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Furlough fears: We want to hear from you

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Federal Times would like to hear from federal employees about the upcoming furloughs that are looking more and more likely. How will losing 20 percent of your take-home pay — as might happen to most Defense Department employees — hit you and your family? What are you hearing from your managers? What is the threat of sequestration and furloughs doing for your office’s morale and productivity?

E-mail Stephen Losey or Sean Reilly with your thoughts. If you’d like to stay anonymous, that’s fine.

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Comments

  1. Tanya Ramey Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Mentally, I am preparing for a furlough. Right now, I don’t feel overwhelmed about it, but let’s face it: two days worth of work missing from my pay will have an impact. if it happens, I believe some of us feds will look at the entrepreneurial side to supplement missing income. A furlough will either make or break us. I am determined I will not break.

  2. John Doer Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    If a 20% pay cut (furlough) exists for a short period of time, the impact will be absorbed easily by Feds and agencies. If there’s a breakdown in talks that cause this situation to persist, the effect will be devastating to many Feds and their families. As things stand, my motivation to perform for the government is diminished by the extensive salary freezes.

    As it is, I am under compensated for my profession and experience. The only advantage the government offers me is job stability, which is now undermined.

  3. Baba Ganouche Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    We at SSA haven’t heard anything pertaining to possible sequestration/furlough contingency plans.

    That is true of mid-level management as well as the rank and file.

    If anyone knows what’s going on with us they aren’t sharing their secrets.

  4. grumpy Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I couldn’t care less. Let it happen. I only wish I had the option to take all the days at once so I could have a nice vacation without having to have my crackberry or laptop. A vacation through a furlough is the best kind possible since I would be legally prohibited from doing anything in an official capacity including checking emails.

    I haven’t had such an enjoyable vacation since the advent of cell phones and the internet.

  5. Jeff Gifford Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    If I receive a 20% pay cut, I would most likely be forced to change employers. The politicians need to wake up to smell what they are shoveling. Last year, when a congressman was asked if he would be willing to forgo his pay when it was imminent that other federal employees would be furloughed / layed off temporarily, his response was that he couldn’t afford to because he had a mortgage to pay and five children to feed. I was appalled by his comment and as far as I am concerned after I heard that, he and the rest of them could go to somewhere I must refrain from saying here. They think that they and their overgrown staffs should get to live by a different set of rules than the rest of us. I started with the feds 2 yrs and 11 mos. ago as a GS12 professional engineer and haven’t gotten a cost of living adjustment yet, while inflation was 2-3 % each year, thus basically working for less spending power each year on a salary that was already far below average. I’m not starving, just trying to hold out until they get their act together with the budget. Yeah, and morale is down, unless you are a union worker who successfully gets pay raises negotiated for them on an hourly wage that is already far better than private sectors will pay. Professionals like me who can contribute to make the agency better will begin to bail out, costing the govt. lots of money to retrain the replacements. Politicians need to pull head out of arse and look at the impact of future costs they are incurring from retraining and the ultimate lower productivity due to low morale from their decisions. There are many types of professionals who work these govt. jobs for stability, not for the money. But if it becomes unstable, then why not leave to another “unstable” job if you could make a lot more money doing it. I wonder if these politicians run their own household budgets like they are running the federal govt. Don’t they understand that they can not spend more than the revenue they receive? They need to quit spending money we don’t have on wars where after we leave, they are just going to keep killing each other for another 10,000 years and start spending it on the future of our non-alien american children, duh! Lastly, they need to make it a requirement that your IQ must be above 86 to be able to run for congress, the senate and the presidency.

  6. Funfed Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Since both my husband & I are federal employees, we cannot survive a furlough of 2 days per pay period each! Time to call the mortgage company and hope they can work something out. Civilians in my agency have lost motivation and morale is the worst it has been. Our Washington leadership doesn’t care about us, why should we care! Congress should be furloughed for taking a recess again when our country need them to do their jobs. FIRE THEM ALL! A bunch of morons!

  7. Broke as a bad joke Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I calculated 176 total hours if a furlough happens times my base pay of $30.26 equals about $5325 until September or roughly $936 per month before taxes. As it stands all my income pays for the bills and my wife’s incomes goes towards saving and luxuries (movies, dining out).

