Sequestration Update

Local 2366 just finished a conference call with NBPC leadership and executive board members from the Border Patrol Locals representing the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and Big Bend Sectors, as of 11:00 pm central time. NBPC has been in dialog with Border Patrol Chief Fisher, OBP staff, and members of Congress and have shared the following news.

-Sequestration seems inevitable at this point as Congress is on recess and, as of yet, no plans have been made to return from the recess to address the pending sequestration.

-Despite the Congressional recess, NBPC leadership has met with the DHS Appropriations Committee Chairman and discussed their concerns over the proposed sequestration cuts.

-Pay cuts proposed in the February 19, 2013, letter, which outlined the impact of sequestration, will not take affect until well after the March 1st date. OBP has advised NBPC that the automatic AUO decertification won’t take affect until April 7th, 2013 at the earliest.

-Furlough discussion has not yet been scheduled with the NBPC leadership but will likely occur in the next few weeks.

-Disparity in pay cuts across the Agency have been identified. NBPC leadership inquired as to how significant the pay cuts would be to our similarly sized sister office, Office of Field Operations. They were notified by Agency budget professionals that OFO Officers would face only 35 million dollars in pay cuts, approximately 1/8 of what the Border Patrol has been proposed. While the Agency was unable to explain a reason for the clear disparity, NBPC leadership has speculated that the Agency has prioritized cross border trade over national security.

-To address this disparity, NBPC leadership has reached out to the AFGE President, J. David Cox in Washington, D.C. and demanded that he address the disparity between OBP and OFO pay cuts. President Cox has assured NBPC leadership that he would investigate the issue and attempt to pressure the Agency to make the pay cuts more uniform if they do indeed occur.

-AMO will also be receiving significantly smaller pay cuts, forecasted to be in the neighborhood of 2 million dollars. However, AMO only employs a few hundred agents so their cuts will be commensurate with those facing Border Patrol employees.

-The Service admitted to NBPC leadership that they were erroneous in saying that the Border Patrol Union had failed to respond to the economic issues accompanying sequestration, and have promised that they would be providing a correction letter to the NBPC correctly reflecting the Union’s perpetual concerns of sequestration effects from it inception in mid-2011.

-More solid numbers have been figured if the proposed sequestration pay cuts occur to the Border Patrol. Using a GS 12 step 4 as an example, it can be approximated that the hypothetical employee would normally make approximately 92,000 dollars a year with AUO and FLSA (not including night or Sunday pay.) If the AUO decertification was to take place, that employees pay would be reduced to about 75,500 dollars annually. When one includes the bi-weekly furloughs in the calculation, an additional 10-percent reduction, we arrive at the approximate sum of 68,000 dollars-a-year, pre-tax.

We intend to keep you informed as this process progresses. Please check back regularly.