Unites States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Aug. 6 that furlough days for Department of Defense appropriated fund civilian employees have been cut down from 11 to 6.
The furlough began July 8, and civilian employees were mandated to take one, unpaid, day off from work each week for up to 11 weeks. For those who normally work 40 hours a week, this meant almost a 20 percent reduction in pay throughout the furlough period.
Hagel said when sequestration took effect March 1, leadership was faced with the possibility of instating 22 furlough days. Eventually, it was decided that cutting that deep into training and maintenance would jeopardize core readiness and national security, so the furlough was set at 11 days.
This most recent reduction of furlough days was made possible through the DoD’s efforts to identify savings and Congress approving most of the reprogramming proposed by the DoD.
“The reduction in furlough days means being able to once again provide the full range of services to D-M,” said Jacqualine Clinesmith, 355th Force Support Squadron civilian personnel staffing section chief. “This decision should also provide a measure of relief to our civilian employees who may have been struggling with the financial impact of the furlough.”
More than 1,000 civilian members of the Desert Lightning Team received furlough notifications.
In the statement announcing the furlough change, Hagel spoke directly to affected civilian employees.
“I want to thank our civilian workers for their patience and dedication during these extraordinarily tough times, and for their continued service and devotion to our department and our country,” he said. “I know how difficult this has been for all of you and your families. Your contribution to national security is invaluable, and I look forward to one day putting this difficult period behind us. Thank you and God Bless you and your families.”
So far, four furloughs days have been taken by affected personnel. Normal operations will resume once all mandated civilians have taken their sixth day.
Information is still forthcoming regarding civilian furloughs. The Civilian Personnel Section will forward additional guidance to commanders and supervisors when received. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult your chain of command.