Hagel Unveils Furlough Plans For Civilian Workers
Saying it's $30 billion in the hole with its operation and maintenance accounts, the Pentagon announced plans Tuesday to furlough its civilian employees for 11 days through the end of this fiscal year.
"I have made this decision very reluctantly, because I know that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DoD operations. I recognize the significant hardship this places on you and your families," said Secretary of State Chuck Hagel in a prepared statement.
After required notifications, the Pentagon will begin the furlough period on July 8 at the rate of one furlough day per week for most personnel.
The Defense Department plans to continue the furloughs through the end of the current fiscal year.
"If our budgetary situation permits us to end furloughs early, I would strongly prefer to do so. That is a decision I will make later in the year," said Hagel.
Automatic budget cuts initially forced the Pentagon to warn that most of its 800,000 civilians would be forced to take 22 unpaid days off.
When lawmakers approved a new spending bill at the end of March, they gave the Pentagon greater latitude to find savings, and the furlough days were cut to 14.
Under pressure from military leaders and members of Congress, the Navy will be able to avoid furloughs for tens of thousands of workers at shipyards.
See Hagel's message