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      Border Patrol union supports legislation to reform pay

      Shawn Moran, national vice president of the National Border Patrol Council

      The Pay Reform Act has bi-partisan support on capitol hill.

      Monday, head Border Patrol union officials visited the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Border Patrol to promote it.

      "Does it result in some less money for the officers themselves? Yes it does," J. David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees said. "These men and woman have spoken up and said they still support the legislation because they want stability in their pay checks."

      Union officials said the legislation will cut agents pay by $6,000 to $7,000 a year but if not passed agents could face a 25 percent pay cut as the existing administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) is set to expire.

      "It basically equates to 25 percent of their pay but it's not guaranteed," Cox said.

      Pay reform would revamp the pay system allowing agents to put in hours that some say are needed to secure the border.

      Under the law agents would have a set number of hours by choosing from three pay schedules ranging from 80 hours to 100 hours.

      "It works out to about straight time and border patrol agents are not really that upset that we are not getting time in a half currently but they want to be able to do their job," Shawn Moran, national vice president of the National Border Patrol Council said.

      Right now there are gaps in coverage along the border as agents end their shifts.

      "I think it's something the people here in the Rio Grande Valley are concerned with because of the influx of illegal aliens and drug smugglers that are crossing our border here," Moran said.

      The legislation is projected to save the government $1 billion over a ten year period.