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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why the Border Patrol Needs Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime Pay

Border Patrol agents are closing in on a stolen truck racing through the desert between Sells and the Ironwood Forest National Monument in southern Arizona.  Shots from automatic weapons ring out from a nearby outcrop and from the top of a ragged butte half a mile away.  They are aimed at the Border Patrol agents.

On another day an agent waits 3 hours for the arrival of a van that will carry the remains of 3 people they discovered in the desert back to Tucson for autopsy by the Pima County Medical Examiner.  Badly decomposed, it appears that the bodies had their hands bound and were executed.

Needless to say (I hope), events like these do not always fit neatly into a Border Patrol agent's 8 hour shift.  They don't break off pursuits of bad guys because it's time to punch a time clock.  They are able to continue in an urgent situation and be compensated because of "Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime", or AUO.

Anyone with half a working brain can see why AUO is essential.  Which says a few things about the bean counters and certain muckety-mucks in their ivory tower offices in Washington D.C.  Because AUO appears to be a favorite target during budget cuts. 

From the Border Patrol's Tucson sector union web site Local 2544.org:

"08-06-12  We have received multiple phone calls from concerned agents today about rumored pay cuts. A supervisor in Naco reportedly addressed the troops at muster today and told them AUO was going to be gone in 90 days.
We have received reliable information from sources in D.C. that AUO is on the chopping block.
We are working with the NBPC to track down and verify these rumors. In the meantime, we feel it prudent to advise you that if AUO is abolished it will mean a net 20% pay cut for most agents. If AUO and FLSA are abolished it will mean a net 32% pay cut.
We realize the importance and seriousness of the information being spread by managers and we will stay on top of it. We have not been able to independently verify the information. But we do know that in addition to what is being put out to agents here, El Paso sector has told checkpoint stations that they will go to 6 shifts to cut AUO. Agents in south Texas are being told that AUO is going away as well.
We are working overtime to get additional information. More to follow."

In this economy, and in our dangerous border areas, it makes no sense to cut AUO.  Border Patrol agents are not well-paid.  They have not been adequately appreciated and cared for by our government.  They work under increasingly unbearable conditions imposed by political bigwigs seeking their next cushy appointment by hobnobbing with the elite in Washington's cocktail circuit. 


Crossposted at Blogs For Borders.

Tags: Border Patrol, AUO, Local 2544, pay cut Please mention / link to the Conservative Observer AZ. Thanks!

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