April 27, 2015
The National Border Patrol Council is expecting a signed Memorandum of Understanding with Customs and Border Protection, concerning the Overtime Transition Plan, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.
The Office of Personnel Management has determined that Border Patrol Agents are considered exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act as of the signing of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act (BPAPRA) on December 18, 2014. The determination left the National Border Patrol Council with the decision to either fight for Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) as the type of pay received during the transition or to adopt a transition plan that mirrors the provisions of the BPAPRA. The pitfalls of fighting for AUO included the loss of FLSA exempt days for leave, thus dropping all agents to either 10 or 15% AUO.
The agreement for this Overtime Transition Plan allows agents to earn the same amount of money as they currently do, and in some cases based on their election of tier, earn more money. This plan removes the albatross that AUO has become and its resultant investigations. The Overtime Transition Plan will go into effect no sooner than May 31, 2015.
In addition to the opportunity to implement improvements in working conditions that will permit an overwhelming majority of agents to achieve a better work-life balance while continuing to support the Border Patrol’s mission, the National Border Patrol Council was able to secure the implementation of the following programs:
• The elimination of “clean shifts.”
• The establishment of Compressed Work Schedules for those electing the 80 and 90 hour tiers.
• The establishment of a location swap program, in which two agents from different duty stations can exchange positions at their own cost.
• The expansion of the CBP Physical Fitness Pilot Program to all Border Patrol Sectors. Travel time will not count against the allotted program time.
Upon the signing of this MOU, the National Border Patrol Council will have attained a stable stop-gap measure to maintain pay while the BPAPRA is fully implemented. It will also have achieved many of the long-standing desires of Border Patrol agents in the form of mobility, alternate schedules, and the ability to improve their physical fitness at work.
More information will be forthcoming concerning the Overtime Transition Plan and its subsidiary agreements.