Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DELAYING THE INEVITABLE IMPACT OF THE SEQUESTER

IT SEEMS THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT, in particular, and the Federal government as a whole may be setting itself up to do an even greater disservice to their employees, amplifying a hurt that is already being caused by the Sequester.  The Sequester, of course, is the self-inflicted wound Congress has visited upon America by the conservative Republican and Democratic refusal to compromise on a way forward to reduce the budget deficit.

This irony results from a potential two-week delay in beginning of employee furloughs the Defense Department wants to institute while it reviews the stop-gap budget just signed into law for a  additional funds to pay workers.  The unintended consequence is that at this point in time, the Department of Defense (DoD) is required to furlough its employees for 22 days between now and the end of September; that would require workers lose one-day of pay per week, a 20% cut.  If the furloughs are delayed, that could mean a 40% cut for some weeks because now, to meet the 22-day requirement if additional funds are not found, workers will be laid-off two-days in some weeks.  The delay also throws a wrench into any plans employees might have had to find supplemental work to make up for the lost wages.

For the rest of the Federal government, it seems their fate has been delayed somewhat as well.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) could have sent out the 30-day notices of intent to furlough shortly after the Sequester became official in March.  Instead, they are waiting until April 5th to send out notices.  That means lay-offs can't start now until early May, leaving employees only five months to absorb a years worth of pay reductions.

Not Good!

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