Furloughs to impact over 1,000 Fort Bragg workers

Fort Bragg (Wikimedia)

June 3, 2013 12:48:26 PM PDT
The timetable and consequences surrounding a new round of federally mandated furloughs for employees of the US Army Garrison command were made clear Monday.

During the first round of a series of town hall meetings addressing the furloughs, employees were told that the changes would not be a temporary fix and that unemployment would not be available.

About 400 employees attended the first furlough town hall meeting Monday morning with Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Colonel Jeffrey Sanborn.

Sanborn said 1,400 civilian employees are looking at a 20 percent pay cut this fiscal year, which has now been branded "Furlough Friday."

Most workers will be furloughed on Fridays. Range/Traffic Control workers will be on Sundays. Airborne Special Ops Museum employees will be on Tuesdays, while firefighters, dispatch, police officers and other emergency personnel will be on a rolling basis.

There will be 11 furlough days between July 8 and September 30, meaning no unemployment per a federal government mandate and no overtime. DOD school teachers are limited to 5 furlough days in August and September.

Exemptions include childcare services workers, NAF and SHARP workers.

New details were also revealed about the reduction in force - adding up to 41 positions to be eliminated this fall - which includes grounds maintenance workers who will no longer be needed because contractors will take over work for select parts of post.

"Seems like to me everything, caught everybody off guard, basically," said Carlos Washington, who learned Monday he will be losing his job. "Instead of them just coming out straight forward, I was hoping they were going to give us an answer awhile ago, but I think we got our answer today."

Sanborn also warned workers to prepare for the worst, as next year's budget situation doesn't look any better.

The commander said they will lean on the support of "the community outside the gate," or Fayetteville, as the chamber helps to identify possible part-time work for ousted employees.

"This is going to be a rough time for you," Sanborn said. "We're here for you."

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