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AFGE President Cox Blasts DHS Leadership for Targeting Employees' Pay PDF Print
Monday, 03 February 2014

Dear Secretary Johnson

January 29, 2014

I am writing on behalf of the 78,000 DHS employees represented by my union, the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE). I realize that you have only recently taken the helm. I was hoping for a real change in DHS behavior. I am outraged that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acted to unilaterally suspend administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) for up to 900 employees. DHS has abrogated its statutory obligation to engage and notify AFGE, the largest union representing DHS employees (including the impacted agencies ofICE and Border Patrol), regarding this decision. Thousands of DHS employees receive AUO in discharging their duties as law enforcement officers, and the pay they receive for that work is implicated in this change. DHS has abysmal labor management
relations, this act is as one of extreme bad faith.

Read the entire letter.

 
De-Authorization of AUO Begins PDF Print
Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A U.S. Senate hearing was held on January 28, 2014 regarding alleged abuses related to Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) within the Department of Homeland Security. Carolyn Lerner of the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) testified that since last month’s U.S. House hearing, she substantiated another four cases of AUO abuse within DHS.  In response to her investigations, on the same date of the hearing, DHS Secretary Johnson announced and implemented the de-authorization of the use of AUO for certain positions within the Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the Office of Air and Marine (AMO), and the Enforcement and Removal Office (ERO).  The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) de-authorized the use of AUO late last week for all of it's employees who had previously been certified.  This de-authorization is the tip of the iceberg as Mrs. Lerner continues her investigations.

Read more...
 
Senator McCain's Letter Regarding Pay Reform PDF Print
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

"Senator John McCain has taken personal notice of the affects that the de-authorization of Administrative Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) will have on border security and is working with Senator Carper to make the security of our border a priority. Not only is Senator McCain concerned about border security, but it appears he's aware of the heavy tax burden being levied on Arizonans, and along with Senator Testor of Montana, has proposed legislation that will give an added measure of border security while also saving tax payers money. In his letter to Senator Carper, he points to the billion dollar savings his legislation will give the government. This is a common sense approach by a legislator, who's working in a government that fails to exercise common sense nearly enough. Border Patrol Agents would like to thank Senator McCain for looking out for the best interest of the United States, as well as their families."

Read Senator McCain's letter to Senator Carper.
 
Another Body Slam Coming for AUO PDF Print
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
NBPC has received information from very good sources that sometime this week, and possibly as early as today, DHS will notify OBP that the use of AUO for managers at HQ, the Situation Room and all agents at the Academy and Asset Forfeiture will no longer be allowed. These were the specific areas most recently investigated by OSC, but OSC is continuing and expanding their investigation into Sector and Station level use of AUO.

DHS will also notify ERO and AMO that AUO is no longer allowed for their components (they were also named in the OSC report). DHS will give OBP, ERO and AMO a deadline, presumably 180 days, to implement this change.

The NBPC is concerned about this knee jerk reaction by DHS. We feel it will cause irreparable harm to border security and the Border Patrol. The President of the United States will make his State of the Union address tonight and one of the topics he discusses will undoubtedly be Immigration Reform. But while he's laying out the need for reform, our borders continue to come under attack by this Administration, lawmakers and the organized crime cartels who control almost all the illegal activity on the United States border.

The Senate passed their version of Immigration Reform, which calls for 20,000 new Border Patrol agents. But we're not allowing our agents to work the number of hours now that are required to secure the border. This AUO purge that appears to be coming is going to further handcuff agents and destroy morale in this Agency. So the question is, what is more important to the American people, amnesty for illegal aliens or real border security? Amnesty seems to have all the steam, and real border security continues to take a beating at the hands of politicians and bureaucrats with political agendas to pursue. Simply disgraceful.
 
Pay Reform Update (1-15-14) PDF Print
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd is scheduled to testify before a Senate sub-committee later this month on the state of AUO and its use within the US Border Patrol.  We will send out details on that hearing as soon as they become available.

The release of the Omnibus Spending Bill indicated positive news for the Border Patrol Pay Reform Act as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees specifically mentioned pay reform in the joint explanatory statement they issued.  It reads as follows:

"Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime

CBP is directed to support the Department's review of the rampant use of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) across the Department. Recognizing the particular challenges of the Border Patrol, the Commissioner shall work with the National Border Patrol Council to expeditiously develop a pay reform proposal and submit it to Congress. Until such proposal is enacted, CBP shall be judicious in the use of AUO, consistent with current law, policies, and operational needs and cognizant of budgetary constraints."

The NBPC views this as a step forward to ensure that Border Patrol agents are fairly and consistently compensated.  We will continue to provide updates as the process moves along.

 
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