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					                                                                 MEMBER GUIDE 2006

                                                    NBPC Local 3307’s

                                                                                                The UNION 101
      -The Conundrum– is published quarterly and is the official newsletter of NBPC Local 3307. VOLUME I, ISSUE I January—March 2006

                   About the Union
                              “What can the Union do for me?”
By Paul A. Perez, President        that the Union only defends                                                      Headlines
Many of you may ask, “What         those agents who are being                                              Grievances                    2
can the Union do for me?”          disciplined, leading to the
Local 3307 is the exclusive        perception that the Union                                               Meet the E-Board              3
representative for the bar-        only represents, the “bad”                                              3307 Legal Counsel            4
gaining unit members of the        agents. Those who make                                                  Discipline                    6
Rio Grande Valley Border           those assumptions are
Patrol Sector. We represent        wrong and ill-advised. The                                              Admin “Interviews”            6
non-supervisory Border Pa-         Union is here to represent all                                          NBPC LDF                      7
trol Agents in the sector, as      members and routinely de-                                               Writing Memos                 9
well as many support per-          fends good agents from bad
sonnel. The Union handles          managers. If you’ve been
an array of personnel issues       around long enough, then            managers, we salute you for          Welcome to the National Bor-
regarding your employment          you should see there are            taking a stand against your              der Patrol Council’s Local
with the Federal Govern-           some managers in this sec-          own, sometimes at a cost to             3307 newsletter. The Rio
ment, issues such as griev-        tor who’s sole purpose              you personally. However to             Grande Valley Border Patrol
ances, discipline, representa-     seems to be making life mis-        those “rogue” managers               Sector Union, known officially
tion before investigative          erable for the rank and file        who believe that their brand           as “NBPC Local 3307” repre-
bodies, (OIG/OIA/OPR/              agents whom they super-             of “order” is “just”, please            sents personnel at all nine
CIRT), access to the PORAC         vise. Time and time again,          understand that Local 3307             Border Patrol Stations in the
Legal Defense Fund, as well        you’ve heard of incidents, or       will not tolerate the mistreat-      RGV Sector, as well as person-
as representation before the       seen firsthand what types of        ment or needless harass-               nel at the Sector Headquar-
MSPB and FLRA. Local 3307          actions some of these               ment of any bargaining unit             ters Office, Air Operations
also retains the Law Firm of       “leaders” are capable of.           member. Local 3307 has                Division and satellite support
Garcia & Lopez as legal gen-       The Union knows that there          represented hundreds of                   centers. We are a non-
eral counsel. Many agents          are many good managers in                                                partisan organization; by Fed-
are under the impression           this sector, and to those                     Continued on pg. 3         eral Law we do not make any
                                                                                                             contributions to political par-
  Local 3307 Union Members Survivor Benefit                                                                 ties or candidates. Local 3307
                                                                                                              is under the direction of an
Approximately one year ago, with the                sary funds for minor expenses such as lodg-             Executive Board comprised of
overwhelming approval of the Local Mem-             ing, meals, travel, bills, etc. It is not an insur-        seven elected officers. All
bership, the Executive Board of Local 3307          ance plan, therefore members do not make                 officers serve two-year terms
created a Survivors Benefit for all Union           any additional payments for this benefit. As               and are all full-time Border
Members who do not qualify for the Wid-             with any other benefit, you must be a dues-                       Patrol Agents.
ows & Orphans Fund. This benefit is pay-            paying member to qualify. This benefit en-
able immediately (usually within 24 hours)          sures that the families of members who are
to the family of a deceased member and is           single and have no children are not burdened
meant to ensure that they have the neces-           with financial hardships during difficult times.
PAGE 2             “You do not lead by hitting people over the head. That’s assault, not leadership.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Unders tanding the Grie vance Procedure
If you wish to pursue a grievance on           immediate supervisor (or manager caus-        fifteen (15) calendar days of the deci-
any issue, you have 30 days from the           ing the grievance) within 30 calendar         sion of the Step I. The Step II is a formal
date of the incident to file one, (this        days after the incident occurs. It shall      written grievance and is directed to the
time limit will not apply where it is es-      first be presented orally by the em-          Chief Patrol Agent. Due to the nature
tablished that the employee had no             ployee with the 1st level of supervision      and complexity of most grievances that
way of being aware of the incident).           in an attempt to settle the matter. The       make it to this step, Union Representa-
Grievances will be filed at the level                                                        tion should be sought prior to pursuing
where the action being grieved was                                                           the grievance at this level. The Step II
initiated. (Example: If your grievance                                                       will be presented in person at the Sector
was initiated because of an action /                                                         Headquarters to the Chief Patrol Agent
decision made or caused by an FOS,                                                           or their designee. A written decision
then you do not begin with your first                                                        will be rendered to the employee and
line supervisor because the action was                                                       their representative within twenty (20)
initiated by the FOS). If you decide to                                                      calendar days.
file a grievance and you wish to have
                                                                                             STEP III GRIEVANCE—Presented within
the Union assist you in the preparation
                                                                                             fifteen (15) calendar days of the deci-
and presentation, you can elect to do so
                                                                                             sion of the Step II. The Step III is also a
by contacting a Union Representative,
                                                                                             formal written grievance and is directed
who will then guide you through the
                                                                                             to Headquarters, US Border Patrol. At
process. If you decide to file a griev-
                                                                                             this stage, you should have a Union
ance without the assistance of the Un-
                                                                                             Representative assisting you in the
ion, then Management has an obliga-
                                                                                             preparation of this grievance. In prepar-
tion to inform the Union of your griev-
ance and afford the Union the opportu-              “Trust is the essence of                 ing the Step III, the grievant will include
                                                                                             a copy of the Step II and a copy of the
nity to be there when you present it.
                                                          leadership.”                       written decision received, as well as the
There are three (3) steps in the griev-                                                      reason for dissatisfaction with the initial
ance procedure, and these steps are                              - Colin Powell              decision and the remedy desired. A
outlined in the Negotiated Agreement                                                         written decision will be rendered to the
(Contract) between the U.S. Border                                                           grievant and their representative within
                                               supervisor shall attempt to resolve the
Patrol (Agency) and the National Bor-                                                        thirty (30) calendar days.
                                               issue; however at the option of the em-
der Patrol Council (Union), however for
                                               ployee, they may pursue the grievance         If you (the grievant) are still unsatisfied
general purposes, the following is a
                                               at the next higher level of supervision if    with the decision, then you may submit
quick outline of the procedures for a
                                               that level is not one of the managers         the grievance to the Local (Executive
grievance. (NOTE: This is only an out-
                                               cited in Step II. Management has five         Board) for a decision on whether to
line and should not be relied on solely
                                               (5) work days after the presentation to       process the case through Arbitration. A
when preparing a grievance; please
                                               respond to the grievance. If the em-          decision will be made and if selected,
contact a Union Representative for fur-
                                               ployee desires, a Union Representative        the Local will submit the case for Arbi-
ther information and assistance).
                                               will assist throughout the process.           tration.
STEP I GRIEVANCE—Presented to your
                                               STEP II GRIEVANCE—Presented within

