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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Fort announces civilian furloughs

  • Officials from Fort Leavenworth Monday announced that more than 2,000 workers from the post will be furloughed starting in July as a result of federal automatic spending cuts.
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  • Officials from Fort Leavenworth Monday announced that more than 2,000 workers from the post will be furloughed starting in July as a result of federal automatic spending cuts.
    The announcement came after months of planning on the part of the Department of Defense that started when lawmakers in Washington, D.C., failed to reach a spending agreement by March 1, triggering the “sequestration” that will result in across-the-board budget cuts in nearly every federal agency for the remainder of the current fiscal year.
    In a May 14 memorandum to DOD employees, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the DoD now faces a $30 billion shortfall in its operations and maintenance budgets as a combined result of the sequester and higher than anticipated wartime operations costs.
    On May 8 Kirby Brown, deputy to the fort's commanding general, hosted a training session for 250 of the post's managers on the administration of the furloughs. Scott Gibson, a spokesman for the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, confirmed that the Department of Defense civilians will be affected by the cuts ― though not to the extent initially anticipated in March ― and have been instructed in what will happen as a result.
    “The time that we're being furloughed now is 11 days, or about 88 hours,” he said.
    That will take the form of one day a week without pay, probably Friday, for approximately 2,600 DoD civilian employees on post for the remainder of the federal fiscal year, which ends in September. That includes non-uniformed garrison employees and instructors from the Command and General Staff College and the Army School of Management, which is also located on the fort, and civilian employees in other positions. It doesn't include any employees that are paid by funds not appropriated by Congress, like active-duty soldiers in both the Army and National Guard and positions in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation department.
    “Part of the reason for (the furlough) is so that it doesn't affect those active-duty soldiers,” Gibson said.
    For most of the employees affected by the measure, the first furlough day will be July 12, he said. A new CGSC class is scheduled to be in session at that time, but Gibson said staff is working to minimize disruptions to the academic schedule. He said active-duty uniformed instructors will shift their schedules to cover for their civilian counterparts.
    “It won't be without pain, but it will be doable,” he said.
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