Gov't Furlough in New York City: One Woman's Story

Thursday, October 10, 2013

In the New York area there are nearly 46,000 federal employees —and many of them have been on furlough since Oct. 1, because they're considered non-essential. Shawnee Swinton is one of them. She's a Health and Human Services civil rights investigator. She's worried about the work piled up in her office, but she's also worried about how she'll pay her bills if the furlough continues much longer.


The Takeaway

Federal Furloughed Employee on Coping with the Government Shutdown

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Nine days into the government shutdown, thousands of federal employees are still on furlough, waiting for Congress and the president to finally reach an agreement. Marcelo del Canto and his wife, Lizette, are both furloughed. Marcelo and Lizette work at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Lizette is a public health analyst and Marcelo is a budget analyst. They describe what it's like to live with uncertainty during the shutdown.

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New Jersey News

More Than 3,000 Furloughed at NJ Military Base

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Jersey Public Radio

The military’s Maguire-Dix-Lakehurst base near the heart of the Jersey shore employs about 6,700 civilians. More than half were furloughed this week following the federal government's shutdown.


The Takeaway

Furloughed Federal Worker Speaks Out on Government Shutdown

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Working for the government used to mean job security, but that's not the case for about 800,000 federal workers who are now furloughed because of the government shutdown. These workers are unsure when they will return to work or receive a pay check. Chris Butler is an electronics technician for the Navy and the Vice President of IFPTE, the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers.

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Transportation Nation

Both Parties Grapple With Furloughed FAA Workers' Back Pay

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Two weeks of back pay for some  4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees remains in limbo, though everyone seems to agree the FAA employees, sidelined because of a funding dispute, should be paid.

Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) unveiled legislation (pdf) Tuesday that would pay the missing salaries and benefits of the furloughed employees. “For the past two weeks it was important to get these workers back on the job.  Now my focus is to get them back pay and to ensure this avoidable situation never happens again," said Congressman LoBiondo in a statement. ("Never" could be as early as September, when Congress must vote again to authorize the agency.)

For their part, Senate Democrats had introduced a bill two weeks ago to ensure the employees would receive back pay, when Senator Jay Rockefeller had included it as part of his plan to reauthorize the FAA's funding.

Both parties' versions would use money from the Airport and Airways Trust Fund to provide the employees' back pay. The trust fund is the mechanism which collects airline taxes -- $30 million a day worth of them -- and provides the FAA with the lion's share of its budget. Jason Galanes, a spokesman for Congressman LoBiondo, said the fund has "plenty of money in it" and can afford a payout. Galanes also said that the FAA and DOT are still determining whether the agency has the authority to provide back pay. "This (legislation) is in case they don’t. If they do, then this legislation is moot and it will be at the secretary’s discretion," said Galanes.

In a blog post last week, US Department of Transportation head Ray LaHood wrote "we everything we can to get Congress to provide our furloughed employees with the back pay they deserve." A DOT spokesperson said today that they were waiting to see what action Congress was going to take.

The House and Senate are in what's called a pro forma session -- meaning members can gavel in and gavel out and pass legislation by unanimous consent. Spokespeople for both parties said that providing furloughed employees with back pay has bipartisan support, but there's no firm schedule on when that will happen.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that all major U.S. airlines have rolled back fares to about the same prices they were charging before federal ticket taxes expired two weeks ago. Airlines had raised fares to match the amount of the expired taxes; now they're collecting taxes again, they've dropped their fares.

For TN's complete coverage of the FAA shutdown, go here.

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