  Widows & Orphans Fund Understanding Arbitration
As a member of the Union,          for this benefit and you         Arbitration is a method utilized by the Union to present either a
your family is eligible for the    must have a surviving            grievance or a disciplinary / adverse action before an independent
National Border Patrol             spouse or orphan to whom         arbitrator for review. Arbitration is widely used in both the private
Council’s Widows and Or-           this benefit will be paid.       and public sector as a means of having someone who has no alle-
phans Fund.                                                         giances to either side (Union or Management) review a case and
                                   This benefit ensures that
                                                                    make an independent decision. Arbitrator’s rulings are binding on
This benefit is payable im-        your family has immediate
                                                                    both the Union and Management, and there is a very narrow
mediately (usually within 24       funds for expenses such as
                                                                    scope for appeal. If selected for arbitration, your case will be han-
hours), and is paid out to         lodging, meals, travel, bills,
                                                                    dled by an experienced Union Representative who will handle all
either the surviving spouse        etc.
                                                                    aspects including the preparation of your case for the hearing, as
or child of a deceased Un-
                                   It is not an insurance plan,     well as presenting it before the arbitrator, and submitting a post-
ion Member.
                                   therefore you do not make        hearing brief. All cases are handled by priority; therefore delays
You MUST be a dues-paying          any additional payments          are not uncommon as it is very important to handle adverse action
member in order to qualify         for this benefit.                cases as soon as possible.
                  “Leadership and learning are indispensable of each other.” - John F. Kennedy                            PAGE 3

                                 A bout t he Union (cont.)
members in this sector. Seventy-five          own agency or one acting on its behalf.    hood that punitive damages could be
(75%) percent of the eligible agents in       Because of our participation in the PO-    awarded against you, then you will be
this sector are dues-paying members of        RAC LDF, our Union Members are en-         provided with independent counsel by
the Union. Some stations boast a mem-         sured coverage for acts or omissions       the LDF. In Criminal Matters, you are
bership rate in the 90-95 percentile.         WITHIN the Scope of Employment. In         entitled to Full representation by an
Local 3307 is staffed by Border Patrol        Civil Matters, if the Agency defends and   experienced criminal attorney from the
Agents who volunteer for this duty and        indemnifies you, the LDF will provide      outset of the investigation through trial.
often spend much of their personal time       you an experienced attorney to monitor     This benefit is available no matter what
assisting members. The Union exists           your case, which means that the attor-     agency does the investigation, whether
solely to create a fair and equitable envi-   ney will be available to answer ques-      it’s Local, State, or Federal (including FBI
ronment in which our members can              tions about the case, review the plead-    and OIG). In both Civil and Criminal
feel safe and secure from needless har-       ings and discovery, watch for conflicts    cases, you are entitled to customary and
assment and unwarranted investiga-            between you and the Agency, and            usual services which include investiga-
tions. Many times members will be in-         watch for inadequate representation.       tors, expert witnesses, polygraphists,
volved in incidents because of the na-        IF the Agency refuses to represent you     court reporters and court costs. There is
ture of our job as Law Enforcement            for an act or omission within the scope    also coverage in the event of a conflict
Officers. Local 3307 ensures that dur-        of your employment, or if there is a le-   in which each member gets separate
ing these incidents, the rights of our        gal conflict of interest between you and   counsel. You MUST be a member in
members are protected when investi-           the Agency, inadequate representation      good standing to have coverage pro-
gated by any entity, whether it’s our         by the Agency, or a considerable likeli-   vided and the incident for which you
                                                                                                                Continued on pg. 4

       Mee t t he Ex ecutiv e Board of Local 3307

        Paul A. Perez, President                      Alberto Trevino III, Exec VP               Cesar Falcon, 2nd VP

