Key Lawmaker Says 900,000 Federal Workers to be Furloughed in Shutdown; Pay Reimbursement Highly Unlikely

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

(National Federation of Federal Employees)

On a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) estimated that at least 900,000 federal employees would be furloughed in the event of a government shutdown. Furthermore, the Virginia lawmaker said the prospect of furloughed workers receiving back-pay would be “highly unlikely,” based upon his discussions with members of the House majority.


This news comes as budget negotiations on Capitol Hill have ground to a standstill. For weeks, the Administration has been working with members of both political parties in Congress to try and reach a mutually acceptable compromise. However, with the government set to shut down on Friday, April 8 at 11:59pm, a deal to fund the government seems more elusive than ever.


“This political gamesmanship has gone too far,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “Congress can’t keep kicking the can down the road in hopes that the problem will go away. The decisions they make over the next 48 hours could mean the difference between making ends meet and financial ruin for many federal employees. It is time for Congress to do what we sent them to Washington to do, and deliver a bill that funds the critical federal services the American people rely on.”


For the past several weeks, NFFE and other federal unions have been pressuring the Administration to release agency shutdown contingency plans detailing which workers are considered ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential.’ In response, the Administration held a conference call last night where NFFE was informed that workers would receive notice of their exempt/non-exempt status as early as Thursday morning. The officials also stated that these plans would be shared with NFFE and other unions as soon as they make the determination that a shutdown is imminent. If a deal is not reached in time, they said, non-exempt employees will be notified by their agencies that they will be furloughed, and given 3-4 hours to clear out their work stations on their next scheduled work day. Still, President Dougan is not satisfied:


"Federal employees deserve to know now whether or not they will be furloughed this Friday.” Dougan said. “They will be the ones bearing the brunt of a government shutdown. Withholding these plans any longer is simply unacceptable."


NFFE will continue to pressure Congress and the Administration to do the right thing for federal workers and their families. For more information on what you can do stop a government shutdown, visit NFFE’s Legislative Action Center.


For more information and frequently asked questions about government shutdowns, click here.

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