RI Arsenal Furlough Notices Delayed By Two Weeks - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

RI Arsenal Furlough Notices Delayed By Two Weeks

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Department of Defense employees were expecting to get furlough notices on Friday, March 22, 2013, but the Pentagon has delayed them for about two weeks.

The Defense Department wants more time to see how federal funding changes will affect the cuts.

The federal government employs about 2.2 million civilians in all. About 800,000 of them work for the Department of Defense. That includes more than 7,000 DOD civilians who work here at the Arsenal.

Although the Pentagon has not said exactly how many workers will be furloughed, now they're waiting to see how funding changes could affect the sequester's harsh cuts.

We now know that the furlough notices will be sent out in about two weeks. The letters serve as a legally required 30 day notice for workers that will see furlough days, once a week for the rest of the fiscal year.

Those forced unpaid days off amount to a roughly 20% pay cut for six months, for a huge portion of the work force.

Craig Flenker is president of the local American Federation of Government Employees. He says other groups may be taking different days off, but the workers his union represents, at least, will be forced to take four day weekends every other week.

"What's seemingly insignificant right now, six months from now will be gravely huge in probably every segment of our economy."

In their case, that amounts to about 500 dollars every two weeks. Out of 7,000 Arsenal employees, many say they can't afford that cut.

The Department of Defense announced the furlough notices will be delayed until April fifth. That will give officials time to see whether the new budget will still require 22 unpaid days or if it could result in fewer lost days for workers.

The sequester cuts are supposed to reduce government spending by $85 billion this year.

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