NTEU and CBP have agreed to use a mediation/factfinder process that should bring term contract negotiations to a conclusion by sometime this summer.
This third-party neutral will first attempt to mediate the parties’ disputes in order to assist in reaching voluntary agreements on as many articles as possible. In the event the mediation phase does not resolve all of the disputes, the neutral will issue factfinder recommendations on the content of each remaining article. While either party may appeal the factfinder recommendations to the Panel, the appealing party will have the burden of showing just cause as to why the Panel should not adopt the factfinder’s recommendations.
Not surprisingly, the articles that will be addressed in the four upcoming weeks of bargaining include those dealing with Bid, Rotation and Placement (BRP), Overtime, Scheduling, Preclearance, Investigations, Performance Appraisals and Alternative Work Schedules. The issues of BRP within the Centers and reassignments of employees between Centers will be dealt with separately and will not be part of the mediation/factfinder process. Once these Center issues are resolved, the parties will decide whether or not to include those agreements in the national term agreement.
NTEU will be represented in these negotiations by Chapter Presidents Jorge Llanos (San Diego), Damian Alvarez (Miami), Thomas O’Keefe (Northern New York), Daniel Barra (JFK), Heidi Tien (Ohio), and Blake Thomas (Great Falls). These Chapter Presidents will be joined by Jim Bailey, National Executive Vice-President; and Jonathan Levine, Assistant Counsel for Negotiations.