The FLRA has issued a complaint against CBP for issuing the attached Air Directive- Primary Processing at Airports, without first notifying and, upon request, bargaining with NTEU over the directive. When the FLRA issued the attached complaint against CBP, it means that its investigation of the underlying unfair labor practice charge filed by NTEU has merit and that, absent settlement, the complaint will be litigated in front of, and decided by, an FLRA Administrative Law Judge.
In terms of this charge/complaint, while NTEU has no problem with most of the verbiage in the directive, section 5.7.8 of the directive did not go unnoticed as it provided:
CBP Officers are responsible for standing up while speaking to travelers and observe any suspicious movements or potential officer safety threats.
The directive ignores the overwhelming practice among officers working in the air environment where they have the option to stand or remain seated during the processing of passengers in primary.
Perhaps coincidentally, in a related matter during APC Kiosk Negotiations, CBP asserted that officers had to stand at the APC podiums. In response, NTEU filed a “negotiability” petition with the FLRA seeking a ruling that whether officers must stand or sit was a decision for a neutral third party such as the Federal Service Impasses Panel, and not CBP managers. Under these circumstances, NTEU could not let CBP’s attempt to unilaterally implement this change by including it in a directive to the field without first negotiating with NTEU, go unanswered.
Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this unfair labor practice complaint and the related negotiability petition.
Click here to view the FLRA Complaint and Notice of Hearing document >>