Union challenging agency actions on employee rights, telework and hardship reassignments
CBP is violating multiple articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to three separate national grievances filed by NTEU in recent days. While each grievance may not apply to every member of the bargaining unit, together the grievances allege widespread instances of the agency running afoul of the contract in ways that affect important employee rights. NTEU wants to see these actions quickly corrected.
No. 1: Right to NTEU Representation
NTEU is alleging that CBP is not informing employees of their right to an NTEU representative during a continuing evaluation when the investigator knows that the information gathered will be shared with the Office of Professional Responsibility for possible discipline. These investigations are often triggered by an external event, such as an arrest, but positioned as suitability determinations which do not allow for an NTEU representative. The contract demands that employees undergoing an investigation that may lead to disciplinary action or adverse actions be informed of their right to have an NTEU representative present.
No. 2: Hardship Reassignments
NTEU negotiated a specific reassignment provision to assist employees with specific hardships. This is supposed to be an expedited process to help ease the hardship for the employee. However, CBP is inconsistently applying the process, not taking prompt action to reassign employees with approved requests, and improperly denying requests. The union is seeking an immediate end to any alleged contract violations and remedies to assist any employees whose requests were inappropriately handled.
No. 3: Telework Denials
Despite clearly outlining how telework requests should be handled in both the contract and the reintegration agreement, CBP is not following those agreements. NTEU has reports that the agency is issuing blanket instructions for employees not to request telework; or automatically limiting the number of days they can request; or revoking employees’ prior telework agreements. On top of that, management is not meeting with employees to discuss their requests, as required. NTEU will hold CBP accountable and demand that employees eligible for telework be given a fair opportunity to have those request approved.
What You Can Do
Notify your chapter leadership if you have experienced any of the circumstances outlined in these three grievances. Your information will help NTEU as we pursue these grievances, protect your rights and enforce our agreements.