NTEU president: U.S. border understaffed
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Feb 08, 2017
The president of the National Treasury Employees Union this week testified to a House subcommittee that its members are concerned about lack of adequate staffing on the U.S Southwest border.
Workload models say the agency needs more than 3,000 new workers, with about 2,000 of those positions being CBP officers.
“There is no greater roadblock to legitimate trade and travel efficiency than the lack of sufficient staff at the ports, NTEU President Tony Reardon said to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security. He added, “Understaffed ports lead to long delays in commercial lanes as cargo waits to enter U.S. commerce and also creates a significant hardship for CBP employees.”
He noted that the agency has already struggled to fill 2,000 positions Congress authorized in 2014.
“One factor that may be hindering hiring is that CBP is not utilizing available pay flexibilities, such as recruitment awards and special salary rates, to incentivize new and existing CBP Officers to seek vacant positions at these hard to fill ports, such as Nogales,” he said.
Mandated polygraph test for all front-line officers is impedes their hiring ability, Reardon added.
He urged that all CBP operational positions be excluded from the president’s hiring freeze.