    My wife only works part-time (7-12 Mon- Fri) so she’ll need to work two full days out of the week as well as cut out cell phone, internet, cable. If we take all these steps our family budget will just be able to make it albeit paycheck to paycheck. Currently her employer is already feeling the pinch from government workers spending less money on the local economy and have let several people go. If my wife was to get fired, then we are talking repossess the car type of budgeting.

  8. Sadly not surprised Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Being one of the evil federal workers out there I’m not surprised to know that too many people want me to suffer and lose my job. I haven’t heard anything yet from my bosses, and many of us are worried. I work at a MTF and the soldiers and their families will suffer. Less doctors=less appointments, less hospital staff=inability to get business done, less $=less medical supplies. Because we don’t serve the “general public” no one will care. There has to be a better way to do this. I’m so disgusted.

  9. Lady Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Because of the continuing pay freezes, we live with ends barely meeting. Out the furloughs happen we will not be able to make ends meet. Our house is worth less than we owe on it, and now out job security is being threatened. We have small children at home who will suffer financial hardship because of the sequester. We can not afford to have $800 a month taken out of our budget.

  10. Helen Kimzey Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    While I cannot be surprised, I am disappointed that my agency has provided no information. If we must reduce salaries, it would have been better to spread it over an entire year, not some last minute crunch.

    Congress must be held to the same standards as our federal employees! Reduce their pay. Eliminate their privileged retirements. Treat Congress like the rest of us. Then perhaps equity in federal employment will be real.

  11. Fred Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Managers are tight lipped but FedTimes reporting has been remarkably accurate. Morale is in the dumps right now from the continually downbeating of Federal Employees. Staff overloaded and not all work can get done as it is. Unfilled jobs from retirements plus the threat of furlough will further degrade the situation.

    And then there’s this little gem: (via ZeroHedge):

    “We would expect (DOD) cuts to start in March, particularly from the defense budget, as it faces the toughest cuts and has the most advanced plans. Then, if the sequester is not watered down, we would expect even bigger cuts in April. For now we are penciling in 50,000 in cuts for March, 100,000 in April, and 50,000 in May, with much smaller cuts thereafter. We will revisit these estimates over time.”

    The shock to GDP growth will be equally noticeable. The CBO estimates a -0.5% impact on 2013 GDP. Macroeconomic Advisors (MA) recently ran the cuts through their model and estimated that the sequester would cut growth over the four quarters of this year by 0.5%, 1.3%, 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. This is very close to what we have been assuming all along. If anything, the near-term shock could be slightly bigger than the CBO and MA exercises because they do not include the extra cuts needed to offset overspending in the first half of the fiscal year. We expect a negative shock to GDP growth over this year of 0.4%, 1.5%, 0.7% and 0.2% respectively.

  12. No name Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Whether Congress pass a budget or not, I believe us federal employees will still be subjected to possible furloughs.

  13. Matt Says:
    February 22nd, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    As a federal employee I took a govt job over the same job as a contractor making a lot more money, in exchange for stability to make sure my family was taken care of. Now that is in question from sequestration and from the federal employee always being the financial scapegoat of the politicians. But the most frustrating thing is knowing our so called elected officials don’t face the same furlough’s they are inflicting on us from the lack of doing their jobs. So when you have trillions of dollars in debt; and sequestration policies that were never supposed to go into effect; what do our elected officials do…..take a vacation. In my opinion it should be an irrevocable law that if the govt does not pass a budget every year everyone is fired. I guarantee we would not see this pass the buck legislation again when their jobs are on the line.

