Employees receive furlough notices
Story by: Calun Reece
1ST INF. DIV. POST
Furloughs will soon begin for civilian employees at Fort Riley. Employees began receiving notices of furloughs May 30. Notices are required by federal law to notify employees they will be furloughed no sooner than 30 days from the date of the notice. A furlough work schedule also was included with the notice.
"Beginning on or after July 14 and lasting until the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), civilian employees will be furloughed for 11 nonconsecutive days," said Fort Riley Garrison Commander Col. William Clark.
When the administrative furloughs begin in July, they will affect about 2,400 civilian workers across Fort Riley.
Fort Riley developed a comprehensive plan across the different commands on post, like Forces Command, Installation Management Command and Medical Command, Clark said.
"As an installation, we saw this potential coming and have spent a lot of time planning for this requirement," Clark said.
Furlough days have been predetermined to provide consistency for employees and predictability for patrons, Clark said.
The 11 nonconsecutive days will include 10 Fridays and one Monday – Aug. 5. Four of the days will be aligned with training holidays.
Employees who work at critical facilities or perform critical services on post may be able to flex their hours, deviating slightly from the post-wide furlough days.
"There are some employees (who) will operate off a flex schedule," Clark said. "Not everybody will be off on Friday, (and) some of that's tied to life, health and safety, some of that's tied to some critical services that we must maintain to take care of 57,000 people, but predominantly, the Friday of each week will become a furlough Friday on Fort Riley," Clark said.
The furloughs will apply to all appropriated fund employees. Non-appropriated fund employees are exempt from furloughs because they are paid by funds from other sources.
Direct child development center caregivers and sexual harassment and assault prevention personnel are exempt from furloughs, and contractors will not be furloughed.
"Our patrons and our community can expect a reduction of services to some degree, but with those services linked to life, health and safety, we have found a way to mitigate the furlough effects, to ensure we maintain our obligations to our patrons," he said. "The main thing to remember is that Fort Riley and our Army remains committed to taking care of our Soldiers, Families, civilians and retirees throughout this time period."
The notice of decision to furlough was the next step in implementing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's May 14 announcement to proceed with federal furloughs to manage the budgetary shortfalls facing the military and the nation.