Aggressive, Effective Representation

NTEU CHAPTER 105

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Chapter 105 represents U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Border Patrol and Air & Marine employees across the San Diego area covering six ports of entry as well as several satellite locations.

 

We represent uniformed Officers, Agriculture Inspectors, and non-uniformed employees.

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Inadequate CBP Staffing at Ports Raises Security Concerns, Reardon Testifies

 

Washington D.C. – Long-term staffing shortages continue to pose major challenges for the Customs and Border Protection employees who work at the nation’s ports of entry, NTEU National President Tony Reardon told Congress today.  

“The security issue of utmost concern to CBP Office of Field Operations employees are the funding challenges that contribute to ports of entry being chronically understaffed,” Reardon said. “There is no greater roadblock to border security than the lack of sufficient staff at the ports.”  

Reardon testified before the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, which conducted a virtual hearing Wednesday on improving security, trade and travel at the southwest border ports.  

The agency’s own workload staffing models show a shortage of 1,700 CBP Officers, 400 CBP Agriculture Specialists, and 200 CBP non-uniformed trade specialists at the nation’s 328 air, sea and land ports of entry. Lack of adequate staffing leads to longer wait times for legitimate trade and travel, involuntary overtime shifts, and the need for personnel to leave their home ports to take temporary duty assignments at the southwest border ports.    

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White House Budget Proposal Invests in Federal Workforce

Washington D.C. – Federal employees would receive higher pay, expanded benefits and greater resources at the workplace under President Biden’s first budget proposal released today.

The proposal includes a 2.7 percent average pay increase for federal employees in 2022, a paid family leave program that would help working Americans care for critically ill family members, and agency funding levels that enable federal employees to have the tools and staffing they need to do their jobs.

“This budget proposal is a recognition that our nation’s nonpolitical, career civil servants are worthy of investment,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “Only when the government is able to recruit and retain highly skilled employees can our federal agencies do what needs to be done on behalf of the American people, and this budget is all-in on that concept.”

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NTEU Urges House Vote on Bill to Protect Merit-Based Workforce

Washington D.C. – Bipartisan legislation to preserve the merit-based federal civil service, endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union, was approved today by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. 

 

The Preventing a Patronage System Act, sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would require the approval of Congress to reclassify any position in the competitive service to one outside of the competitive service where the merit system principles may not apply.

 

H.R. 302 now goes to the full House for consideration. 

 

“It is unfortunate that this legislation is even necessary but we came all too close to backsliding into a spoils system under the last administration, so we encourage the House to move quickly and give federal employees assurance that their jobs will continue to be based on skill, not politics,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. 

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Covid-19 update

Plexi glass- This was a long struggle to accomplish anything. We went back and forth with the agency to provide some sort of barrier between our employees and the traveling public. The entire world is preaching social distance but obviously that is impossible due to the nature of our job. We inspect documents, we go “hands on”, we provide medical attention, it is an understatement to say we don’t social distance. Our only other form of protection is to create a barrier between us and the travelers. 

After many discussions with management, OSHA, CDC, and the Board of County Health we were able to get approval for plexiglass to be installed. The idea is to not just have something that is a barrier from being exposed, it’s to have another layer of protection from actual physical attacks from subjects intending harm to our employees. As many of you have seen we were successful and barriers have been installed at our ports providing the protection you deserve. 

FFCRA- An amazing achievement of NTEU was the Implementation of the FFCRA. It grants 80 hours of additional sick leave to employees effected by Covid-19. After reviewing this amendment of various emergency leave laws Chapter 105 took it a step further. Unfortunately this benefit expired on 01/01/2021 but we are continuing to fight to provide this protection throughout the rest of 2021

Hazard pay Grievance- NTEU brought the fight to CBP stating that the privilege of hazard pay should be forwarded to our officers due to our constant exposure. Our duties make it close to impossible to protect ourselves from Covid-19 exposure. Because of this fact our employees are placed in harm’s way daily. This should be enough to justify hazard pay but the agency disagrees. If the agency refuses to do what’s right, then NTEU will take action! On 05/29/2020 NTEU filed a Grievance to secure hazard pay for the employees that are being placed in harm’s way daily. 

Media: When the level of the fight changes so does the game plan. All the issues we have been dealing with have been coming from headquarters. Because these shortsighted decisions have been coming from such a high an level, we needed to make sure our employees are heard. Nationwide NTEU chapters have done 22 News interviews. Of these interviews Chapter 105 did 17. We were interviewed by such media outlets as CNN, NBC, Channel 10 News, Breitbart, law enforcement today, Telmundo, Univision, The Union Tribune, Congressional Times, KOGO 760 and many more. Just recently our success was realized when the Commissioner dropped a letter on CBP.gov addressing our Chapter directly. Days later Headquarters agreed to meet with NTEU in order to discuss our demands.     

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