  14. John Vorwald Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 4:01 am

    I wonder if flra 22 307 applies? Do we have the option to schedule our fourlogh days?

    http://www.flra.gov/decisions/v22/22-029.html

  15. Patrick Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Trying to keep this civil is hard but can do out of respect for my fellow hard working Americans. You call this a Congress. Worst in the history of this country. Both parties stink. If this is socialism vs neocons, communism, whatever you want to call it. Members of Congress are second rate and wouldn’t even qualify as a janitor for the cause. They would be an embarassment to old arch enemies like Stalin, Kruchev, and the rest of the world. One word comes to mind. IDIOTS

  16. Tim Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Some gov employees look forward to it and some don’t. The only thing members of congress have accomplished is a breakdown and failure of a two party federal system. They should be furloughed, made to work without pay, no breaks, nothing until this fiscal mess is resolved with positive outcomes. The sad thing is whatever happens after March 1, nothing will change. Your government will continue to “kick the can down the road”. It’s time to wakeup and realized the US Government is not a good as it used to be. The US is on a downward spiral and nobody sees it.

  17. Phil Kupferman Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    This is a sad commentary on the USA of today. Working at VAHCS I am less likely to be affected than many other Feds.
    The only possible good that will come from sequestration would be to open the eyes of the voters. I doubt it but one can hope. The hostility and bitterness in our government is disgusting. The president needs to move off of the tax requirement and congress need to move off of the no new taxes. We need to fund social security and medicare better so they aren’t dragging us down or cheating those of us who have paid in our whole working lives. They need to remove the limits or caps on social security taxes. Although this is a tax increase it affects higher income earners more that those in the lower paid workers. At the same time we need to stop allowing double dipping where you can take social security while still working full time. We also need to cap social security for the higher earning retirees. While this may not seem entirely fair at least it would be a beginning.
    We need to lower payments and grant to foreign countries whose leaders take the money for themselves or for weaponry at the cost of their citizens. Likewise those countries that are dictatorships and/or autocracies should be dropped from our support. Buying friends in other countries really doesn’t work anyway.
    Well, you did ask!

  18. Blame Obama Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Everyone needs to STOP drinking the Obama kool-aid and stop saying Congress created this current situation. Sequestration was a White initiative and Obama and those of his ilk asked Congress to pass the Budget Control Act of 2011 – aka, “Sequestration” – and he got was he asked for. This is just a prime example of his incompetence as an executive…Though, truth be told, ALL of his ideas are just as horrible and it is well that Congress does not go along with most of what Obama desires. Now, he is asking Congress to rescue him from his own (typically inane) idea. As the saying goes, “Don’t blame me…I voted for Romney.”

  19. mary smith Says:
    February 23rd, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Was reading about the idea of making retirememt benefits mirror the private sector. This means that SESers, and maybe at least 15s and the usual golden boys/girls will be getting diamond studded platinum parachutes. The rest of us, will be let go 6 months short of retirement, or teased into it and have it terminated 6 years after we take it.

    Something else I read recently, too. Apparently, congress hasn’t done any real work for nearly 3 years. Their primary function is to create/amend laws needed/intended to make the USA a better place to live. If any of us didn’t get our basic work requirement accomplished for 3 years, we’d be facing the door, from the outside.

    As to the furlough. It’s just another example of spitting on the sidewalk. Like when I was 7 and the little boy I tagged along with back and forth to school told me girls can’t spit. Course, I didn’t understand why he said what he did as I had just demonstrated I could.

    I think we should let go of 20% of congress and their associated staffs. Do it fairly. The 10% with the most seniority and the 10% with the least. And no pension; it’s too generous. Or medical benefits. Or maybe it should be random, or every other, . . .

  20. Nancy Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 2:08 am

    My husband and I are both federal employees. He is 62, and I will be 60 this summer. He was going to retire (after 40 years of civil service) this coming December. If this happens, he won’t be able to retire because we won’t be able to line things up financially like we’ve been planning on for 2 YEARS! Thanks Congress, Senate and President Obama. How do you feel about knowing the pain and suffering you are personally causing to so many families? You should feel bad enough to correct the problem, but I doubt it! What an awful time in our history. Shame on all of you politicians! You are a bunch of self-centered, egotistical, pukes that only care about yourselves. Well, if we get furloughed, your BUTTS better be furloughed too!

