CBP will soon issue over $2 million dollars in back pay, plus interest, to 153 Technicians to implement a settlement of several national grievances filed over CBP’s failure to properly pay premium pay required by APHIS Directive 402.3. See the chapter presidents’ memo dated October 27, 2017, for details about the settlement. CBP is now supposed to issue these payments on or before April 2, 2018.
Among other things, the settlement agreement required CBP to identify all current and former Technicians who performed qualifying plant- or animal-related work since December 2003 and calculate any back pay owed to these individuals.
These payments will be the first step in providing a remedy to affected Technicians. While the initial payments should remedy the bulk of CBP’s past pay errors, current and former Technicians will be sent a package of settlement materials that will allow them to claim any additional pay they believe to be owed. Claims will need to be supported by the submission of a sworn written narrative or materials like pay stubs or time and attendance records.
Although CBP claims to have taken the steps necessary to reform its erroneous pay practices as early as 2013, compliance may not have been consistent across the ports. Accordingly, CBP’s review of its records and back pay computations are supposed to correct premium pay errors that occurred through mid-2015. But, to make sure they are fully compensated, Technicians may claim additional pay for work performed at any time from December 2003 until the present.
CBP has provided information showing that, in 2012–2013, 50 Technicians received corrective payments for some of the work covered by these grievances. Those payments totaled approximately $250,000, but were issued without interest. As part of this settlement, these 50 Technicians will now receive a payment equal to the amount of interest that they should have received when those payments were issued.
CBP’s review of its records caused the agency to conclude that certain Technicians had been overpaid. The package that a Technician receives will be determined by the extent to which, if at all, CBP believes he or she was overpaid. The settlement packages prepared for those who CBP claims to have been overpaid include instructions about how to challenge CBP’s determinations or seek waivers of overpayment.