What is the VRP? On August 26, 2010, the agency and the NBPC entered into the most recent VRP agreement that continued a test program that was approved by Congress and that was intended to provide Federal Agencies and Federal Employees more move opportunities by decreasing the amount of money an agency would have to pay for relocations. The test program expired on April 29, 2014, which also ended the negotiated VRP.
We are pleased to inform you that the Union and Management have agreed to open up two relocation programs. These two programs could start as early as next month. They are the Voluntary Relocation Program (which originally expired on April 29, 2014) and a new program that will be called the Relocation Opportunity Bulletin (ROB).
The main difference is that the VRP is a funded program that pays agents to move, whereas the ROB is non-funded and agents will be required to fund their own moves. The ROB will be in place for two years, after which, the NBPC will be able to evaluate and renegotiate if necessary. The ROB will expire on September 30, 2016. The VRP requires Congressional approval, which the Union and the Agency are currently seeking. We hope to have a quick resolution to the approval issue so that both programs will move forward expeditiously.
For the past few years Customs and Border Protection has seen a marked decrease in budgetary requests and appropriations when it comes to employee salaries. The start of sequestration saw the first ever across-the-board decrease in the amount of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) for Border Patrol agents. This cut resulted in a decrease in manpower in the field, equivalent to 1,200 agents, during the shift changes which have always been the most vulnerable times.