  21. lilmsonry Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I am a single mother of two children and I guess congress can’t figure out that means ONE income, of course with no support. I drive an old vehicle, live in a old small house, and manage by shopping very thrifty. $800.00 a month before taxes will devastate my budget. Savings, oh, that is spent trying to keep old vehicle and old house running. They say, well we will give them a 30 day notice…really? What is that supposed to change or fix on my budget? Sad to say, preparing by looking for food banks and looking for an additional job, which takes me away from my precious children more. Will never agree this is the option to fix what they created, we didnt have a choice in the matter.

  22. Frank Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Whether or not sequestration goes into effect and we actually furlough, I hope from this we will see renewed vigor from hundreds of thousands of Federal employees to identify and target for elimination the fraud, waste, abuse, and simply ignorant activities which waste so much resource. Seriously, what have YOU done to identify, document, and act on bad business practices?

  23. Mojo Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    GET RID OF ALL OF THEM….that can’t govern, they can’t make a decision, they are worthless to the people who elected them. TERM LIMITS for senate and house. Nobody in long enough to protect anything or get to dug into the D.C. system.

  24. Brian Trentham Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Our agency just gave us the “talk” and pretty much said even though when furloughed we are not allowed to work, we are expected to have all of our current asisgnments complete in the 4-day work week. Which they said means working on our off time or our evals will reflect our failure to finish tasks. It is crooked but we are going to end up working 5 days a week anyway just 1 at home finishing our work to meet deadlines and obligations.

  25. John Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I thought the Taliban was in Afghanistan or maybe Congress is connected in helping ruin America.

  26. cobbsmom Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Like many, a 20% cut would be difficult after a period of time. For me a loss of 22 days of pay means $6,000 or 6 months of mortgage. I can weather 4 months right now but the last two months will be difficult. This will mean I will have to throw out all of the extras – eating out, even McDonalds, no movies, no extra spending and lots of prayers that the car holds up! Service-wise government employees won’t be off the same day – so performance will continue as usual, but everyone will have to work 20% more every day to make up for the person on furlough that day! So think of it as working 10 hours in an 8-hour day schedule!

  27. LC Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I work overseas and just found out the furlough will not effect NAF employess or Foreign Nationals. How is that fair?

  28. Cindy Says:
    February 24th, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    I have given 30 years of service. Once the hallways are silent and the service ends, then the tragic domino effect of this decision will be felt. Federal employees are the heart of keeping order amongst chaos. What would happen if one of these federal offices failed? I am more concerned about public welfare than my paycheck. The victims are the American people.

  29. Val Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 6:09 am

    If the military can’tafford 2% cuts now what will it do when we are completely out of money for anything…

  30. Jamey Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 8:19 am

    My wife and I are both federal employees, and a 20% pay cut is significant. I retired from Active Duty in 2008, and when the economy imploded, I went back to work to make up the difference in our retirement accounts. Five years later and we have sucessfully walked this backwards, it’s 2008 all over again! It’s very hard to remain positive, not like I did anything wrong.

  31. Tracey Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 9:13 am

    The furlough will take over $1,500 out of mine and my husband’s monthly budget if we have to take one day per week for the next six months. Most creditors will work with you for one month but stretching this out for six months will be devastating to us and we could possibly lose our home. It would be easier to be furloughed for 22 consecutive days and get it over with. I have dedicated 26 years to Federal service and this is what we get! Morale is extremely low and no one seems to care about the impact this will have on all of us. Anyone looking for tank mechanic??? Doubt it…

  32. Concerned Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Let the President and Vice President along with their entire staff take a furlough. No one will miss them and the country will continue to operate and probably better. This action is going to be devasting to the country and to the people. Federal employees deserve better for the daily contributions to protecting our borders, making air travel safer, and making this the best country on Earth. May God have mercy on this country and the people who are the victim of poor leadership and inaction on the welfare of the people.

  33. Jason Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I am a federal firefighter.We work 144 hours in a pay period. If they take 20%of the top of our pay, that would hit us firefighters who have a modified pay schedule hard. We would have to take a bigger hit than a normal 40 hour a week employee. I figured mine out and over the supposed 6 months I would loose close to 10,000. And since we have not had any cost of living increases for 3 years, we have been sliding backwards as everything around us goes up. We need to curtail all these crazy entitlement programs. It seems like the Hard worker in this country is taking the hit for all the people who are looking for handouts. How about instead of sending foreign aid all over the world, we use it here. So if we go into furlough I guess my plan is to call our mortgage company and hope they will work with me. Oh and we have been having briefings on this from our CPO, but all they say, is that they are not really sure how or what is really going to happen.. Lovely….

