CBP agent checking documents

NTEU: CBP needlessly exposing personnel to COVID-19 risk

Restrictions on the amount of time Customs and Border Protection employees can spend on the frontlines, exposed to travelers and fellow employees -- imposed last month to secure the health of employees and stop the spread of COVID-19 -- have been lifted suddenly.

“With no justification and no notice, prudent steps to protect the health and safety of Customs and Border Protection personnel have been withdrawn at land border ports,” the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 25,000 of the agency’s field employees, said in a statement.

“CBP is making a grave mistake by rescinding these adjusted schedules,” said Tony Reardon, the union’s president. “CBP has not given us a valid reason for sending more frontline federal employees into harm’s way than is necessary, so we are asking CBP leadership to reverse this short-sighted decision and restore the ports’ ability to protect the health and safety of CBP employees.”

Agency management said that the restrictions were reversed to block an influx of “illegal border crossers with COVID-19” between ports of entry, according to the union’s release. Union leaders said they have been presented with no evidence supporting this claim.

NTEU reiterated its support for reimposing the restrictions, which had “upheld the twin goals of delivering the mission while promoting the health of the Officers,” the union said in a letter of protest to agency management. “[Effective] mission delivery isn’t possible without a healthy workforce.”

As of April 5, according to the agency’s tally, CBP had 160 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Reader comments

Wed, May 20, 2020 Johnny Los Angeles

My grandson sent his Application for CBP agent on November 2018 is hiring still ongoing or is it on hold because of COVID-19? His ready to go.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

2020 Digital Almanac

Stay Connected

Latest Forum Posts

Ask the Expert

Have a question regarding your federal employee benefits or retirement?

Submit a question