20% AUO Rumor

Local 2366 leadership has just been updated by Del Rio Sector management of developments affecting employee pay. As you have likely heard through multiple sources, the Agency intends to forgo the furlough and AUO de-certification as proposed last month and instead plans to try to implement a mandate that AUO eligible employees average no more than 9 hours of overtime per work week. This attempt would allow the Agency to compensate employees at a 20 percent AUO rate as indicated by earlier communications and rumor.

While this arrangement is far superior to the 40 percent reduction in pay originally proposed by CBP to accommodate their mismanagement of Agency funds, it may still amount to a 10 percent pay cut for many agents who were maintaining a 100 hour per pay-period average. However, management simply cannot assign an arbitrary percentage of AUO for agents to max out at – you earn a percentage of AUO based on the hours you work. It’s as simple as that.

We don’t feel it is necessary to point out that attempted cuts such as this would have been aggressively challenged a few months back. It is only in the shadow of the original sequester plan that this seems “reasonable.” The fear of AUO de-certification and a 14-day furlough must not temper our disgust at what is unarguably an unfair application of work and pay. With the new AUO restrictions comes numerous questions which DHS and CBP have failed to answer. Is CBP’s budget really so bad as to necessitate any pay reduction for Border Patrol agents working in the field? What monetary sacrifices are the SES and non-agent positions who maneuvered us into this fiscal predicament making? Are our brothers and sisters in OFO now experiencing changes in pay to contribute to their portion of the supposed salary shortage?

While the furlough was problematic, especially in light of an additional 30 percent reduction in pay, at least it was equally applied between all offices and positions within the Agency. But, like the initial disparate proposals to cut overtime, DHS and CBP upper management appear to have their hearts set on placing the entirety of the financial burdens, legitimate or fabricated, on the backs of the U.S. Border Patrol.