  34. Sheryl Remick Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 11:57 am

    If I am furloughed it will have a daisy chain effect on the local economy as I will in turn lay off the yard service, the nail salon, local resturants etc.. I will likewise not contribute to, or lessen financial contributions, local and national charities and churches and will completely discontinue contributions to the CFC as soon as I am able to. My morale and the morale of my co-workers is extremely low. Seeing the House vote to cancel the paltry .50 percent raise we were due to receive in March adds salt to already deep morale wounds. See our service to our country vilified in public debates is disgusting and demoralizing. In 33 years for federal service this is the worst year of partisan politics I have ever seen and I’m sick of it. Federal employees who fail to perform their duties (as Congress has failed to do) would be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) and fired if they failed to perform at an acceptabled level after 90-120 days…the same should apply to Congress!

  35. Ohiogal Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Not sure if i will make it and i was thinking this would be the year to pay things off only to find i won’t even be able to pay the regular payments. i’ll have to cut alot more than i already have which means cable, cell phone, etc.

  36. Discouraged Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The furlough will take 20% of my income and my monthly budget will be hit very hard. My goal is to ensure I don’t miss a mortgage payment. I’m thinking of ways I can generate income to help reduce the pain of the pay cut or I will need to eliminate bills like cable, cell phone, etc. For some federal employees this is going to cause them to go into bankruptcy and they potentially will lose their security clearance. My management has been suggesting for over two months for us not to plan any personal trips, or make any large purchases like cars or homes and try and save as much as we can. Morale is at its’ lowest I’ve ever seen in my 23 years with the government. It is very difficult to believe that since August 2011 after congress and senate passed the budget control act bill (including the sequestration guidance) and it was signed into law by our president, our congressmen and women still have not been able to develop a workable and agreeable budget with the necessary budget cuts. There seems to be too many other agendas and divisions amongst them. We need true leaders that will come together for the sake of the country and our people and get the job done. The backs of federal employees can carry only so much of our countries burden and it has gone on far too long. What will the long term scaring effect this will leave on the reputation of our government and working for it? What if the good, smart, younger generation decides they do not want to work for our government; what do we do as a country then? We need our leaders stand up and be leaders.

  37. Gov't gurl Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Ha…furlough? What furlough? While we all rec’d furlough notices at my agency, the employee awards and new hires keep on comin….good thang I am retiring in December. These past several years have been the absolute worse in administration all the way down to local management.

  38. Fed Agent Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    These cuts seem to be disproportionately applied to the men and women protecting our borders 24/7, 365 days- U.S. Border Patrol. In addition to estimated 12-14 furlough days proposed, a drastic pay cut, which includes furlough days, of a whopping 40%. The moral has never been so low in this agency. If these cuts go through the economic pain will be devastating. I only wish the administration and congress can reach a compromise and stop using Federal Employees as pawns.

  39. Jason Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    “Discouraged” brought up a good point about security clearances. Those of us who need them for our jobs, what happens when we fall behind on our financial obligations because of the furlough? What happens then? I have asked our CPO and of course the answer is…. We do not know….

  40. getagrip Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    While I won’t starve, if the furlough goes through it will hurt, not just me and my family, but the community as a whole. So like many American’s this constant crisis manufacturing means I’m already spending less and I’ve had to cut back in how much I am saving which threatens my retirement overall. The furlough just makes it worse and puts us in crisis mode.

    So on one hand I’m hurting the big “job creators” because I’m buying significantly less stocks or bonds by putting less into retirement account, investments outside that are a dream. Then on the other hand I’m also hurting local businesses because desired or planned purchases involving local labor or companies, like redoing my kitchen countertops and floor or buying another car are either off the table or getting seriously delayed. Then if I hit crisis mode, all unnecessary spending, take out, restaurants, new items, etc. all take hits. Can’t imagine that helps local business or the economy at all.

