Federal workers at Fort Hood, in Killeen, Texas, in March protested the sequester cuts and the resulting furloughs. The Government Employees union showed how furloughs could be avoided, by pruning back outside contracts, but private contractors have vigorous advocates in Congress. Photo: AFGE.
“Weekday frequent flyers”—that is, business travelers—must have felt drunk with power in April, when Congress rushed to fix the inconvenience caused by air traffic controller furloughs.
Other federal employees—such as those who work on housing for the poor, or to save the environment—don’t have such powerful constituencies. The government-wide cuts known as “the sequester” took effect March 1, forcing agencies to cut $85 billion from their budgets through September 30.
Among many other cuts, that meant furloughs of five to 11 days’ unpaid time off, depending on the agency. Six hundred fifty thousand civilian Defense Department employees will take a day off every week, beginning in July—a 20 percent pay cut. Continue reading “Frozen, Furloughed and Sequestered: Federal Workers Fed Up”