TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Border Patrol Union President says employees could see a pay cut of up to 40 percent when you add up their overtime and 14 days of unpaid leave a year.
The Border Patrol released a statement on Monday after sending out furlough notices to close to 3,500 employees in the Tucson area.
From Border Patrol:
"In order to address the more than half a billion in budget cuts imposed by sequestration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection must take significant budget reduction actions. CBP will continue to make every effort to minimize the sequester's impact on public safety and national security, but expects that planned furlough of employees, along with reductions to overtime and hiring freeze will increase wait times at ports of entry, including international arrivals at airports, and reduce staffing between land ports of entry. Even with these cuts though, individuals apprehended illegally crossing the southwest border will still be processed as usual. CBP continues to evaluate further impacts of sequestration on our operations. Because the length of the sequestration as well as funding levels through the end of the fiscal year are unknown at this time, it is difficult to project the impact of the reductions on individual employees or job occupations."
At this point, it's unclear how CBP plans to shift staffing around to make up for these cuts. But, the cuts to employees paychecks will be little by little as money will be taken out bi-weekly.
"I mean that's astronomical," said Tucson Border Patrol Union President, Art DelCueto. "I don't know how anybody especially now a days, no matter how much money you're making. I don't know how anybody can take a 40% cut."
The furloughs could mean delays at ports of entry and longer lines at airports for international arrivals.
The furloughs could go into effect by next month.