  Paul A. Perez assumed duties as Presi-           Alberto Trevino has been involved       Cesar Falcon is a native of South
  dent of Local 3307 in November of                with the Union for approximately        Texas and prior to entering on duty
  2002, having been involved with the              6 years, having served in the ca-       with the Border Patrol on January
  Union since 1999. He is assigned to              pacity of Secretary on the Execu-       20, 1998, he served as a Police Offi-
  the Kingsville, Texas Border Patrol Sta-         tive Board for Local 3307 until         cer in the Rio Grande Valley. Cesar
  tion. After serving in the military, Paul        assuming the role of Executive          has been involved with the Union
  entered on duty with the Border Patrol           Vice-President in November of           for approximately six years and has
  on July 6, 1997, graduating with the             2005. Alberto is a native of the        served as a Union Representative,
  342nd Session of the Academy in                  Rio Grande Valley, with prior ex-       and also served as Executive Vice-
  Charleston, SC. Prior to becoming the            perience as a Police Officer prior      President of Local 3307 until he
  President of Local 3307, Paul served as          to entering on duty with the Bor-       assumed the duties as Second Vice-
  a Union Representative and as a Vice             der Patrol on June 11, 1995. Al-        President in November of 2005.
  President for the Local. Paul is a native        berto currently resides in Har-         Cesar currently resides in Weslaco
  of North Texas and resides in Kingsville.        lingen where he is assigned.            and is assigned to the Rio Grande
                                                                                           City Station.
PAGE 4                     “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we
                                                          believe to be just.” - Abraham Lincoln

 Legal Counsel, The Law Firm of Garcia & Lopez
                                                                         ness matters, family law and criminal matters, employment
Local 3307 has on retainer, the Edinburg, Texas Law Firm of              matters and fire and police union representation. Addition-
Garcia & Lopez. These Attorneys are duly appointed Union                 ally, the firm engages in the representation of governmental
Representatives and will represent dues-paying members                   entities. Collectively, the Firm’s practice includes police un-
during the course of any administrative investigation, i.e.              ion representation to the approximately 650 members of
OIA / OPR / OIG / CIRT, or any other entity / agency acting              the South Texas Organization of Police (STOP), International
on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security or its                                            Union of Police Associations (IUPA)
components. Our Attorneys have                                                                     Local 51, and to the National Border
assisted members in numerous inci-                                                                 Patrol Council’s Local 3307.
dents. They also provide invaluable
guidance to the Representatives serv-                                                            The firm, has in the past, provided
ing the Union, as well as to individual                                                          legal representation to the Interna-
members on a private basis.                                                                      tional Association of Firefighters, the
                                                                                                 Texas Association of Firefighters, the
Garcia & Lopez was established in                                                                McAllen Firefighters Association, the
1982. The firm has three attorneys                                                               Weslaco Firefighters Association, the
which includes the two named part-                                                               initial McAllen chapter of CLEAT, the
ners, Roberto M. Garcia and Ray-                                                                 former Harlingen Police Association
mundo Lopez, and one associate,                                                                  chapter of the Fraternal Order of
Francisco J. Prado, Jr.                                                                          Police (FOP), the Weslaco Municipal
Garcia and Lopez have been practicing law together since                 Police Union, a chapter of Texas Conference of Police and
1982. Francisco Prado, Jr. became associated with the firm               Sheriffs (T-COPS), and the American Federation of State,
in 1995. The firm is located one block from the Hidalgo                  County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The firm is
County Courthouse in Edinburg, Texas.                                    also an approved firm for the Texas Federation of Teachers
                                                                         and the Union Plus Legal Services Plan. The firm’s address is
The firm engages in a plaintiff’s practice in state and federal
                                                                         214 W. Cano Street in Edinburg, Texas 78539, (956)383-
courts in South Texas, including governmental liability, busi-

                                                                                            Local 3307 Executive Board
        A bout t he Union (cont.)
are being provided representation MUST have occurred AFTER Local 3307’s initial
                                                                                          Paul A. Perez             (361)219-9131
date of coverage (Oct 2004). So you see, unless you are independently wealthy,
you unnecessarily risk possible financial ruin if you are not a Union Member and an
incident occurs which requires you to seek legal representation on your own.              Executive Vice-President
Our major representational function revolves around the disciplinary process. Of-         Alberto Trevino III (956)792-3850
tentimes, members find themselves the subject of a disciplinary proposal. The Un-
ion agrees that discipline is often times a necessity, however many times members
will face extremely severe and unjustifiable discipline for both on or off-duty inci-     2nd Vice-President
dents. Local 3307 will represent these agents if they exercise their right to contest     Cesar E. Falcon           (956)454-7677
their proposals.
Our stewards are familiar with all aspects of representation and therefore provide
                                                                                          3rd Vice-President
an invaluable service to the affected Union member. In most instances, Local 3307
has been successful at getting proposals mitigated or dismissed completely through        Robert Crunk              (361)646-9020
the process of diplomatically contesting those proposals.

         A bout our Ne wsle tt er                                                         Ray Alaniz                (956)460-6673

“The Conundrum” is the official newsletter of Local 3307. Local 3307 will publish
the newsletter quarterly. Since this is the first issue, it is quite lengthy and is de-   Treasurer
signed to inform you, as a bargaining unit member, of your rights, as well as to in-      Ram L. Gonzalez           (956)778-6663
form you of what “your” Union can do for you. If you wish to submit commentaries
or any items of interest for print in the newsletter, or you have questions regarding
the Union, you can submit them to “The Conundrum” will               Sgt. At Arms
also serve as a means of communicating with the membership of Local 3307. Local           Craig Johnson             (361)460-1287
3307 will not publish any information that we know to be false or slanderous.
    “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have                 PAGE 5
    either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of
                                            leadership.” - Colin Powell

 M e e t t h e E x e c u t i v e B o a r d o f L o c a l 3 3 07 ( c o n t . )

    Robert Crunk, 3rd VP                Ray Alaniz, Secretary           Ram L. Gonzalez, Treasurer         Craig Johnson, Sgt. At. Arms

