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Furlough notice to civilian employees of the Army.
Furlough notices have started to go out officially notifying federal workers and their unions of the furloughs it's been obvious were coming since it became clear that Republicans were going to refuse to shift from their all cuts, no new revenue position to end the sequester. TSA and customs have sent out furlough notices, as have the Justice Department and the National Labor Relations Board. The Army, too, has started sending furlough notices:
[...] employees at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Gunpowder, Md., as well as the Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, Wash., will be forced to stay at home without pay one day each week from April 22 through Sept. 21.

Translation: A 20% pay cut for 5 months. Employees will stay at home on either a Monday or Friday. Not everybody may get to choose their days, because supervisors have to ensure that at least half the staff is available on both days.

So, federal workers, you're going to have extra time off—but cancel that vacation you were going to take with the kids this summer, because with a 20 percent pay cut, you're not going to have the money for hotels or amusement parks. Maybe you could afford to take the kids camping, except that furloughs and cuts to seasonal workers at national parks might make that difficult, too. Cancel that work you were going to have done on your house—but don't forget to wish the contractor who was going to do it luck finding replacement work as the sequester takes money out of communities and slows economic growth.

One thing federal workers might do with that extra time is make your voice heard. Talk to your friends and family and neighbors about the reality of what's going on here—that Republicans are holding government workers, low-income mothers and children, seniors, students, scientific research, weather forecasting, travelers, and really the entire economy hostage to protect tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy. And let Congress know you're paying attention.

Tell Congress it's time to end tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Daily Kos, and Daily Kos Economics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I understand that two million (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManhattanMan, drmah

    moderates are storming the Capitol as I type.

    When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

    by Words In Action on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:06:58 AM PST

  •  We've been furloughing (14+ / 0-)

    for a couple of years now.  After a while, you get used to it.  We'll never, ever get back the pay we lost.

    There's talk that the government will shut down our agency, and I'd far rather be furloughed a few days a month than unemployed.

    All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

    by Noddy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:30:36 AM PST

  •  According to media, Obama is lying about paycuts (5+ / 0-)

    I wonder what the media will say once they see the actually furlough notices?

  •  Need to get a different media outlet. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russron, Free Jazz at High Noon

    Republican media ownership and control is not on our side.

    Boulder Creek Parks taking to the airwaves? - Santa Cruz Sentinel
    www.santacruzsentinel.com/.../boulder-creek-parks-taking-airwavesFeb 2, 2013 – BOULDER CREEK -- Aspiring announcers and DJs in the San Lorenzo Valley might want to hone their pipes, with a new radio station possibly ...
    Press-Banner - Broadcasting Boulder Creek
    pressbanner.com/view/full.../article-Broadcasting-Boulder-Creek-?...Jan 31, 2013 – Boulder Creek Recreation and Parks District directors could decide as early as Wednesday, Feb. 6, to pursue a low-power FM radio station
     

    Would it be possible to get a lot of little local stations, working?

      ?

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:05:18 AM PST

  •  Although I'm for ending corporate welfare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradMajors, dinotrac

      The diary is wrongly titled.  It's not a pay cut.  It's an hour cut.  With those eight hours a federal worker has been cut for those weeks, they can do anything they want, but their jobs.  That's different than someone who still has to show up for work and get paid less money.

    Shine like the humblest star.

    by ljm on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:34:06 AM PST

  •  a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradMajors

    prompted by the mention of unions. How does that work legally? employees have working contracts. How can the employer side unilaterally abridge that contract? By simple fiat? Doesnt the employed person have the claim to the full contract against the employer?

    •  Federal employee union contracts are limited (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Short Bus, marsanges, DSPS owl, machka

      In general federal employment as such is not based on a written contract between employer and employee.

      Some though by no means all federal workers have unions and those unions have contracts related mainly to working conditions, office hours, length of breaks, grievances and the like. Among the things NOT covered is wages (there is some labor-management negotiation when it comes to the distribution of bonuses or other sorts of performance awards but salaries are essentially set by regulation and by Congress). There are aspects to the implementation of furloughs that may be bargained but the fact is that those furloughs are simply going to go ahead; the bargaining generally relates to details.