    Meanwhile I watch many of my private sector counterparts who took lumps for a year or two back in 2008 and 2009 now gaining ground with bigger bonuses and increased raises and cost of living adjustments, so that they’re ahead of where they were. Makes you wonder what the point of attacking us is.

  41. Candy Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    If the government is only cutting 2.36% of the 3.6 trillion, why are we being penalized with a 20% cut??

  42. matt6vs33 Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    This is an outrage! The middle class should NOT suffer another 20 percent cut in pay on top of the -10 % suffered over last 3 years for inflation, -2.5% for SS and health insurance increases. My vote, Impeach the “Don’t blame me” Prez and furlough all of congress.

  43. sick of waste Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Phil Kupferman, you are correct. stop paying foreign governments while ours is dying. It is insanity. Also, need to cut the retirement and health benefits of congressmen and make them work for a designated period of time to EARN them. Period. Also, no pay AT ALL if a budget isn’t passed on time. Make them responsible. Also, I agree on an across the board tax. No IRS needed, no tax refunds, no jokes, no hidden breaks in the 900 page tax manual, just straight tax. No more games.

  44. Name withheld to avoid reprisal Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Like any normal person, I don’t look forward to finding my paycheck reduced due to the failure of the politicians to put the needs of the people over the needs of their political parties. However, I personally will survive 20 days of furlough because I have saved for a rainy day. I am concerned about how this is going to hit the younger employees who haven’t been working long enough to build up a nest egg.

    My greatest concern however is the long term consequences of politically driven furloughs, a never ending pay freeze, multiple proposed bills written to cheat employees and retirees out of the pensions they have earned, and the ongoing demonizing of the Federal Worker by politicians, media and the general public. During normal economic times the government has serious problems recruiting skilled employees in many fields. It isn’t just that federal compensation has historically lagged the private sector in compensation for skilled labor; there is also the fact that many people have always considered civil service to be beneath them.

    Now under the current poor economy people may swallow their pride and accept a government position in spite of all the ongoing attacks against federal workers. However when the economy improves, as it always does, the government is likely to find itself unable to hire anything other than the most marginally skilled labor. After all, the highly skilled worker always has many options and is unlikely to choose the option of working for an employer with such a poor reputation. The marginally skilled will still accept government work, only because they will have no other option.

    I’m concerned about this because our country needs a skilled and highly professional career civil service workforce. When the government finds itself no longer able to recruit such a workforce we will all suffer for it.

  45. JohnC Says:
    February 25th, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    You don’t have to take off one day per week. Take off a week at a time and collect some unemployment. It is the difference between Zero and soem $$$. Tell your Supervisor to read 22FLRA307 (1096). Contact your union. You have already won this right! Don’t believe me? ook At OPM Guidelines page 15 center of the page. Do somethinh for yourself.

  46. Jane H. Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Well, I am of mixed feelings about sequestration. I make a very comfortable living, but I also work hard and try to always shine a positive light on the public’s view of me as a person and, more importantly, as a civil servant. You don’t have to like the job I do for government, but at least I hope people see me as a hard working employee and one who is responsive to our customers (the public). Currently, the budget uncertainties of the past several years have left my office short-staffed. I haven been covering two full divisions for the better part of a year, and I certainly don’t get double the pay! The lack of pay raises is not so much a financial burden on me as it is a slap in the face.

    Sequestration may give people a better appreciation for the role government plays in helping their every day lives to be better. And I can certainly handle a day off now and then.

    On the other hand, if sequestration happens it will be another reminder to me that congress is out of touch with the true ideals of what civil service is supposed to be about. The Congress of today serves no one but their lobbyist masters, leaving federal employees, and the citizenry of this country adrift.

    Monetarily, I will survive but the local businesses I support and the charities I donate to may feel the repercussions if I have to seriously drawn down my cost of living expenses in the event of a protracted sequester (goodbye cable, dry cleaning, home improvement plans, eating out, etc….)

    Personally, I think sequester will happen, but only until March 27 (that’s when the CR expires).