Robert Crunk is a native of Cen-   Ray Alaniz entered on duty with       Ram Gonzalez has been the         Craig Johnson is a Washing-
tral Texas and entered on duty     the Border Patrol on July 30,         Treasurer for Local 3307 for      ton State native. He cur-
with the Border Patrol on Au-      2000. He is assigned to the Har-      approximately 6 years. Prior      rently resides in Alice and is
gust 3, 1997. Robert served as     lingen Border Patrol Station. Ray     to entering on duty with the      assigned to the Falfurrias
the Safety & Health Officer for    became involved with the Union        Border Patrol on October 23,      Border Patrol Station. Prior
Local 3307 until assuming the      in 2005 and currently serves as       1988, Ram served as a Police      to entering on duty with the
3rd Vice-President position on     the Secretary for Local 3307. Ray     Officer in the Rio Grande         Border Patrol on January 10,
the Executive Board. Robert        is a native of Laredo, Texas and      Valley, of which he is a na-      2000, Craig worked as an
has been active with the Union     he currently resides in McAllen.      tive. Ram resides in Har-         Immigration Inspector in the
as a Representative for approxi-   Ray serves the Executive Board as     lingen and is currently as-       Rio Grande Valley. Craig
mately 6 years. Robert cur-        the coordinator of all matters        signed to the Harlingen Bor-      has been a Representative
rently resides in Kingsville       involving the Local’s arbitration     der Patrol Station. Ram han-      for Local 3307 for approxi-
where he is stationed.             caseload.                             dles all fiscal responsibility    mately 4 years.
                                                                         for Local 3307.

            National—Level Representation by the NBPC
   The National Border Patrol Council is made up of a National      Security. Each Vice-President has responsibility over a geo-
   President, Executive Vice-President, six (6) Regional Vice-      graphical area and in Local 3307’s area, that responsibility falls
   Presidents, a Secretary/Treasurer and an                                               to SW Regional VP James Stack, a 17-year
   Executive Director. All Officers are either                                            veteran Agent assigned to the Alamo-
   current or retired Border Patrol Agents                                                gordo, NM Station. VP Stack, along with
   with several years of experience and                                                   NBPC Executive Director Patricia Nigh-
   knowledge in all facets of Labor Law.                                                  swander, assists Local 3307 with Arbitra-
   National Council President T. J. Bonner, a                                             tion and MSPB Cases, as well as by provid-
   27-year veteran Agent from the Campo,                                                  ing guidance to the Local 3307 Executive
   CA Station has been President of the                                                   Board. Besides representing our interests
   National for over 17 years and he’s been                                               throughout the entire Border Patrol, the
   featured on numerous nationally syndi-                                                 National Border Patrol Council handles all
   cated news shows speaking on behalf of                                                 National Scope issues including the nego-
   the NBPC. He has testified numerous                                                    tiation of supplemental agreements and
   times before the U.S. Congress in both                                                 the filing of Unfair Labor Practice Com-
   the House and Senate, as well as in the                                                plaints.
   Texas and California Legislatures. This
                                                                                         The NBPC retains the Washington D.C.
   publicity has ensured that the NBPC’s
                                                                                         based Professional Lobbying Firm of
   voice is heard on a national scale. Execu-
                                                                                         Colling, Murphy, Swift & Hynes to assist
   tive Vice-President Rich Pierce is a re-
                                                                                         the Council with lobbying efforts in Con-
   cently retired 25-year veteran Agent from the Tampa, FL Sta-
                                                                    gress. These Lobbyists are an important asset to the NBPC and
   tion. He too has been a national voice for the NBPC and has
                                                                    have contributed much expertise in many areas when the
   also served on the committees making recommendations for
                                                                    Council has had to deal with Members of Congress.
   all of the new personnel changes in the Dept. of Homeland
PAGE 6                “If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this:
                       A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.” -
                                                                Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

   Unders tanding t he Disciplinary Procedure
Since the reorganization of the           The DRB consists of management offi-           discipline / adverse action and they will
Agency and the merger that cre-           cials who review and issue proposals on        then make a determination based on all of
ated the Dept. of Homeland Secu-          actions that are deemed to be more             the available information. Once the Decid-
rity, the manner in which discipli-       serious than most actions. The DRB             ing Official makes a determination, you
nary and adverse actions are deter-       convenes at different times throughout         should immediately present a copy of the
mined has changed drastically.            the year in Washington D.C.                    Decision Letter to your Representative.
What could once be considered an
                                           HOW TO REQUEST REPRESENTATION                 If you are unsatisfied with the decision and
“in-house” process, has now be-
                                            FOR DISCIPLINARY / ADVERSE AC-               you wish to pursue your case through Arbi-
come a process quite removed from
                                              TIONS TAKEN AGAINST YOU                    tration or before the Merit Systems Protec-
anything considered, “in-house”.
                                                                                         tion Board (MSBP), your Representative will
                                          If you are served with a proposal for
The Agency has a significant num-                                                        present your case to the Local Executive
                                          discipline and you would like to contest
ber of personnel to staff the Em-                                                        Board who must then discuss and vote on
                                          the proposal or the penalty, you need to
ployee / Labor Relations Division of                                                     whether or not the case will be accepted for
                                          contact a Union Representative immedi-
DHS and CBP. These ELR / LER Spe-                                                        Arbitration or MSPB.
                                          ately, (See Union Contact List at your
cialists review, process, and make
                                          respective station). You must remember         If your case is accepted for Arbitration, it will
recommendations regarding all
                                          that all proposals have specific timelines,    then be transferred to a Representative,
disciplinary and adverse actions that
                                          (usually 10 or 14 days from the date you       usually a National Officer, who along with
take place within the Agency. The
                                          are served, not the date it was issued) in     you and your Representative, will present
process takes place after either a
                                          which you must respond either orally or        the case before an Independent Arbitrator
preliminary investigation, or a full
                                          in writing. You will need to sign a Des-       for review. If your case is accepted for
investigation is completed on an
                                          ignation of Representative Form which          MSPB, then your case will be transferred to
incident that management has de-
                                          designates the Union as your represen-         a Representative who will assist you in pre-
termined requires, “corrective ac-
                                          tative in the matter. Your representative      senting you case before the MSPB. All cases
                                          will then assist you with the case. An         referred for Arbitration and MSPB are con-
A disciplinary action ranges from an      appointment will be made for you and           sidered on their merits and their impact
Official Letter of Reprimand (OLR) to     your representative to meet with the           upon the entire bargaining unit. Local
a 14-day suspension. Adverse ac-          Management Official who will make a            3307 will not allow unfair or unjust disci-
tions range from a 15-day suspen-         determination on your case (Deciding           pline against its members and will exhaust
sion to removal. All adverse actions      Official). The Deciding Official will listen   all efforts to ensure fairness and equality
are proposed by the newly created,        to your arguments, points of view, or          amongst the bargaining unit of the Rio
Disciplinary Review Board (DRB).          concerns regarding your proposal for           Grande Valley Sector.

