Friday, February 22, 2013

What do I see in MY future?

If the civilian workforce is furloughed:

* Furlough duration: First, enacting civilian unpaid furloughs is
a measure of last resort. If it does occur, the most likely option is
one day per week for the last 22 weeks of the fiscal year (late April
through September) for a total of 22 work days (176 hours). One day per
week (eight hours) equals a 20 percent reduction in pay for each
individual DOD civilian worker during the furlough period.

* Notification: If furloughs occur, the workforce will be notified
by management at least 30 days prior to the initial furlough. OPM will
decide which days personnel will be furloughed.

* Exemptions: If sequestration occurs, most civilians will be
furloughed with few exceptions: (1) those deployed in a combat zone, (2)
those who protect the safety of life or property to the extent needed,
(3) non-appropriated fund employees (NAF), (4) those exempt by law who
hold a presidential appointment with Senate confirmation, (5) foreign
nationals and (6) those exempted as approved by a 2-star flag officer or
higher.

* Leave: Furlough time off is treated like regular leave without
pay for leave accrual and benefit purposes. When employees are in a
non-pay status (like a furlough) their retirement deductions are
adjusted in proportion to their basic pay.

* Thrift Savings Plan: Regarding the Thrift Savings Plan,
employees who have selected their TSP contribution to be a percentage of
their pay will see smaller contributions during the furlough period due
to their reduced pay. Employees who have selected a fixed amount for
their TSP contribution will see the same amount deducted during the
furlough period.

* Financial hardships: We understand furloughs may result in
unexpected financial difficulty for civilian personnel and their
families, but financial difficulties are not grounds for a supervisor to
waive an employee's furlough. Employees should start planning
immediately for reduced paychecks beginning in April.

* Healthcare: The Government's portion of the healthcare premiums
will be paid in full and on time, and benefits will continue for
furloughed employees. See the OPM website at www.opm.gov for more
information.

* Outside employment: While on furlough, individuals remain
employed by the Federal Government; therefore, standards of ethical
conduct and rules regarding outside employment are applicable. Before
engaging in outside employment, employees should consult their agency
ethics official.

There is still an opportunity for Congress to pass a balanced
deficit-reduction plan that the President can sign and sequestration is
truly averted (not just delayed). Not only is the current situation
devastating to our personnel, we know that furloughs will substantially
harm our ability to reset and restore the force's full-spectrum combat
capability after over a decade of hard fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Through it all, we must ensure our long term viability in defense of
this nation, which means we have to retain focus on speed, safety and
quality. We want to ensure we don't lose the gains you've made as a
Center. If we lose our competitive edge, it could lead to longer term
impacts than what are initially posed by sequestration. It is vital we
sustain our priority on the mission as we continue to seek new
workloads and support the warfighter.

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