  47. Val Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I think they are playing chicken little… The sky is falling, the sky is falling… IF we can’t take the 2% cut right now, when the whole thing collapses it will be a lot worse..

  48. WhereDidYouLearnMath Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Where did you learn Math Val? We’re not taking a 2% cut in our pay, we’re taking a 20% cut. Why is this being placed on the backs of the employees? Even my agency is only talking 10-15% cuts in programs, yet we still are bearing the higher burden.

  49. Rotten Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Furlough = I suffer without money.. my bills do not get paid, I stop eating out, I stop buying clothing and other things, professional daycare goes to my neighbor, no vacations that we typically take all year, no donations for charity… BOOM! Everyone suffers! Way to go congress… everyone suffers in the economy due to this bs! enough said!

  50. Eric Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    The amount of money our government wastes on fraud and abuse of our tax dollars is over $100,000,000,000! I am so sick of the same politicians day in and day out who are nothing but crooks. They care about themselves. They are not idiots as some say, they know exactly what they are doing. They sleep fine as does our so called president, since none of them will feel the impact as will those of us who work hard every day for our country, only to be lied to and abused by these crooks! We need to do away with tax loop holes and start making everyone pay their fair share. Then we need to be able to fire every politician on the spot if they continue to misuse the tax payer dollars! Something has to be done to get these pirates out of office for good. That’s what happens when you try to take God out the equation. No morals, no integrity, no character. That’s our govenrment.

  51. FedinArlington Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    If $85B is so devastating to our economy and Government services, why did our Congress just give $60B to NJ/NY for Hurricane Sandy recovery? Why are we giving billions in aid to dozens of foreign countries, including Egypt? Why are the agencies reporting that they are fuloughing line personnel but not headquarters and support positions?

    This whole situation reeks of politics, and we are the pawns to be sacrificed for the sake of the game.

  52. don w Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    as a wg-7 working for the federal government has a much bigger impact on my paycheck along with the other 1500 employees that work at our depot that are on the wg payscale. with a meer 44,000 a year before taxes and 27 500 after taxes its like peasant wages. thank god they give us sick time and annual leave to take. thats the reason why noone comes to work because the govt. has went down hill so bad in the last 5 years.

  53. Jonnycage Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Im no math expert. But how come the numbers are so messed up? I have heard as an agency we will be trying to absorb a 5% reduction to the budget. Then I hear the total federal budget is only being reduced by 2.3%. Then why are millions of federal employees being asked to give up 20% of their pay? This HAS to be all political posturing and peacocking! Your telling me we can cut 2.3 to 5% of the budget just by being smart and frugal? We have to layoff EVERY federal employee? This is so very wrong, once again the federal employee is being used as a political pawn. And I for one am getting sick of this treatment!? How bout we cut down on pencils, papers, traveling, awards etc. We cant come up with enough to save that paultry number? Layoffs are more dramatic, more attention getting. I was believing all the hype, but then I start seeing the cabinet members announce daily how many kids wont have shots, how many old people loose food, how long airports will be delayed, and there will be no meat? Our superpower has gone from a superstar to a third world cluster nut, all brought upon the chosen few who are suppossed to be leading and governing our great country. Disgusting!

  54. Proud Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    The sad part is, we as Federal employees will figure out a way to continue operating thus taking some of the sting out of the Sequestration. Next they will seek to cut our jobs as many will think Federal employees aren’t really needed to keep this company functioning.

  55. Depressed in DC Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    My fiance and I are both DoD civilians. That means that both of us will take a 20% pay cut. Our wedding is scheduled for the end of the fiscal year, after months of furlough. This won’t put us in the gutter, but it will force us to be very conservative with our spending, which means we will be contributing less to the economy. Congress needs to realize that furloughing nearly 1 million federal employees will lead to a greater need for social welfare and programs. In the long-term I am not sure this will save as much money as Congress or DoD believes that it will. The increased need for social programs, that are federall funded, will decrease the “benefit” gained by furloughing us. I don’t understand what is so difficult about compromise. There needs to be a mix of tax increases AND decreases in spending. There cannot be one or the other. It must be a combination of both and it needs to be based on data and not which lobbyist has the most facetime with congressional staffers or which rich guy gives the most money to his favorite Senator.

