Message from Commissioner Kerlikowske on Pay Reform

Border Patrol Pay Reform

Last week, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent S. 1691, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014. This legislation, which still awaits action by the House of Representatives, would replace the primary overtime system used by the Border Patrol – Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) – with a system that ensures greater consistency in the way Border Patrol Agents are compensated for critical law enforcement and border security responsibilities performed on an overtime basis, increases management’s ability to predict overtime costs, and allows employees to better anticipate how much overtime they will work.

If implemented, this system will resolve some of the compensation challenges created by the regulatory limitations of AUO. For example, with its expanded workforce and increased capabilities, the Border Patrol today relies increasingly on technology, intelligence, and analytical support to the frontline. Although these assignments require the same overtime flexibility as agents on line watch to address ever-changing threats and requirements, some of this work is not eligible for AUO.

Now that it has passed the Senate, the bill moves to the House of Representatives and any further action will most likely occur when Congress reconvenes after the mid-term elections in November. Border Patrol leadership and I will continue to support this and parallel efforts to modernize CBP’s overtime systems.

R. Gil Kerlikowske

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