      In any case we (I'm speaking as a federal employee) cannot be paid from funds which don't exist. Each federal agency's budget has been slashed. I can't speak for the ones besides my own but the "salaries and expenses" portion of my agency's budget has been cut by 16%. We're relatively lucky in that that 16% includes things besides pay and benefits, including travel and contracting. The decision has been made to focus the cuts there on contracts; some of those are the sort of "over-and-above" things that we could probably do without while others involve things like updating management systems software that is already obsolete. As for travel, some of it can be foregone; there are aspects of my job that simply cannot be done without travel money. So what'll happen instead is that each dollar of travel funds will be withheld as long as possible and doled out only at the last minute.

      One other thing to note is that here is that there is a significance to the 22-day furloughs. That 22-day increment equates to a month's worth of workdays. Many things change when that number is exceeded; for example it starts to cut into time-in-service for purposes of determining retirement eligibility. For that reason (among others), under Office of Personnel Management regulations, any furloughs that use more than 22 days over a twelve month period trigger the same rules that govern reductions-in-force actions (a/k/a RIF's). Even if nobody is actually let go permanently it is a very complicated and excruciating process.

  •  Hah! Trying to get Federal workers to Violate the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife

    Hatch Act?

    One thing federal workers might do with that extra time is make your voice heard. ... And let Congress know you're paying attention.
    wikipedia tells me:
    The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit employees (civil servants) in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials of the executive branch, from engaging in partisan political activity.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:37:27 PM PST

  •  Any takers on a bet that this will never happen? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dinotrac

    It makes a splash in the news, but I'm betting that of all the things that may or may not get cut, civilian defense workers won't even have to dodge that bullet.  It wont be fired in their direction.

    Not that there probably isn't a lot of fat in that particular cut of meat.

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:38:54 PM PST

  •  Only non-exempt employees? (0+ / 0-)

    So the hourly schmucks get a 20% pay cut but the salaried higher paying folks get to work as usual?

    Where's the fairness in that?

    If there are going to be furloughs, everybody should furlough.

    Hopefully ...... soon, Mom. My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:40:28 PM PST

  •  The whole thing is atrocious.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...and totally unnecessary. However, since the 1% won't be suffering because of this, why should the Republicans give a damn?

    •  They will give a damn because pressure builds... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ekaterin

      ... fast. And the strongest urge they have is to get re-elected.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:50:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe if they have to wait three hours to gt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ekaterin

        get through airport security or some such

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:10:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They, personally, are impervious ... for now. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ekaterin

          ... but their constituents are not.

          Senators and Congresspeople, being Princes and Principessas of the Realm, will be spared as much indignity as possible. Their staffers (of whom there are many) and their lobbyists (of whom there are many more) and their inside-the-beltway Ethic will protect them as long as it can.

          IF they personally start to feel pain, however, it's a different ballgame. And WHEN their constituents react - starting with their wives, their mommies, their aunties and uncles, their bankers and real estate brokers, their poker game pals and sports-fan-friends ... well then, the game will change.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:24:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Depressing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina

    I feel very bad for these people. Also, the LAST thing the economy needs right now is MORE people without a job.

    We keep running in a goddamn circle.

    I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

    by ReverseThePolarity on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:56:50 PM PST

    •  The furloughs are actually a much better (0+ / 0-)

      alternative than laying off 8.3% of the work force and losing all that experienced help.

      It definitely sucks to get a lighter paycheck, but better than not getting one at all.  I know that from experience.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:40:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  BUT WHY ARE WE GETTING 20% LESS MONEY? (0+ / 0-)

        So the fucking teabaggers can say they cut the debt to 16.42 trillion from 16.5 trillion???

        •  You are getting 8.3% less money over the year. (0+ / 0-)

          And you are getting that as an alternative to axing 8.3% of your co-workers.

          Although -- there is one thing that confuses me immensely.

          Are your benefits affected on your furlough days?

          Benefits tend to be about 1/3 of a worker's total compensation, maybe more for federal workers, given the large number of federal holidays, nice health care and whatnot.  That would make an 8.3% salary cut work out to more like a 6% savings.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:39:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can someone explain the math to me? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma

            I'm pretty good with numbers. What I'm completely not getting is how a 5.3% reduction in non-defense spending, which is the number I've seen for the total, translates into a 20% furlough/paycut for every employee. I get that the 5.3% is annualized and we're already half way through the fiscal year (or will be as of April 1). So a 10% furlough/paycut for six months I could get. But how does it suddenly double to 20%?

            I am also baffled by why the Administration is doing this absolutely across-the-board rather than triaging -- and why (as reported earlier today) some departments are still putting "help wanted" ads in to fill positions. I would have thought leaving positions vacant would be the first thing, before furloughs.

