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WR 7-15

Over 650,000 civilian defense employees faced their first day of furloughs on July 8. This was the first of eleven furlough days that will continue through the end of September, when the fiscal year ends. This mandatory unpaid leave will cost those affected twenty percent of their pay. Many employees will struggle to pay their mortgages, meet childcare payments, and pay health care bills. Three members of the Federal Managers Association (FMA) employed as civilian defense managers spoke with the Washington Post’s Joe Davidson on how they are making ends meet.

Jamie Pettis, President of Chapter 125, Corpus Christi Army Depot, is a disabled veteran and single parent of a fifteen year old daughter. He told Davidson, “The furlough will affect my family and me greatly. My daughter and I both have health conditions. Now we will not be able to just make an appointment when we feel like it. Now we will have to make the appointment when we can afford it.” In addition to personal strains, as a federal manager Pettis faces decreases in morale on the Army Depot. “The depot has lost several great journeyman mechanics to the oil fields. The experience loss will slow down production and increase quality defects due to a less experienced workforce.”

FMA Region 2 Director Dora Quinlan, a manager at the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast in Jacksonville, Florida, faces a reduction of her own salary along with her husband, who is also employed at the center. Quinlan commented, “While this negatively impacts employee morale, most employees like me are dedicated patriots willing to do whatever it takes to ensure service members get the mission critical support that federal workers provide. Like many federal employees, I am finding it difficult to complete my work in a 40-hour workweek.”

David Garrison, a member of Chapter 167, Travis Air Force Base, is also facing morale issues on the job. He commented, “[Employees are] feeling even more unappreciated by everyone and abandoned by the government. The public at large seems to think that we deserve this...nothing could be farther from the truth. These are some of the most dedicated and hardest working people there are anywhere.”

To read the entire Washington Post article, please click here.


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