training. This year we

combined with Vermont, Boston and Philadelphia to host a regional conference.

This allowed us to receive instruction from multiple different NTEU Attorneys as

well as our Chief Negotiator Ryan Soon. Training topics included: Incident

Statements, Investigatory Interviews, Advanced Grievance handling, Oral Replies,

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Bargaining / National Issues Update,

Reasonable Accommodation Overview.

Other than our strong membership, our stewards are our most valuable resource.

We will continue to explore ways to support them, support you. If you are

interested in becoming a steward, please reach out to us.


EAP Benefits

One of the benefits we learned about at the training was you and your family are

eligible for EAP counseling sessions for free. Issues that are covered range from

financial issues to marriage counseling to depression assistance. We wanted to

share that information with you because we were not aware of it prior to that

presentation.


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