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Labor-Management Relations: Index of Decisions



Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, D.C. and National Border Patrol Council, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Case No. 98 FSIP 158, February 3, 1999 (Release No. 417).

The AGENCY proposed the following:

As part of basic training, all border patrol agents shall be exposed once to [oleoresin capsicum] OC spray [commonly known as pepper spray] as part of the course of instruction on the device. The exposure will be at a distance of [six] to [eight] feet. The agent can choose whether or not to be sprayed from the front or the side. Employees may also choose to wear eye protection, (i.e., shooting glasses). The exposure will be part of a practical exercise as administered by a certified INS instructor. Border patrol agents who have already completed the aforementioned training academy course on the effective date of the Enforcement Standard will not be required to receive an OC exposure. However, if the officer does not receive an exposure, he/she will not receive certification to use the device. INS will keep statistics on the number of officers exposed during training and the number of them who suffer unusual reactions requiring attention beyond normal decontamination and share the data with the Union on an annual basis.

The UNION opposed the exposure of border patrol agents to OC spray as part of any course of instructions. However, agents could volunteer to be exposed, but only after the Agency informed them of potential health risks.

The PANEL ordered the parties to adopt the AGENCY's proposal, and the following additional wording:

If the Employer becomes aware of any new studies concerning the effects of CAP-STUN [the pepper spray device selected for use by the Employer] or a comparable device, it will promptly share the information with the Union.


Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Metropolitan Correctional Center, San Diego, California and Local 3619, American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, Case No. 99 FSIP 44, May 13, 1999 (Release No 420).

The AGENCY proposed the following:

Staff attending training, whether at the institution or a remote site, will dress in uniform, civilian casual business attire, or professional business attire, as indicated at the time of the training. Leisure/sports attire, e.g., shorts, tank tops, sweat shirts, sweat pants, tennis shoes, sandals, T-shirts, jeans, or provocative clothing is considered unacceptable.

The UNION proposed the following:

Staff attending training, whether at [Metropolitan Correctional Center] San Diego or a remote site, will have the option of wearing their usual working clothes or civilian casual attire. Casual attire will include Jeans and Sneakers as long as they are neat and clean. Training includes but is not limited to [annual refresher training], retreats, and other class room environment. Training that includes any type of physical activities such as but not limited to are self-defense, shooting range, side-handle baton, disturbance control, etc. may wear casual attire that is comfortable for them.

The PANEL ordered the parties to adopt the UNION's proposal.


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