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February 23, 2013

Federal Workers Have A Sad Over Furloughs.

Unemployment has been around 8% (officially, it's higher) for 4 years. While private sector workers lost their jobs the size of the federal civilian workforce has grown under Obama.

Now that the pain (relatively slight) is hitting the bureaucrats, hold on a minute, now we have a crisis!

Union leaders cannot stop the furloughs or determine who in each agency must take them. They say their best option is to soften the pain of unpaid days, which could slash federal pay by up to 20 percent this fiscal year. They are demanding that employees be able to choose when to take days off and volunteer for more to help financially strapped colleagues. They want guarantees that no one will be penalized when work does not get done and assurances that managers cannot choose favorites to spare.

“Many of you will be missing eight, 10, 20 days of work,” Alex Bastani, president of Local 12 of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), told a standing-room-only crowd of 400 Labor Department employees Thursday at a lunchtime town hall on sequestration.


The cuts may not last for long if Congress reaches a spending agreement by the next fiscal deadline on March 27, when the stopgap budget funding government operations runs out. But what many civil servants and political appointees thought was unimaginable now seems inevitable.

“The imminence of it is what’s scaring me,” Louise Leonard Campbell, an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said Thursday as she left the meeting. “I’m a single mom. My son has health issues. This is just snowballing.”

As they listened to Bastani on the stage of the auditorium of the Frances Perkins Building, employees were conscious of the irony that they are facing some of the same labor conditions they work to improve for the rest of the nation’s workforce.

“We are just living from one paycheck to another, and this could be really bad for us,” said Jorge Figueroa of Silver Spring, who works in quality control for the unemployment insurance division. He has four children, two in college. “I am telling you, this is going to be very stressful.”

God only knows how America will survive without BLS economists and unemployment quality assurance workers on the job for a few less days a year. We all know it's jobs like that which make America great.

Yes these are personal tragedies for sure. They are also exactly what people who pay taxes to fund these positions have been facing for 4 long years. Well not exactly. It's not as if these people are losing their jobs or their insurance benefits. No, they are going to have to do without up to 22 days worth of pay. A hardship to be sure but nothing compared to losing a job that isn't coming back and trying to find a new one in the Obama economy.

The GOP shouldn't be running away from sequester and blaming Obama, they should be apologizing to the American people that this is the best they can do. They should be begging for forgiveness that when all is said and done, the federal workforce, which used to be known as, "a multitude of New Offices, and "swarms of Officers" who harassed "people, and eat out their substance" (Stuff Jefferson Actually Said, Vol I, Abridged), will still be as large as it was when this started.

Honestly, it's not right that these people have to take a pay cut. They should quit their job and get a job in the private sector. If they can find one in the Obama economy.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:47 PM

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