The Threats Get REAL

| February 19, 2013 | 33 Comments

Defense department set to announce furlough plan Wednesday

The Defense Department intends to notify Congress on Wednesday of a plan to furlough nearly 800,000 civilian employees one day each week beginning in April, a defense official said Tuesday.

Federal law requires the Pentagon to warn Congress of furloughs at least 45 days in advance, and other regulations require direct notification of employees at least 30 days in advance.

Sorry folks. Reality sucks.  If them damn Republicans would just increase taxes our military won’t be short-changed like this.

Kinda tired of this dance. This is the most frightening thing in our future?

Category: Geezer Alert!

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  1. Reaperman says:

    Yeah, there’s a meeting for the civs going on right now, and the rumors are that’s what it’s about. Thankfully I’m one of those filthy contractors, so they’ve already paid for another year of me. I did apply for a civ job recently and I’m guessing that’s long gone too.

  2. Virtual Insanity says:

    Reaper–hiring freeze across the board right now. We can’t even hire mission-critical DA civilians.

  3. Virtual Insanity says:

    So, when this was brought up at the staff meeting today, one of the green-suiters said he’s like to work 4-day weeks, too.

    I asked him if was willing to give up 20% of his pay for it. He demurred.

  4. Twist says:

    Our civies have already been given the WARNO.

  5. MGySgtRet. says:

    I work for the Navy. Got the powerpoint this morning outlining the furlough plan. Looks like it is going to happen. Oh well, get some stuff done around the house….

  6. Whitey_wingnut says:

    My supervisor is a civilian and we both noticed that the Air Force has yet to discuss this to any of the civilians.

  7. beretverde says:

    Make sure 400,000 don’t return…ever!

  8. MGySgtRet. says:

    Whitey, the word I got was if the furloughs are in fact going to happen, we would have to be notified in writing 45 days prior that we are going out. This would mean going out the door the end of April, early May.

  9. Virtual Insanity says:

    #6 Whitey–

    It’s only been alluded to in circumspect discussions here so far. Apparently the CG will have some sort of town hall meeting in the near future.

    We’ve all been busy working the effects on student throughput (I work at an Army schoolhouse), and they are draconian if this happens.

  10. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    At least in the public sector you get plenty of notice. Civilian workplaces that implement these types of programs usually give a lot less warning to their employees.

    Reduced hours, early retirement offers nothing new here. The private sector has been managing their way through this depression using these tools for the last several years.

  11. Virtual Insanity says:

    #7 Beretverde–I know you mean the worst 400,000 don’t come back, but that’s not how it would work.

    I am lucky to serve in a very high-performing directorate. Among other things, we manage the contract that provides 40% of the training in our schoolhouse for 8% of the budget. There are only about 40 of us total in the directorate, of which 5 are green-suit.

    Without the civilians, the contractor has limited supervision. without the civilians, there is limted testing to ensure the service meets the requirement. Without the civlians, there is nobody to update and manage requirements and modify the contract. Without the civilians, there is no budget management, or planning for the next budget, or execution of the current budget in a timely manner.

    Our directorate exists because a bunch of young, energetic civlian and military folks made it happen, and we continue to make it go. The people who would be left in your scenario arethe ones who told us it was impossible, illegal, you’ll never do it, etc.

    You’d end up with a greater concentration of the fat do-nothings. Remember, rewarding for good performance and punishing for poor performance died when Obama killed the NSPS system. It’s just seniority again.

  12. Old Tanker says:

    #6 Whitey

    My fiance is an Air Force civilian and has been telling me about this for a month now….

  13. Crusty says:

    I am a DA civilian. Haven’t been officially notified of anything yet. Everyone is talking about it though. At the same time two huge trucks pull up to install shelving in the tool room and supply room of this maintenance facility. Thousands of dollars for something we don’t even need while they are talking about no money to pay employees.

    Cut the waste.

  14. MGySgtRet. says:

    # 13 Crusty
    Amen my friend, AMEN!!

  15. Adirondack Patriot says:

    Well, now there’s 800,000 people who may want to personnaly know why the Commander in Chief is playing golf and hasn’t submitted a federal budget as required under law.

    The indifference towards this president’s fiscal malfeasance is mind-boggling.

  16. jerry920 says:

    #10. I hear you. My last company, the suits walked in, called everyone onto the floor and said, “We close in 2 weeks, thank you”, and were gone. Thankfully I am in IT and can work just about anywhere. Some of them folks had been there 20-30 years.

  17. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    In any workplace, there are those who move the mission forward and others who are along for the ride. When it comes to government, most of us would not a shed a tear if half the employees were canned tomorrow. It might help to motivate those who remain to get in gear. I know that this sentiment will go over like a lead balloon. I understand. I just wish there were a way to 86 the dead weight but it’s not going to happen. And why should it? Obamaman (back today from a three-day fishing jaunt in Florida) built his kingdom on the notion that the other guy is to blame and the other guy should pay. So let’s all blame the other guy and make him pay. Or maybe not. It turns out that many of us are the other guy.

  18. Hondo says:

    MGySgtRet.: 45 days from tomorrow would be OA 5 April.

    VOV: the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires larger employers (100+ employees) to give 60 days advance notice in many circumstances – most notably, plant closings and/or mass layoffs involving 1/3 or more of their workforce. If they don’t, they’re on the hook to continue pay and benefits for the difference between the actual and required advance notice periods.

    http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/layoffs-plant-closings-know-rights-33596.html

    In this case, private-sector workers actually receive more notice than Federal employees. By policy, Federal employees only must receive 30 days advanced notice.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It is happening in other departments as well.