           Representa tion during A dminis tr ativ e
                In v es tigations (Int ervie ws)
If you are notified that you will be interviewed by the Office     and who are familiar with the rights and warnings (Weingarten /
of the Inspector General (OIG), Office of Internal Affairs         Kalkines / Garrity) afforded to all bargaining unit members during
(OIA), Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), or the Sec-    Administrative Investigations. The aforementioned rights and
tor’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), and you would        warnings are utilized during Administrative Investigations and are
like to have representation from the Union, then you should        briefly described in this article. Only a trained Representative can
immediately notify a Union Representative. As a bargaining         assess a situation to determine what rights you should be prop-
unit member you have the right to representation during            erly afforded. Please direct questions regarding these rights to,
these interviews and as a dues-paying member, you are as-
sured representation by a member of our Legal Counsel. The
                                                                   WEINGARTEN—This right is afforded to all bargaining unit mem-
Union ensures that your administrative rights are protected
                                                                   bers during any investigation or examination in which discipli-
and that proper procedures / policies are enforced regarding
                                                                   nary action may result. The courts have ruled that an examina-
Administrative Investigations.
                                                                   tion includes any written statements, (i.e. memorandums, sworn
The Union has specially trained Union Officers who have            statements, etc.). As a bargaining unit member, management will
undergone specialized Administrative Investigations training       serve you with your “Weingarten” Rights, more commonly re-
                                                                                                                    Continued on pg. 8
      “A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader                 PAGE 7
                            can demoralize the best of troops.” - Gen. John J. Pershing

                             NBPC’s Legal Defense Fund
    This is a National Benefit and is separate from Local 3307’s
                  participation with the PORAC LDF.
Subject to the following conditions, NBPC Members in good             matters, upon acquittal, a finding of innocence, or the dismissal of
standing, who, because of an act or omission arising from the         charges. Claims for reimbursement for subsequent legal proceed-
performance of their official duties: 1) Become either a plaintiff    ings arising from the same incident are payable from the fund if all
or defendant in a job-related criminal or civil action; or 2) Re-     other conditions outlined in the policy are met. A finding or ad-
ceive the “Miranda” Warning concerning their Fifth Amend-             mission of guilt, plea of nolo contendere, deferred adjudication or
ment Rights in their investigation of a matter directly related to    plea bargain settlement shall not entitle an individual to reim-
their employment; or 3) Are subpoenaed or invited to appear           bursement.
before a Grand Jury in connection with the performance of
                                                                      Those persons who become members within fourteen (14)
their official duties, will be entitled to REIMBURSEMENT for rea-
                                                                      months after initially entering on duty and who have maintained
sonable legal fees incurred if a private attorney is retained after
                                                                      continuous membership through the date that their application is
being denied representation, IN WRITING, by the Agency.
                                                                      received are eligible for benefits from the fund.
Such reimbursement shall be on a first-come, first-served basis,
                                                                      All others, in order to establish eligibility, must have been a mem-
and shall be for actual legal fees and expenses, but shall not
                                                                      ber for the twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preced-
exceed ten percent (10%) of the monies available in the fund as
                                                                      ing the incident or occasion that led to the receipt of their applica-
of January 1st of the year in which the application is received by
                                                                      tion for defense. For more information on this benefit by the
the NBPC Secretary / Treasurer. Reimbursement shall only be
                                                                      NBPC, contact
paid at the conclusion of a legal proceeding, and, in criminal

