Jacksonville, FL - It’s a cutback Florida workers can get behind- civilian defense furloughs have been reduced.
The Department of Defense announced Thursday the furloughs would be cut from 22 days to 14, and they would not begin until June, instead of next month.
“That certainly isn’t gunna return then to where they need to be, and that’s to get full pay for the work that they do,” says retired Admiral Bob Natter.
Natter tells me it’s good news to hear about the scale back, but ultimately, the 30,000 Florida workers still facing a furlough are left hanging.
“The bottom line is, there’s less money, and the pain’s gunna be felt some place,” Natter says.
Because of recent budget action and more leeway given to the Department to decide how to absorb the furlough, they were able to put less of the burden on civilians. Natter says every day out of the office, however, have trickle down implications.
“Not gunna be as many people there working through the bureaucracy to get it done.”
He says these civilian workers to a lot of the footwork on contracts, maintenance deals, purchases and the like. Having them spend time out of the office will mean needing more time to get that work done.
Not to mention the hit it will take on the worker himself, with less pay coming in from the forced time off.
Natter holds out hope that the Department will be able to further find ways to shift around some of the burden, maybe cutting programs or calling off a few contracts in order to keep civilians on the job.
“It shouldn’t be on the shoulder of our civilian employees, it ought to be spread around a little bit better,” he says.
But ultimately, despite this sign of hope, Natter expects the full effect of sequestration will take hold, and the furloughs will happen.