Sequester furloughs avoided for Customs and Border Protection

Sequester furloughs avoided for Customs and Border Protection

By Josh Hicks, Published: June 19, 2013 at 1:45 pmE-mail the writer

Congress has approved a plan to avoid furloughs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees during fiscal 2013, according to a Wednesday statement from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The announcement said CBP will also continue to pay for “administratively uncontrollable overtime,” which is given to Border Patrol agents who work irregular, unscheduled extra hours to fulfill their duties.

(U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs

Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs

A Customs and Border Patrol agent and a security dog keep watch at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas.
A Customs and Border Patrol agent and a security dog keep watch at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas. Eric Gay/AP

Customs and border personnel could become the latest group of federal workers to receive a reprieve from furloughs this fiscal year.

Customs and Border Protection, an agency within the Homeland Security Department, asked congressional appropriators for permission on Friday to transfer money within its budget to avoid furloughing employees through Sept. 30 because of sequestration. Lawmakers have 30 days to decide whether to approve the request for what’s known as reprogramming authority.

That means CBP personnel should know their furlough fate for the rest of the fiscal year by about mid-June. Other employees who have escaped unpaid leave in fiscal 2013 include workers at the Federal Aviation Administration, Justice Department and Education Department. Continue reading “Customs and Border Employees Might Escape Furloughs”

How the sequester will affect you

 How the sequester will affect you

Mar. 1, 2013 – 04:33PM   |  By STEPHEN LOSEY   |

Employees are desperate for information on how furloughs will affect them. Here is what Federal Times has learned about how they will work, based on interviews with government officials and the Office of Personnel Management’s furlough guidance.

Q. How long will I be furloughed?

A. That depends on your agency, and on how much flexibility it has they have to absorb the sequestration cuts. The Defense Department, for example, expects to furlough nearly its entire civilian workforce employees for 22 days. Customs and Border Protection, on the other hand, will would furlough employees only for up to 14 days if sequestration goes into effect. And the IRS told the National Treasury Employees Union that it may have to furlough employees for five to seven days.

Q. When will my furlough begin?

A. Probably in mid- to late April. Defense plans to notify employees in mid-March that they will likely be furloughed, which then starts a 30-day notification clock before they can be officially furloughed. CBP will also plans to notify its furloughed employees in mid-March. But the IRS told NTEU that its employees will likely be furloughed this summer. Continue reading “How the sequester will affect you”

FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration: A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees

FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration:
A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees

Copyright © FEDweek LLC 2013

1. Why are federal employee furloughs being threatened?

The origins go back to mid-2011 when political leaders were faced with the need to raise the federal debt ceiling. As part of a law raising the limit, deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion over 10 years was ordered. However, special bipartisan committee on that issue disbanded late in 2011 when it reached its deadline without reaching an agreement. Under the debt ceiling law, that meant automatic cuts called “sequestration” would begin with calendar year 2013, also spread out over a decade, to achieve the same amount of deficit reduction.
Many “mandatory” spending programs are exempt, including payments from federal retirement, Social Security and other benefits programs, as well as some “discretionary” programs.

However, even where a program is shielded, the administrative expenses to operate it —
including the funds to pay federal employees working in it — are subject to sequestration.
A law enacted just as those cuts averaging about 10 percent were set to hit in early January 2013 delayed the sequester until March 1 by ordering certain savings and revenues elsewhere, but inthe meantime leaders could not reach an agreement either on a long-term way to replace the sequester or on another delay. Continue reading “FEDweek: The Five Ws of Sequestration: A Guide to Furloughs and Other Threats to Federal Employees”

Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs

Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs

Erin Scott/NTEU

Federal employee unions and agencies are starting to negotiate the details of expected furloughs if sequestration takes effect on Friday.

The head of the National Treasury Employees Union said on Tuesday she expects to schedule a meeting next week with the Customs and Border Protection agency to begin bargaining over the specifics of possible employee furloughs. Continue reading “Next up for Agencies: Bargaining Over Furloughs”