  On-Duty injuries (COP & LWOP)
      Understanding Worker’s Compensation                                                               Injuries &
If you suffer a traumatic injury while on-        benefits (including treatment) cannot be              Alt ernat e
duty, then you should immediately file a          withheld while they attempt to controvert
CA-1 (Federal Employee’s Notice of Trau-          your claim. If you feel that you are undergo-            Duty
matic Injury and Claim for Continuance of         ing harassment because of a claim filed, con-     If you cannot perform at full duty be-
Pay/Compensation). There are many forms           tact a Union Representative immediately so        cause of an injury that occurred off-
that have the “CA” designation, which is          that they can assist you with the matter.         duty, you should request to be con-
short for the Federal Employee’s Compen-          Local 3307 has provided training to several       sidered for alternate duties at your
sation Act (FECA), and is then followed by        Union Representatives in the specialized          station. Oftentimes, personnel be-
the number designating the form, such as a        area of Worker’s Compensation. These train-       lieve that because their injury is not
CA-2 (Notice of Occupational Disease), CA-        ings have been conducted by experts in            work related, then they must utilize
5 (Claim for Compensation by Widow, Wid-          these fields, both Union and Agency (Dept.        sick or annual leave until they are
ower, and/or Children), CA-7 (Claim for           of Labor).                                        able to return to full duty. This is un-
Compensation), CA-17 (Duty Status Report),                                                          true. If you can perform alternate
                                                  If you elect to utilize Continuance of Pay
CA-20 (Attending Physician’s Report), and                                                           duties, then you cannot be denied
                                                  (COP), you must remember that you only
CA-915 (Claimant Medical Reimbursement                                                              solely because of the fact that it is not
                                                  have 45 days to use 45 days of COP. If your
Form).                                                                                              work related. For questions on this
                                                  injury requires you to be out of work for
After you file the CA-1, you should request       more than 45 days, then you must notify the       subject, email
a CA-16 (Authorization for Treatment). The        Dept. of Labor (prior to the end of your COP)
CA-16 is a guarantee of payment for the           that you will are requesting compensation,        unable to return, then you must ac-
doctor to treat you for your injury. It is ex-    as you will be placed on Leave Without Pay        cept whatever reasonable employ-
tremely important that you see a doctor           (LWOP). Once placed on LWOP by the                ment offer is made by the Agency.
immediately. After five days, the Agency is       Agency, you are officially receiving benefits     Form CA-17 is the form required by
not obligated to give you the form. This          from the Office of Worker’s Compensation          the Dept. of Labor to determine what
will lead to you paying for medical ex-           (OWCP). This includes payment of your sal-        type of suitable offer of employment
penses on your own and seeking reim-              ary on a monthly basis at the rate of 66% (no     your physician will allow. Remember,
bursement later. You should not delay see-        dependants) or 75% (with dependants) of           your goal should be to return to full
ing a doctor for on-duty injuries. The form       what you were making prior to your injury.        duty as soon as possible, without risk-
must be signed by a supervisor, and they          The Agency must hold your position for one        ing further aggravation or injury to
cannot withhold the form simply because           (1) year before attempting to find you alter-     yourself. You should follow the ad-
they suspect the injury did not occur on-         native employment. During the course of           vice of your physician, as his sole in-
duty. There is a process in which manage-         your treatment, you may be asked to return
ment can challenge your claim, however;           to work on alternate duty. Unless you are                           Continued on pg. 10
PAGE 8                  “Leadership: the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” -
                                                                  Dwight D. Eisenhower

                 R e p r e s e n ta t i o n d u r i n g A d m i n i s t r a t i v e
                     I n v e s t i ga t i o n s ( I n t e rv i e ws ) c o n t .
ferred to as “Article 31 Rights”, prior to   situation and make you feel as if you        cution has been removed, and the employee
taking any written statement which           have something to hide, simply be-           is required to answer questions in an investi-
may lead to disciplinary action. Article     cause you are asking for Union assis-        gation. This is usually signed prior to any
31 is the pertinent section of the Col-      tance. Many managers who attempt             questioning or taking of a sworn affidavit by
lective Bargaining Agreement that            to coerce bargaining unit members            OIA, OIG, OPR or CIRT. Again, please contact
refers to the issuance of “Weingarten”       out of Union representation do so            a Union Officer immediately for assistance.
Rights. This is the most common right        because they are either going to vio-
                                                                                          GARRITY—This right originates from a 1967
you will ever deal with. In short, it in-    late your rights, or they already have
                                                                                          U.S. Supreme Court ruling, (Garrity vs. New
forms you of your right to Union Rep-        and would rather not have the Union
                                                                                          Jersey). In that case, allegations were made
resentation before any statement is          pressure them into affording you
                                                                                          that Police Officers were fixing traffic tickets.
taken from you, either written or oral.      those rights and reporting their illegal
                                                                                          During the course of the investigation, the
You must invoke this right for it to be-     actions. There are many good man-
                                                                                          accused officers were threatened with termi-
come effective. Management will in-          agers out there that will afford you
                                                                                          nation if they didn’t answer the questions of
form you of your right to Union Repre-       every right available to you, not only
                                                                                          the investigators. Later, the statements given
sentation, however it is your decision       because it’s the right thing to do, but
                                                                                          by the accused officers were used against
as to whether or not you will seek as-       also because of their character. Don’t
                                                                                          them in their criminal case, resulting in con-
sistance, or go at it alone.                 worry, you won’t have to guess at
                                                                                          victions. The Fifth Amendment states in per-
                                             who these managers are; their repu-
Many times, employees feel pressured                                                      tinent part, “No person...shall be compelled
                                             tations as honest, trustworthy leaders
to turn in their memorandums, or go                                                       in any criminal case to be a witness against
                                             will precede them, as will the reputa-
into “interviews” alone without the                                                       himself…” The Supreme Court ruled that the
                                             tion of those managers whose goals
assistance of the Union. The decision                                                     use of the statements ordered under the
                                             are to make a name for themselves by
is yours, however, if you are being told                                                  threat of termination violated the officer’s
                                             “writing people up” at every opportu-
that it is better that you not get the                                                    Fifth Amendment Rights and they reversed
Union involved, then there is probably                                                    the criminal convictions. This right is given
a reason for it. Do not let unscrupu-        KALKINES—These warnings are given            when you are being compelled to give testi-
lous managers take advantage of a            when the possibility of criminal prose-      mony under the threat of discipline regard-
                                                                                          ing possible misconduct which could lead to
                                                                                          criminal charges. If you make a statement
                                                                                          when there is no compulsion, Garrity will
    Meet our Gener al Counsel                                                             NOT apply. It is EXTREMELY important that
                                                                                          you understand that if you are questioned in
Roberto M. Garcia                                         bly discharged in 1976
                                                                                          any way and there is a remote chance of
graduated from Texas A                                    with the rank of Sp. 4.
                                                                                          criminal charges being levied against you,
& I University in Kings-                                  Mr. Garcia has been en-
                                                                                          you should not answer without first deter-
ville, Texas with a Bache-                                gaged in the private prac-
                                                                                          mining whether you are being ORDERED to
lor of Arts Degree in                                     tice for 29 years. Mr. Gar-
                                                                                          answer the question under threat of disci-
Government in 1972                                        cia is the firm’s lead attor-
                                                                                          pline (AND it should be documented). This
and received his Juris                                    ney on public employ-
                                                                                          will ensure you are protected under Garrity
Doctor Degree from                                        ment matters and serves
                                                                                          vs. New Jersey. When dealing with this type
Texas Southern Univer-                                    as General Counsel, not
                                                                                          of situation, you should contact a Union Offi-
sity, Thurgood Marshal                                    only to Local 3307, but
                                                                                          cer immediately for assistance.
School of Law in Hous-                                    also to the South Texas
ton, Texas in 1976.                                       Organization of Police
While in law school, Mr.                                  (STOP), and International       member of the State Bar of Texas, Hidalgo
Garcia received the                                       Union of Police Associa-        County Bar Association, Texas Association of
American Jurisprudence                                    tions (IUPA) Local 51. He       Mediators, National Employment Lawyers
Award for excellence in the study of         also serves as contracted counsel to         Association, Texas Employment Lawyers As-
contracts. He is licensed to practice in     the McAllen Firefighters Association,        sociation and the Labor and Employment
all state courts and before the United       the Texas Association of Firefighters,       Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. Mr.
States District Court for the Southern       and the Texas Federation of Teachers.        Garcia has served as an elected Trustee of
District of Texas. While attending col-      Mr. Garcia is a certified mediator and       the McAllen Independent School District and
lege, Mr. Garcia served in the United        conducts mediations in the personal          as a participant and member of the Board of
States Army Reserve, and was honora-         injury and employment areas. He is a         Directors of Leadership McAllen.
  “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.” - Theodore Roosevelt                         PAGE 9

