WEAR - Search Results
Furloughs will affect nine thousand in local area
The Defense Department is mandating days off *without pay* for most civilian workers in order to cut costs.
Civilian Pentagon workers will be forced to take one unpaid day off each week through September.
That will equal a 20 % reduction in their income.
This is all thanks to the 85 billion dollars in federal spending cuts that kicked-in March 1st.
Northwest Florida's military bases employ around nine-thousand civilian workers.
I spoke with a single mother and a union representative today who say the 20 percent cut in pay will be devastating.
And this may only be the beginning.
Melissa Parker, Works at NAS Pensacola: "It makes me angry because I'm like, 'I'm about to lose a lot of money!"
Melissa Parker has an administrative position at NAS Pensacola.
She also works part time at Lillian's Pan Pizza in Perdido Key.
Parker is among the nearly 650,000 Defense Department employees who will have to take one unpaid day off a week through the end of September.
Melissa Parker, Works at NAS Pensacola: "I can't afford it! I already have to work a second job but I had to explain to my kid why I'm pullin' her out of day care and she's cryin'. Um, she doesn't understand so it makes me...It angers me."
The pentagon announced the 11-day furlough period in May down from 22 days originally planned.
Jim Major, American Fed. of Gov't Employees: "This is really unnecessary."
Jim Major is the executive vice president of the local branch of the American Federation Of Government Employees.
Jim Major, American Fed. of Gov't Employees: "We represent the majority of the employees at NAS Pensacola, Whiting Field..."
Major also works as a financial technician at Saufley Field.
Jim Major, American Fed. of Gov't Employees: "We haven't had pay raises in over three years and now they're taking away 88 hours of our pay! When people have financial problems and they have clearances, it can affect their clearance, which it ultimately would affect their job, their employment."
While the Pentagon was able to limit furloughs this year, Major and others fear next year could be much worse.
The automatic budget cuts known as sequestration are set to last ten years.
If leaders in Washington let them continue into 2014, analysts say thousands of civilian, military and contract jobs could be on the chopping block.
Melissa Parker, Works at NAS Pensacola: "Not everybody has a high-paying civil service job. Not everybody sits there and slacks off. You know, some of us actually work really hard and care about the Navy. I'm a veteran. I care about my country."
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to provide more details in the next few days on how the next wave of automatic cuts will affect the department.