DOD reduces civilian furlough days - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

FORT HOOD

DOD reduces civilian furlough days

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FORT HOOD -

Since the governments automatic spending cuts went into effect, furlough days have been looming over civilian workers at military bases across the country, including fort hood. Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the pentagon would be cutting the number of unpaid days off for civilian workers down to 11 days.

That's half of what was originally proposed when sequestration first took affect.

There are nearly 6,000 civilians who work at Fort Hood who will feel the affects of the mandatory furlough days that begin July 8th. That's one day off a week for eleven weeks, totaling about a %20 pay cut for that period.

The Vice President of Fort Hood's American Federation of Government Employees union, Samuel Boles, says although the latest announcement shows progress, it's not enough.

"A lot of us at Fort Hood do have families and some of these folks are even single parents. They're already trying to figure out what they're going to do about day care, how they're going to pay their rent or their mortgage. So the people in the community are already feeling the affects of the furloughs and the rift is only going to make it worse," said Boles.  

Boles also said he was told fort hood will undergo a reduction in force and more than 200 jobs will be lost starting in November.

Secretary of Defense Hagel says he deeply regrets the furlough days because he knows they will disrupt lives. He says his staff is working to reduce the number of days as much as they can. 

"Finally we got to a point where I could not responsibly go any deeper into cutting or jeopardizing our core missions and our readiness and training and I just couldn't do any more, If we can do better as we get through the front end of this throughout the next few months then we might be in a position to be able to knock that back. I can't promise that, I won't promise that," said Hagel.  

 The DOD also announced some workers will be exempt, like those at navy shipyards where a large portion of civilian workers are needed to maintain facilities. However, even with exemptions, almost 800,000 civilian employees on military bases nationwide who will be furloughed to pay for budget cuts.

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