            •  I would bet the people who could explain it don't (0+ / 0-)

              want you to know.

              When does the federal fiscal year start?

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:20:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  for the government (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dinotrac

                Fiscal year ends in September.

                •  Oh wow -- that sounds like they are trying to take (0+ / 0-)

                  the whole freakin' cut out on the backs of the employees -- 5 months would get to the end of the year.

                  Somebody should be yelling at the administration  -- last I looked, the President was Commander-in-Chief and the Defense Department is part of the Executive Branch.

                  Maybe the folks who say the cuts are being divvied up to cause maximum pain aren't so wrong.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 05:35:02 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  It's not 20% of the agency's budget (0+ / 0-)

              It's 20% of the employee's PAY.

              I was a Federal timekeeper. Most Federal agencies pay periods are two weeks, that is TEN working days. Now, when you furlough those employees for one day each week, i.e. two days per pay period, that results in losing TWO days pay.

              TWO days out of TEN = one fifth which is equivalent to 20 percent.

        •  punished because of their whims nt (0+ / 0-)

          "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

          by eXtina on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:42:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You think people won't leave because of this. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies

        . . .I beg to differ.  A huge portion of Feds are just a stones throw from retirement.  One "FU" too many will send them out.  Count on it.  Remember?  Young people have been told Federal Service sucks, oh for 32 years or so (See Ronald Reagan).  Most people in Federal Service are "seasoned".

        Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

        by waztec on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:19:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That happens. And maybe it's the best and most (0+ / 0-)

          equitable outcome.  As the oldest workers tend to be the highest grade with the highest pay, some folks beginning their retirments early -- moving on to better things, presumably -- might be the very best thing that could happen all around: Same savings affecting a smaller number of people.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:41:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And when no one replaces them? What then? (0+ / 0-)

            If it's
            Not your body,
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            And it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:40:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Different issue, but (0+ / 0-)

              if the jobs are open, they will be replaced.

              In case you haven't noticed, we have a terrible unemployment problem, the depth of which is mostly masked by the U3 number people like to toss about.

              I can think of worse things than letting some people retire early so that unemployed people can get jobs.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 03:57:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's not that easy (0+ / 0-)

                Many federal positions require training, it can take up to a year to get a new trainee up to speed.

                Plus, when someone retires, that agency loses some of its institutional memory, because in many cases, their replacement is not brought on board until after the retiree is gone.

                •  Sure it is. There is always turnover. (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, it bites to lose institutional memory, but

                  I don't recall using the word ideal. In these nasty economic times, there are worse solutions than letting some people retire so that new people can come on, pick up new skills, and make livings.

                  LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                  by dinotrac on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 12:15:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  It's not just the jobs, it's the spending. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ramoth, wa ma

      I work for the Navy. Everyone I know at work is stopping spending money RIGHT NOW.

      How is that good for the economy??

  •  It Will Take (0+ / 0-)

    Probably a month or two as these start happening, and they have for some air controllers and others, to start seeing the extended ripple effects from as that wage lost starts hitting the public sector and those in lower paying jobs start getting the axe as well, not furloughs but canned because of the slow down in consumer buying even the needs. And that ripple goes far and wide!!

    “We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —Gen Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the VA

    by jimstaro on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:57:16 PM PST

  •  I have a better idea. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, eXtina, Leap Year

    Cut Congress's pay by 90 percent, and Senate pay by 95 percent.

    Oh, hell, let's make it even easier:  just pay 'em all the minimum wage.  Dog knows it's all they're worth, especially the tea bags.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:59:55 PM PST

    •  Only one problem with this (0+ / 0-)

      It's prohibited under the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. Congress cannot change their own current rate of pay. They can pass laws that affect the 114th Congress and beyond but not the current session.

      •  Will they and their staffs be working 20% less? (0+ / 0-)

        Seems like the do nothing congress, most of whose members can get Lobbyist loot on their days off, are getting tossed a bone here.

        Are congressional staffs subject to the sequester as well?

        "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

        by jakewaters on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 02:04:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Have a day off you didn't want. (0+ / 0-)
    One thing federal workers might do with that extra time is make your voice heard.
    And next time activists come to Washington or the State Capital to try to get some economic justice, you might want to do what you can to help.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:02:24 PM PST

  •  The Sequester was a bipartisan agreement (5+ / 0-)

    which Obama was in favor of. If he was so sure that it would never go into effect because Republicans would be willing to negotiate with him, well, he was an idiot. Both parties are in fact to blame for this stupid, cruel situation.

