Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:27 PM
alp227 (27,525 posts)
Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’
Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the “fiscal cliff” a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line.
President Obama and members of Congress headed out of town late last week for a Christmas break without reaching a deal to avoid $110 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts, which would hamstring operations ranging from weather forecasting and air traffic control to the purchase of spare parts for weapons systems. So civil servants are bracing for the blow, wondering whether their work will be upended — and whether they may be forced to take unpaid days off.
“This could change day by day,” said Antonio Webb, 25, who works in the mail service that handles correspondence for the Department of Homeland Security. “You could come into work and the next day they say, ‘We don’t need you because we have to cut so much.’”
Many federal workers have become jaded after a two-year pay freeze and congressional fights over spending that keep agencies lurching from one stopgap budget to another. Until recently, few employees thought it could come to this: Budget cuts of 8 to 10 percent divided equally between military and domestic agencies. Only a few programs, like Social Security, veterans benefits and some services for the poor, are exempted.
4 replies, 1170 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by ‘fiscal cliff’ (Original post)
Response to alp227 (Original post)
Mon Dec 24, 2012, 09:41 PM
elleng (50,018 posts)
1. Doesn't exactly work that way.
'Reductions in force' (RiF) take a while to process, and fed. employees receive compensation for a period. I know; it happened to me.
'Unpaid days off' a bit easier than RiF to implement, probably.
Response to elleng (Reply #1)
Tue Dec 25, 2012, 12:53 PM
Igel (20,681 posts)
3. Part of the problem is that nobody knows what budgets are going to be affected.
They should know. The legislation from 18 months ago said that this had to be made known months before this. Don't know that anybody's bothered to look ahead to see exactly how to implement this.
Looks more like the assumption was that planning would be a waste of time, or perhaps encourage it. Would've caused less anxiety, to be sure.