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The National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) has been and continues to be actively engaged in pursuing the interests of Border Patrol agents nationwide in regards to pay issues, border security issues, station closures, Border Patrol operations and other issues affecting morale.

With regards to pay reform, the NBPC has taken the following actions:

  • In late 2011, the NBPC contracted Woodley & McGillivary, a top-rated law firm devoted to protecting and enforcing the rights and interests of labor organizations and employees in both the public and private sectors. Woodley and McGillivary helped draft pay reform legislation to address the needs of our agents.

 

On February 19, 2013, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) received official notice from Customs and Border Protection (Agency) regarding the Agency's proposed sequestration plan. The Agency intends to implement these plans if Congress does not do what is necessary to avoid sequestration. Included with this message is a copy of the notice that details the proposed cuts for the Office of Border Patrol (OBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO) and Office of Air and Marine (OAM). Some of the cuts outlined in the notice include: decertification of administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO), furloughs, a reduction of travel expenses, and assigning two agents to a vehicle.

While it is great to finally receive a notice from the Agency that actually contains some information, the NBPC would like to address a false statement that appears in the beginning of the notice. The statement leads one to believe that the NBPC failed to respond to the invitation to engage in discussions regarding fiscal uncertainty. This statement is a blatant lie, and NBPC representatives are in possession of email correspondence that proves it. Fortunately, when confronted about their lie, the Agency agreed to retract this erroneous statement.

As reported almost a year ago, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) created the CBP Compensation Reform proposal and submitted it to Congress for consideration. In the proposal, CBP intentionally misled Congress with their assertion about creating uniformity with overtime systems used by CBP employees.  
 
Fortunately, Congress noticed the inconsistencies with the proposal and rejected it this year. Yet, Chief Fisher recently met with the chain of command in several sectors and told them how CBP intends to revise the proposal and submit it to Congress during the next Congressional session. According to sources, Chief Fisher said CBP made a backdoor deal with the Administration to guarantee it passes next year. One can only assume the deal probably involves further prohibitions on areas where agents are authorized to work, restrictions on duties they can perform, and dishonorable statements about the border being secure so the Administration can promote amnesty again. 

Nevertheless, one only needs to read the proposal to see the “uniformity” assertion is absurd considering Customs and Border Protection officers (CBPOs) will continue coverage under the Customs Officer Pay Reform Act (COPRA). Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents will be converted from Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) to Law Enforcement Availability Pay (LEAP), exempt from earning Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and still excluded from coverage under COPRA.

For this reason, the National Border Patrol Council created the following chart to address the frivolous assertion regarding uniformity and illustrate the significant disparity in potential overtime earnings under current systems and increased disparity under the proposal. The figures in the chart are based on the Office of Personnel Management locality pay table for the San Diego geographic area. Therefore, potential earnings will be different in other geographic areas.

Although all CBPOs may not average two hours of overtime per day, Border Patrol agents are required to work an average of two hours per day in order to maintain 25% under LEAP and AUO. Therefore, the figures for each pay grade calculate potential earnings for employees using an average of two hours of overtime per day for all employees. For clarification, COPRA provides 200% rate of pay for each hour worked beyond the regular eight-hour day. AUO only provides approximately 140% for each hour worked beyond eight hours, up to the first two hours. After two hours, the percentage decreases for each additional hour worked.

Lastly, COPRA provides substantially higher percentages for differential pay to compensate for work performed on Sundays and during night hours, to include more hours of coverage for night differential. COPRA also provides a one to five percent rate of pay for language proficiency, depending on the score an employee receives when tested. None of these differentials were included in the figures. If one were to include the different differential pay in the calculations, the disparity would be far greater than what is illustrated on the below chart.

High resolution PDF file: Pay Reform Comparison Chart or click on the chart below to view a larger image.

Pay Comparison Chart

Below is a link to the initial compensation reform proposal by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP officials said the proposal changed last year, but would not provide a copy of the revised plan to representatives of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC). The Department of Homeland Security did not provide a copy of this year's proposal to the NBPC nor did they consult with the NBPC prior to submitting it to Congress for consideration for fiscal year 2013 budget. Although the NBPC has an alternative plan, DHS, CBP, and the U.S. Border Patrol management have consistently refused to consider the alternative.

DHS Compensation Reform Plan

OT Lawsuit

If you are a border patrol agent who is a member of the NBPC union, click here for info to sign up for the overtime lawsuit.

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