    "Today is who you are" - my wife

    by I Lurked For Years on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:03:02 PM PST

  •  many federal workers afraid of reprisals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Ramoth, NoMoreLies

    Don't expect to see large numbers of furloughed feds protesting in the streets. I know many, many federal workers who are flat afraid of reprisal if they protest pretty much anything in any way, to the point where they are fearful of signing their real names to petitions and letters to the WH and their Congressional reps. The Chief of Law Enforcement for the National Park Service's Capitol Mall was fired for telling the public the truth about the deficient state of its security post-9/11, and that incident cast a horrible shadow on the entire federal workforce. That the person was eventually re-instated (after a long and expensive court battle, no less) does not make the overall situation any less fearful.

    I Refuse to Believe Corporations Are People Until Texas Executes One

    by desert rain on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:03:11 PM PST

    •  See air traffic controllers. . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . .vs. "Old Twenty Mule Team Borax"  (yes I know it was a strike, but "Mule Team's" reaction really affected Federal Employees.

      Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

      by waztec on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:22:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What did they do wrong? What did they do to (7+ / 0-)

    deserve to be punished in this manner? NOTHING!!!!

    How about people crashing the economy getting a 20% pay cut?

    One of my clients' husband is an air traffic controller and got his notice - no overtime, no holidays unless mandated, and 20% pay cut. It is SO UNFAIR

    Oh an YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEE the stock market hit an all time high today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:08:11 PM PST

  •  Well, their workload will be reduced too, right? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, Ramoth, slinkerwink

    I mean, they won't be asked to do just as much work for 20% less pay and less time on the job, will they?

    What?

    Oh. Gee, that sounds kinda bad.

    •  More than that. . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . .there has already been considerable attrition with hiring freezes.  The work load will not go away, as it hasn't with attrition.  

      Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

      by waztec on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:24:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If I was Prez, all the cuts would be in Red States (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, eXtina

    One of many reasons I'll never be president, I guess.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:15:13 PM PST

  •  My best friend and her husband are furloughed (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, Ramoth, NoMoreLies, wa ma, slinkerwink

    One day a week without pay. She told me her govt. agency was sending out hundreds of stop notices to contractors. Her husband's agency is doing the same. So, between just those two agencies and their contractors, we're talking thousands of jobs cut or ended. Shameful. This is the WORST thing our country could have done at a time when people are still hurting from the Bush recession. And as was mentioned above, when this happens people cannot upgrade their homes, so painters, hvac folks, roofers and the like will not be hired. My friend told me she'll be doing all the yard work this year since she'll have time, and less money to pay an occasional lawn care person. Again, SHAMEFUL. So very many people harmed by this.

  •  As a front-line manager at a federal agency, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Anna M, Ramoth, jakewaters, slinkerwink

    we are under orders not to say anything about the furlough to my employees.  I even got in trouble for saying, "we have nothing to say about the furlough."  Of course, they haven't told me anything to say in the first place.

  •  But really an 8.3% pay cut annualized. (0+ / 0-)

    Not that it's a lot of fun, and not that I would wish it on anywone, but lots of us got to be furloughed 5 days out of the week all year round, with the expectation that getting unemplolyment of anywhere from 10-50% of our working income would be OK.

    FWIW --

    You save a little money not going into the office.
    That helps a bit.
    I hope you have some sick days and/or vacation time banked.
    That can help.

    With any luck, this crap will be resolved before anybody gets hit too hard.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:35:33 PM PST

  •  With the snowstorm coming tomorrow (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tlsmith, DSPS owl, NoMoreLies, drmah

    The snow crews should not shovel the snow in DC - especially around the capitol buildings.  Too much taxpayer money, after all.  Or better, maybe they should dump-truck  all the snow around the capitol buildings so the concresscritters can't get out.

    (I know, it'll never happen.  I can dream however:)

  •  Other issues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    What about scheduling?  If there is a 24x7 shop like say Air Traffic, how do they go about this if they only have say 8 employees to cover all 24 hours.  I've been furloughed and what happened was we took unpaid time off as we could be scheduled.  In my case the furlough hurt, but I used it with other time and had a few days off.  I was hurt in that it also counted against my pension.  Sick Time, Vacation Accrual weren't impacted, but I would imagine the Feds are going to use it all the way up the reaming scale.  The Repugs have done us nasty.  First the Bush Depression, then they get in the way of anything to get out of the ditch, then they help shove us back in it.  We need to be loud and clear.  This is a Republican Generated Depression.

