CBP rethinks furloughs, overtime cuts

(U.S. Department of Homeland Security) (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has delayed implementation of plans to furlough its employees and cut their overtime, according to an agency memo to CBP employees.

The memo says provisions in an appropriations bill signed last week by President Obama “allow CBP to mitigate to some degree the impacts of the reduced budget on operations and on CBP’s workforce.”

In the memo, Thomas S. Winkowski, CBP’s deputy commissioner, said that “in light of the new funding bill, we are re-evaluating previously planned furloughs and de-authorization of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO), and will postpone implementation of both changes pending that re-examination.”

Shawn Moran, an official with the National Border Patrol Council, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Government Employees, said the union “is cautiously optimistic about CBP’s decision to postpone furloughs and the deauthorization of AUO.  We do have a well-founded fear that CBP will not do the right thing, though, and ultimately make a decision that will leave the border in an insecure state.”

While pleased with this action, union Local 1613 cautioned its members to take nothing for granted.

“This is not over,” says a notice on the union Web site. “We are like death row inmates who got a temporary stay of execution. It is a delay not a guarantee!”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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