A Message from President Colleen M. Kelley
Friday you received notice from CBP that it has submitted to Congress a reprogramming request that, if approved, should eliminate the need to furlough CBP employees this fiscal year. This is a positive development and one that NTEU worked with CBP to attain.
Additional funding for CBP in the fiscal year 2013 continuing resolution (CR) allowed the agency to take another look at the resources available and to create a plan to partially mitigate the effects of sequestration including the elimination of furloughs.
That plan has been submitted to Congress and must be approved by appropriations committees before it can be implemented. NTEU will share its strong support of the plan with members of Congress and urge a quick approval.
However, as CBP indicated, significant financial challenges remain. Sequestration is still causing deep cuts to agency resources.
The work of frontline CBP employees is critically important to the security of our country and to our economic growth. NTEU is continuing with its efforts on Capitol Hill to increase CBP’s budget.
No federal employee should be forced to take even a single unpaid furlough day. NTEU will continue to urge Congress to stop the sequester and prevent furloughs for all federal employees.
NTEU Supports Proposal
Leading to Additional CBP Staffing
NTEU expressed to a key House subcommittee strong support for the administration’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget for CBP.
The budget proposal would provide funds for another 3,477 CBP Officers at the nation’s 331 ports of entry, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley told the House Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee in submitted testimony.
The White House proposal includes an increase in funding of $210.1 million that would cover the costs of an additional 1,600 frontline CBP Officers. The additional 1,877 CBP Officers would be paid for by an increase in customs and immigration user fees that have not been increased since 2001.
Collectively, the additional personnel would result in a substantial boost to the economy, Kelley said, noting that CBP has the dual missions of helping protect borders as well as facilitate critically important trade. Citing a University of Southern California study released earlier this month, Kelley said that for every 1,000 CBP Officers added, the U.S. can increase its gross domestic product by $2 billion. More
Problem of Insufficient Staffing Remains for Customs and Border Protection
The severe problem of inadequate staffing for CBP will only be heightened by sequestration, NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley told a Senate committee on April 10.
Sequestration has cut CBP salary and expense funding for this fiscal year by $512 million, President Kelley told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in submitted testimony.
The sequester also includes a significant cut in inspectional overtime at the nation’s air, land and sea ports of entry. Overtime is an essential function when staffing levels are insufficient—as they have been in CBP for some time—to ensure that inspectional duties can be accomplished; that CBP Officers have sufficient back-up; and that passenger and commercial traffic wait times are mitigated. More