  •  And for all those Federal workers who vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog, drmah

    Republican, more than we might think, this is what you get for your party allegiance.

    •  I hope every teabagger fucking suffers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah

      Every Federal government worker who is a teabagger, I hope they all fucking suffer.

    •  GOP Fed Friends (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dancing Frog

      I have a couple friends that border on baggers that I tried to convince last fall to reconsider.  I showed them quotes from Repubs insulting them as Federal employees and threatening to cut their pay.  They seemed unconcerned at the time.  I think they felt it was just the usual GOP BS and it wouldn't really happen.  I imagine this may change a few minds - at least those that don't have irreversible brain damage.

  •  So if the sequester is a 2% cut (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dancing Frog, drmah

    across the board how come these folks have to take a 22% reduction. Even if you work out on a yearly basis it's still significantly more than 2%.

    Can anyone explain?

    •  Programs can't stop. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dancing Frog

      . . .the people are the only expense left to cut.

      Money ain't free speech and it won't buy you love.

      by waztec on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:25:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not exactly true... (0+ / 0-)

        At the agency where I work, they cut some programs and delayed others to keep the civil servants fully employed. But that means that our contractors whom we rely on are getting hit which means more work for a staff that's already stretched to the breaking point.

    •  I think it's more than 2% (0+ / 0-)

      "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

      by jfern on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:39:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's why it's 22%. (0+ / 0-)

      First, it may be only a 2.5% cut to the overall federal budget, but not every line item in the the Federal Budget is effected by the sequester. Congressional wages for instance are not effected by the sequester, and so are certain benefits.

      Second, the sequester has different annualized cuts for different programs. The defense cuts are 8% annually. The non-discretionary program cuts are 2%-3% annually.

      Third, since the fiscal year begins October 1, we are already 5 months in. Since the cuts are annualized, we have to make a years worth of cuts in 7 months. If you're in the department of defense, you take the 8% a month that you were supposed to be cutting for the last 5 months and divide that over the next 7 months, and you get 5.7% additional cuts on top of 8% per month that you still have to do. That makes the total of a 13.7% cut per month for the next 7 months. And, that kiddies is more than one day off every two weeks.

      Fourth, the above calculation assumes a constant burn rate which means that wages and other expenses keep pace with each other. In reality, they don't. Bills come due at different times, and some work requires overtime, and some is delayed. The government has to pay utilities like the rest of us, and we know how much seasonal rates can vary. The government tries to space out the bills, but sometimes the rate of expenditures are not even close to what was planned. And, they have to hold some money aside to pay for the expected expenses required to keep the lights on. The only thing that is mandated at the end of the year is that all the money be spent which can be pretty stupid at times. So, that lumping of expenditures can easily make up difference from 13.7% to 22% which is how we get to one day off a week.

      And, that is why it was extraordinarily dumb to make a deal with the Republicans to kick the sequester can down the road in January without prorating it for the year.

    •  That 2% is EIGHTY-FIVE BILLION DOLLARS (0+ / 0-)

      A Federal pay period, which covers two weeks calendar time, consists of 10 working days.

      The Federal employee who is being furloughed one day every week is losing 2 days' pay.

      Two days is 20% of their pay for that pay period. The median income for those employees was $76,231 in 2010 when pay was frozen. That works out to $2,932 per pay period before taxes (IRS, FICA, Medicare, State, City, and Local) plus deductions for health insurance and retirement.

      So after those deductions -- which take about half the paycheck, your left with $1,466 per pay period. Now, take away the net pay the furlough costs you, about $293. Your net check is $1,173.

      What's small for the entire budget, is very large for the individual employee -- and remember half of the Federal employees make LESS than $76,231.

  •  Keep in mind, these 22 days... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    of Leave Without Pay is on top of having pay frozen since 2009.

    I have been writing and calling for the past couple of months my Congresswoman and Senators, let's just say that I have been underwhelmed by the response.

    This congressional district has two major military installations, you would think that our Congresswoman would be a little concerned that over 5,000 of her constituents are being furloughed, but I think she is more worried about protecting her farm subsidies than what is happening to her district.

    To the world you are one person. To one person, you are the world. They can have John Galt, I'll take Joe Hill..

    by p a roberson on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:00:47 AM PST

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