  56. Darla Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    First thought is foreclosure; second thought is re-possession; third thought is I hope my sone won’t mind if I live in his garage.

  57. Tired Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I come to work with good morale and leave disgusted. Why are they still kicking us when we are down? I believe it is in the interest of the American Citizens to stand up. When are our legislators going to put themselves out? They are exempt from the rules the hand down to us. They are the ones that get free health care for the rest of their lives, continued education for their children, etc, etc etc. I want to know when is that part of the budget going to be cut??? Those are types of irresponsible spending that need addressed. I will be able to make my payments, but with the 20% reduction, I will have nothing left for such luxaries as gas in my car to go to work, electric in my home, no phone to call work and say I have no gas to get there. But that is okay, because I will not any food to eat to give me the strength to pick up the phone. Capital Hill, Mr President included, you are going to create an economic disaster! How can you even sleep taking a recess last week when our country is in such turmoil? Shame on you!!!

  58. dale Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I will suffer. I have four kids and my wife is a stay at home mother. I am a GS-11. I will trust God to get me through. I am not buying anything or eating out. I will be looking for another job in the private sector and voting out my congressman in 2014. Morale appears ok at my place of work but personally, i could give a fig. I do not care anymore.

  59. James B Says:
    February 26th, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    What do you mean 20%, I am one of those going to be furlough as a federal firefighter, working 24 hour days three days a week i ordinarily get 72 hrs a week, but they told us the other day they will cut us to 32 hrs a week. Do the math that is 66 % of my paycheck. Hurt family, I would say it will since it is 22 days starting april to end of September.. The market is already saturated with those already being sent home…yes already being sent home are the term and temporary employees which comprise a number of the work force. We are all going to suffer but some at different rates than others.

  60. Lee Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 7:36 am

    No furlough worries at the Social Security Administration. Overtime is in full swing! The great Senator of Maryland is a not telling the truth. There are no budget cuts at SSA.

  61. movingon Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 8:37 am

    I am probably just going to leave. I took a position with DoD in 2008 as the job market rapidly deteriorated. I was fresh out of an elite graduate school and had little savings and even less tolerance for risk. I made a conscious decision to trade income for job security and the flexibility to spend more time with my new family. I have received five grade promotions in just over five years and am an exceptional employee. While I still make less than my private sector counter parts, the job security and life balance is worth the fiscal sacrifice. Unfortunately, due to the inept implementation of our long overdue fiscal tightening, I no longer have the job security that I accepted in lieu of additional compensation. I will hold on until the end of the fiscal year in hopes of some competent leadership. I remain cautiously optimistic.

    Unfortunately, I am not alone. I know many other young and talented civilians who are dusting off their resumes and prodding their professional networks in preparation for departure. This is adverse selection at its most basic. Anyone marketable enough leave will likely do so. What is left will be employees with atrophied skills and limited capacities.

  62. bilmar318 Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Obama and the 535 dwarfs have destroyed morale to the level that there is no reason to do mopre than minimally acceptable work. If anybody is stupid enough to hand out CFC forms this fall, I’ll tell them to bend over.
    I’d vote for Charley Manson before I vote for an incumbent politician.

  63. Jonnycage Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Morale is a fluid term. I think we have a looooong ways to go before we can even get to morale, be it good or bad. Things are so bad morale has been replaces with discontent and disregard. Elected officials, please do your job, thats all. You dont even have to do it well….just do it!

  64. LadyDoctor Says:
    February 27th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    With the 20% deduction, my take home will be $780.52 biweekly. My mortgage is over $600, there is health insurance, car note, groceries, medical expenses, credit card payments, utilities (electricity through the roof)! How in the heck are some of us suppose to make payments when we’re not being paid! We need to fire all of the congressional staff and whom ever else is responsible for this BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I had it to do all over again, I would not take a federal job. And should this crap go through, i too will take on the responsibility of doing as little as I possibly can at work…that’s how I feel. I wonder who is responsible for me feeling that way????? Let us continue to PRAY federal workers. Let’s Pray!