BREAKING: U.S. Border Patrol Cuts AUO

Agency (CBP, ICE, USBP) Begins Elimination of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime 

InformedFed.com received information, and a copy (see below) of the official Agency memorandum distributed by e-mail to employees, announcing the start of AUO (Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime) cuts for U.S. Border Patrol Agents.  The first installment, of a series of expected announcements, entirely eliminates AUO for HQ and Training Personnel effective immediately (non-bargaining positions).  These agents will face an immediate 25% reduction in pay through the elimination of this once guaranteed premium pay. This announcement comes on the heels of a number of devastating internal investigations finding AUO was not appropriately managed by the agency. Well placed sources inside the agency indicate an expectation further cuts will spread throughout the agency as the investigation spreads to field locations.  These same sources expect significant categorical employee eliminations from AUO eligibility and ultimately, significant reductions, down to 10% for “line agents.”  This announcement comes at a time when the National Border Patrol Council is attempting a complete pay overhaul for members.

Agency Memorandum Text (provided to InformedFed.com January 28, 2014)

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MEMORANDUM FOR: All Employees

FROM: Thomas S. Winkowski
Acting Comissioner

SUBJECT: Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime

As you may know, the Department’s use of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) has recently been the subject of considerable internal and external scrutiny. Some of the Department’s existing AUO policies and practices stretch back many years, even before the creation of DHS. The Department is carefully reviewing those policies and practices and is committed to identifying a path forward that enables us to successfully perform our mission, ensure that employees are appropriately compensated, and comply fully with the law.

Although the internal review is still pending, it is clear that the Department will need to improve some of its AUO practices. If the Department or CBP identifies circumstances in which the use of AUO as an overtime mechanism is inconsistent with applicable law, we will make appropriate changes, including suspending or decertifying employees from AUO eligibility, as appropriate.

The Department, in consultation with CBP leadership, has taken an important initial step by ordering the suspension of AUO for the following categories of employees: employees for whom internal investigators have determined that the Department is inappropriately providing AUO pay; employees who work in component headquarters offices whose duties do not meet the regulatory requirements for the use of AUO; and employees engaged as full-time training instructors. We expect to implement most of these changes immediately, or for bargaining unit employees, immediately upon any required consultation with union leaders. The suspension of AUO for these categories will not prevent the payment of other appropriate forms of overtime pay or premium pay. The Department will continue to assess appropriate policies as the review continues.

The Office of Human Resources Management is working to identify the affected work units and employees. We will provide specific notices, including information about other applicable overtime policies and procedures, to affected employees as soon as possible.

I want to take this opportunity to remind our workforce that in accordance with Customs Directive 51735-012 (Whistleblower Protection Program), retaliation against employees for reporting perceived violations of the law, including those related to AUO, is prohibited.

Employees potentially affected by changes to AUO may seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Information about CBP’s EAP program can be found at the link provided or by calling 1-800-755-7002.

I know that compensation is a critical and personal issue for you and your families. I appreciate your patience as we improve the administration of AUO and thank you for the critical work you do each and every day to keep our Nation safe. Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to your supervisor, or send an email to: HRMTownHall@cbp.dhs.gov.

In the coming days, we will provide additional resources to answer your questions.

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Message from Acting Director John Sandweg

To all ICE employees

Jan. 28, 2014

Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime

As you may know, the Department of Homeland Security’s use of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) has recently been the subject of considerable internal and external scrutiny.  Some of DHS’s existing AUO policies and practices stretch back many years, even before the creation of the department.  DHS is carefully reviewing those policies and practices and is committed to identifying a path forward that enables us to successfully perform our mission, ensure that employees are appropriately compensated, and comply fully with the law.

Although the internal review is still pending, DHS has taken an important initial step by ordering the suspension of AUO for the following categories of employees:

  • Employees for whom internal investigators have determined that DHS is inappropriately providing AUO pay;
  • Employees who work in ICE headquarters offices whose duties do not meet the regulatory requirements for the use of AUO; and
  • Employees engaged as full-time training instructors.

ICE leadership expects to implement most of these changes immediately as required by applicable law and regulation.  ICE will also work with our labor relations partners.  The suspension of AUO for these categories will not prevent the payment of other appropriate forms of overtime pay or premium pay. DHS will continue to assess appropriate policies as the review continues.

ICE Office of Human Capital is working to identify the affected work units and employees. Human Capital will provide specific notices, including information about other applicable overtime policies and procedures, to affected employees as soon as possible.

I want to take this opportunity to remind our workforce that retaliation against employees for reporting perceived violations of the law, including those related to AUO, is prohibited.  It is clear that DHS will need to improve some of its AUO practices.  If DHS or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) identify circumstances in which the use of AUO as an overtime mechanism is inconsistent with applicable law, we will make appropriate changes, including suspending or decertifying employees from AUO eligibility, as appropriate.

Employees potentially affected by changes to AUO may seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program. For more information on ICE’s Employee Assistance Program visit the human capital section of the ICE InSight.

I know that compensation is a critical and personal issue for you and your families.  I appreciate your patience as we improve the administration of AUO and thank you for the critical work you do each and every day to keep our nation safe.

In the coming days we will provide additional resources to answer your questions

 

John Sandweg

Acting Director

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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