    The second and third order effects are pretty awesome.

    For example, if a Government civilian misses a mortgage payment, not only will his or her interest rate go way up, but his or her credit card interest rates go up, and the credit rating goes down. I know folks will say this is absolutely against the law, but it will happen.

    The Government Civilians who are on the edge (who except Democrats and Welfare Receivers aren’t on the edge?) will find that because their credit rating is trashed (see above), maintaining their S/TS/+ clearances will become very, very difficult. Not impossible, but very, very difficult.

    Lack of security clearances makes even routine admin in the Pentagon, and every elsewhere, very problematic. I’m not talking about the SES and FOGO, but the <GS-12 who know where everything is and how it works.

    As for the contractors, I know from outside DoD there are government civilians who will willingly cut military retiree pay and benefits, and then contractors (who face the same effects described above).

    The nice this is you'd see the magical bubble of Oz surrounding DC would pop and we could see Detroit-on-the-Potomac.

  20. Crusty says:

    Correction: The same thing is being installed command wide so it’s hunreds of thousands.

    @17. IT appears to me that there is dead weight in any organization regardless of the stereotypes But, especially in this case it appears the people not doing their jobs are the ones that haven’t come up with a budget in years and have kicked the can down the road to get us all to this point.

    They are the ones who should be furloughed.

  21. FatCircles0311 says:

    This is a win/win situation for the Democratic party. The more people out of work means the more social spending is a necessity. It doesn’t matter if unsustainable social spending caused those people to lose their jobs in the first place they’ll spin it as more necessity and people don’t vote against hand outs.

    The circle of fail is complete.

  22. DaveO says:

    #19 is me. And while it is Conspiracy Theory Tuesday, that isn’t a conspiracy.

  23. Lobster says:

    I SO don’t miss my DA civilian days!

  24. AW1Ed says:

    @11 VI
    NSPS is not dead- Science and Technology Research Lab (STRL) is NSPS-like and alive and well at NAVAIR. Same pay pool, same self assessments, same good-old-boy’s club issues.

  25. Mr Wolf, non-Esq says:

    Hondo-
    one problem- Labor dept. officially ‘suspended’ WARN Act notifications in November.

    No one can say when, or even if, there is a run-out date for that ruling.

  26. beretverde says:

    @11…yes. Government deadwood is everywhere now. We have some outstanding civillian employees who get it…unfortunately many do not and they need to hit the road…but that will never happen.

  27. NHSparky says:

    Mr. Wolf–of course they did, because had it still been in effect there would have been a shitload of folks in September/October who would have gotten the notice, just in time for the election.

    But fuck it man, election’s over, time to put that shit back into place!

    For those who wanted that “hope and change” shit, well, you got it!

  28. LanceCooley says:

    OH, you mean Obama isn’t creating jobs, but actually destroying them. Huh, who knew?

  29. ohio`middletucky@gmail.com says:

    Don’t blame the Repubs. Hold the bill up with your signature on it for all to see. You wanted this and it’s all yours, Barry!

  30. Hondo says:

    Mr Wolf, non-Esq: actually, that is not correct. There was no blanket suspension of the WARN Act.

    Rather, the Labor Department issued an opinion that, under the specific circumstances posed by sequestration, WARN Act notifications were “not required” by government contractors and were “discouraged”. OMB officials later issued an opinion that, if government contractors followed this guidance, any excess costs due to WARN Act non-compliance would be costs absorbed by the government agency that issued the contract.

    In other words: the US taxpayer would pick up the cost of companies not following the law based on questionable (and apparently purely politically-motivated) guidance from Federal officials to ignore said law.

    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/02/19/with_federal_layoffs_coming_its_time_to_warn_workers_100153.html

  31. Old Trooper says:

    @28: No, no, no, it’s the republicans who are doing this. Didn’t you hear Obumbles say that? Geez, get with the hope and change express already!

  32. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    @18 When the private sector company goes belly up as has happened to me as recently as 2008 there is no advance notice and no additional benefits, the company in question had two plants and 150 employees.

    I understand the ruling applies, but only if you have a viable company to go after. A company with a large debt load as many mid size manufacturers (100-150 employees) can be attached for any wages that remain unpaid, but benefits and owed vacation pay end up in line with all the other creditors and usually do not have the priority that regular salary and wages have in bankruptcy court.

    And that ruling applies to mass layoffs and closings not furloughs that reduce hours to 32 from 40 and cut pay 20%. Furloughs and pay reductions can occur with zero notice in the private sector, that was what I was trying to indicate.

    It’s this kind of behavior that keeps some unions alive to this day, employers who routinely adjust pay and f#ck employees out of benefits by manipulating hours. It also keeps the labor department busy getting unpaid overtime to those who have been unfairly hosed out of their OT.

  33. JBS says:

    I got my letter from the SecDef today:

    …Today, I notified Congress that furloughs could occur under sequestration. I can assure
    you that, if we have to implement furloughs, all affected employees will be provided at least 30
    days’ notice prior to executing a furlough and your benefits will be protected to the maximum
    extent possible. We will work to ensure that furloughs are executed in a consistent and
    appropriate manner, and we will also continue to engage in discussions with employee unions as
    appropriate. More information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding furloughs
    can be found at http://www.opm.gov/furlough, under the “administrative furlough” section.

    …Our most important asset in the Department is our world-class personnel. You are
    fighting every day to keep our country strong and secure, and rest assured that the leaders of this
    Department will continue to fight with you and for you.

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