       R e p r e s e n ta t i o n d u r i n g Fo r m a l D i s c u s s i o n s &
            We i n ga r t e n I n t e rv i e ws ( M e m o r a n d u m s )
Article 31 notices are handed out by man-      Union Representatives are available to          the incident which led to the notice
agers during the “fact-finding” period of      assist you regarding any incident in            being issued. Union Representatives
an investigation. Everyone knows what          which you are served with an Article 31         will assist the member in presenting
they look like, but not everyone knows         notice. Union Representatives will assist       their views, concerns, or rebuttals to
what they mean, or why they get them.          members in preparing documentation on           any issue.
Initially, when you get served with a Wein-    all incidents for which they have been
garten Notice, you may be surprised at the     issued the Article 31, regardless of
fact that your getting one. Many times,        whether or not the issue involves on or
you know that you                                                      off-duty incidents.
have done nothing                                                      Everyone should
wrong. So why does          “A single lie destroys a whole             remember that
management hand                                                        any memorandum
them out when they            reputation for integrity.”               can be utilized for
request memos?                                                         disciplinary action,
                                      - Baltasar Gracian               up to and includ-
Simply stated, an inci-
                                                                       ing removal. It is
dent has occurred
                                                                       of the utmost im-
that requires management to investigate.
                                               portance that you have someone (even if
It may be triggered by an allegation of
                                               it is not a Union Representative) review
misconduct, or it may be because you
                                               any memorandum that you write when
were late to work. Whatever the cause,
                                               you are issued an Article 31 notice.
management has put you on notice that
an investigation is under way and the          Union Representatives are trained to
memorandum is your opportunity to              assist bargaining unit members in gather-
“explain what happened”. Local 3307            ing and coordinating all facts regarding
                                                                                                  Francisco J. Prado graduated in
                                                                                                  1992 from the University of
                                                                                                  Texas—Pan American in Edinburg,
 Meet our Associate General Counsel                                                               Texas with a Bachelor of Arts De-
                                                                                                  gree in Philosophy. Mr. Prado re-
                                                                                                  ceived his Doctor of Jurisprudence
                                          as a Briefing Attorney for the Supreme Court of
                                                                                                  Degree from the University of
                                          Texas. Thereafter, he returned to the Rio Grande
                                                                                                  Texas School of Law in Austin,
                                          Valley where he joined Mr. Garcia in the practice
                                                                                                  Texas in 1995. While attending
                                          of law. Mr. Lopez is licensed in all state courts
                                                                                                  law school, Mr. Prado was em-
                                          and before the United States District Court for
                                                                                                  ployed as a Law Clerk with the
                                          the Southern District of Texas. He has been en-
                                                                                                  Texas State Comptroller of Public
                                          gaged in the practice of law for 24 years. Mr.
                                                                                                  Accounts, and with the Texas Re-
                                          Lopez is the firm’s lead attorney in the represen-
                                                                                                  habilitation Commission. Mr.
                                          tation of governmental entities, and serves as
                                                                                                  Prado has been engaged in the
                                          General Counsel to the Valley View ISD, Housing
                                                                                                  private practice of law for 10 years.
Raymundo Lopez received his               Authority County of Hidalgo, Hidalgo County
                                                                                                  An Associate in the firm, Mr. Prado
Bachelor of Social Work Degree from       Fire District No. 2, Hidalgo County Fire District
                                                                                                  serves as co-counsel with Mr. Lo-
Pan American University in Edin-          No. 3 and South Texas Economic Development,
                                                                                                  pez in the firm’s representation of
burg, Texas in 1977 during which          Inc. Mr. Lopez provides representation and ad-
                                                                                                  governmental entities and is co-
time he also served as City Adminis-      vice to the firm’s governmental clients in the ar-
                                                                                                  counsel with Mr. Garcia in the
trator for the City of Elsa, Texas. Mr.   eas of administrative law, labor relations and
                                                                                                  firm’s representation of Union
Lopez graduated from Texas South-         employment law, school law, and construction
                                                                                                  Members. Mr. Prado is the firm’s
ern University, Thurgood Marshal          and real estate law. Mr. Lopez is a certified me-
                                                                                                  lead attorney in the areas of state
School of Law in 1981. While at-          diator and conducts mediations in the personal
                                                                                                  and federal criminal law and family
tending law school, Mr. Lopez             injury and employment areas. He is a member of
                                                                                                  practice matters. Mr. Prado is a
worked as a Law Clerk for the City of     the State Bar of Texas, National Association of
                                                                                                  member of the State Bar of Texas,
Houston Legal Department. Upon            School Boards—Council of School Attorneys,
                                                                                                  Hidalgo County Bar Association an
his graduation from Law School, Mr.       State Bar of Texas School Law Section, Construc-
                                                                                                  the State Bar of Texas School Law
Lopez served a one year internship        tion Law Section and Corporate Counsel Section.
  PAGE 10                    “Earn your success based on service to others, not at the expense of others.” - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

