Defense Secretary: DoD Employee Furlough Days Reduced from 14 to 11
The latest announcement, delivered at an afternoon press conference by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, also included details on exemptions for nearly 150,000 employees, bringing the total number of workers being furloughed to roughly 650,000.
“This is a baby step in the right direction, but federal employees need a sprint,” said NFFE National President Dougan. “I don’t care if there are 22, 14, or 11 furlough days on the calendar – we will not rest until every furlough day is eliminated. The work these dedicated civilians do every day to support our troops is critical to our military readiness and national security. They need to be on the job, not at home.”
On a separate conference call with DoD employee representatives, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management explained workers will preferably be furloughed one day per week between now and the end of the fiscal year in September. Furloughs are scheduled to commence no earlier than July 8. The Department did note, however, that Locals with existing furlough implementation plans can keep their current agreement in force.
“These employees want to work,” said Dougan. “There is no reason why Congress cannot grant DoD the flexibility to make it happen. We need to hold their feet to the fire until this shameful policy is defeated.”
Though DoD disappointed federal workers this time, Secretary Hagel reserved the right to reduce the number of furlough days once more based on further review of the budget. NFFE will continue to lead the push to end furlough days once and for all, and restore some sanity to the operation of the federal workforce.
Furlough Implementation Schedule:
– May 28 to June 5, 2013: Notice of Proposed Furlough distributed to employees;
– June 5 to July 5, 2013: Decision of Furlough distributed to employees;
– July 8 to September 30, 2013: Furlough Period
Excepted Employees (employees not subject to furlough):
– Non-Appropriated Fund employees;
– Foreign Nationals;
– Combat zone deployed employees;
– Safety of Life and Protection of Property (only where a critical need is established)