   Understanding Worker’s Compensation                                                          Local 3307 Union
                 (cont.)                                                                         Representatives

terest is ensuring your recovery. You          quest compensation for any permanent           Robert J. O’Brien          Kingsville
should also remember, that no one is al-       disability by filing a CA-7. You will need
                                                                                              Henry Cunningham           Kingsville
lowed to view your private medical infor-      to provide documentation from your
mation. The Dept. of Labor will not allow      physician, which will consist of a state-      Genaro H. De Leon          Kingsville
the Agency to view any confidential infor-     ment certifying that you are at your           Manuel Rocha               Kingsville
mation regarding your injury or treatment.     maximum medical improvement (mmi).             Arnulfo Villarreal Jr.     Kingsville
Do not be fooled into believing that you       The statement will include a percentage
must present private medical information       of disability that will determine the          John Harmon                Falfurrias
to the Agency to continue getting bene-        amount of compensation you will be             Daniel Wiley               Falfurrias
fits, (a CA-17 or a CA-20 should be utilized   awarded (schedule award). This                 Matthew De Paola           McAllen
for that purpose). The Dept. of Labor will     amount is computed in weeks and is
ensure that they have everything they          based off of the body member affected.
                                                                                              Orlando M. Castillo        McAllen
need to make a determination on your                                                          Jerry L. Ramirez           McAllen
                                               Worker’s Compensation also has an
eligibility to receive benefits. This docu-                                                   Jose A. Florez             McAllen
                                               appeals process for issues arising from
mentation should go from your physician
                                               the Compensation Act. The Employee’s           Adam Ruiz                  McAllen
to the Dept. of Labor. There is absolutely
                                               Compensation Appeal Board (ECAB)               Evan Adamson               McAllen
no reason for anyone (outside of certified
                                               was created to hear appeals taken from
and qualified individuals in the Dept. of
                                               determinations and awards under the            Gilberto Martinez          McAllen
Labor) to have your private medical infor-                                                    Scott Kazmaier             Air Ops
                                               FECA with respect to claims of federal
mation. Your privacy falls under a law
                                               employees injured in the course of their       Steven Pine                Harlingen
known as HIPAA, it is designed to protect
                                               employment. For more information on
the privacy of individuals and there are                                                      Pablo Quintanilla          Harlingen
                                               worker’s compensation issues, you can
penalties for violations of this law.                                                         Brian Carney               Harlingen
After you return to full duty, you can re-                                                    Jonathon White             Brownsville
                                                                                              Danny Ramirez              Fort Brown
                                                                                              John Fuller                Fort Brown
     How to become a                              Dealing with non-
     Union Member of                            members who portray                           Israel Figueroa            Fort Brown
       Local 3307                               us in a negative light                        Samuel Munoz               Weslaco
If you would like to become a Union            Many non-members who harbor bitter-            Frank Salazar              Weslaco
Member, you can sign up with any Un-           ness toward the Union will oftentimes          Teresa Moots               Weslaco
ion Representative. Upon receipt of a          make their sentiments known with “anti-
signed Form 1187 (Union Sign-Up                union” comments. This is usually done
Form), you will officially become a Un-        in a futile effort to deflect attention        Training conducted by
ion Member of Local 3307 and are enti-         away from their own issues or they do               Local 3307
tled to the benefits afforded to all mem-      so in an obscure attempt to get affable
bers. Coverage with PORAC becomes              treatment from managers with whom              Local 3307 recently hosted and con-
effective upon the Local’s next quarterly      they associate, believing that these           ducted training in the following areas:
payment to PORAC. Benefits that in-            “comments” will provide the necessary          Basic Union Representatives Training,
clude representation by our legal coun-        protection for them when they them-            Worker’s Compensation Training, Finan-
sel must be the result of an issue that        selves are the center of “attention”.          cial Planning and we also hosted a Retire-
occurred while you were a member in                                                           ment Benefit’s Seminar. Local 3307 is
                                               Many times, these same non-members             committed to providing the best training
good standing with Local 3307. For
                                               are the ones who request representa-           for our Representatives and Members.
information on becoming a member,
                                               tion once they themselves are the cen-         All training seminars hosted and con-
                                               ter of investigation or once they are          ducted by Local 3307 are open to mem-
                                               proposed discipline.                           bers of the Union.
      Union Meetings
                                               While Local 3307 will look at each issue
Local 3307 Union Meetings are usually          affecting any bargaining unit member,              Upcoming Issues &
held every first Thursday of the Month.        we will make a determination based on                   News
The meetings are rotated monthly be-           its merits and effect on the membership.
tween McAllen, Harlingen and Kings-            Local 3307 members should know that            In the next issue of “The Conundrum”, to
ville. Meetings are open only to mem-          our resources will always be prioritized       be published in April 2006, we will dis-
bers of the Union. Postings are made           for our dues-paying members.                   cuss in detail the new personnel regula-
two weeks in advance and are posted                                                           tions that AFGE & NTEU have been fight-
at each individual station.                                    ing against in Federal Court.