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Furloughs could come in April for Eisenhower employees

Friday, March 8, 2013 12:29 PM
Last updated Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:52 AM
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The 1,500 civilian employees at Dwight D. Eisen­hower Army Medical Center could be hit with mandatory furloughs next month as part of budget cuts mandated by sequestration.

If necessary, the furloughs will take effect in late April, according to an e-mail sent to personnel last month by Eisenhower’s commander, Col. Christopher Castle.

“The specific date is not set yet. If it happens, it will apply to all civilian employees; it will last for 22 weeks at one day per week,” Castle said in the Feb. 24 e-mail.

“I want you to know that this comes as unwelcome news for all of us,” Castle said.

Eisenhower spokesman Wes El­liott confirmed that administrators are preparing for furloughs that will affect all civilian employees. He said April 25 has been discussed as a possible start date but that there were many details still being worked out.

“We are still waiting on instructions on how those furloughs will be implemented,” Elliott said.

Congress could come to a budget agreement that will put an end to sequestration before the furloughs are necessary. The sequester – a series of automatic federal government spending cuts totaling about $1.2 trillion over 10 years – kicked in March 1 when Congress could not overcome a budget stalemate.

Elliott said each employee will have to be notified in writing 30 days before furloughs are implemented.

Castle will handle notification of local union representatives, according to his e-mail. Many of the civilian employees at Eisenhower are members of the American Fed­e­ra­tion of Government Em­ploy­ees, the largest federal employee union, representing about 650,000 government workers around the world.

Elliott said the biggest hurdle is handling all the budget cuts and furloughs without reducing services at the hospital, which sees about 2,500 patients in its clinics each quarter. The hospital also has 93 in-patient beds, which are at about 75 percent of capacity each day, Elliott said.

“We were asked to look at our budgets and find a place where we could make cuts,” he said. “Our big focus is maintaining the mission. We are not cutting back on services.”

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soapy_725 03/09/13 - 08:20 am
The notification process alone will eat up all of the savings.

The add in all of the overtime to maintain patient services. In the end, as with all government operations, the cost to taxpayers will continue to rise.

Furlough some. Transfer those hours to overtime. The union will not loose a cent.

You cannot control the federal government. It defies over-site. It is a ravenous monster who appetite is unquenched.

Dixieman 03/09/13 - 09:09 am

Thanks, Obama.

JRC2024 03/09/13 - 10:56 am
I wonder if the free loaders

I wonder if the free loaders will be cut. Those on disability that still work at cash jobs, those that get snap cards that will not work and those just too sorry to work because they think that working any job available is beneath them. Seems like they should be the ones to start with. Those kind get no pity from me.

bubbasauce 03/09/13 - 11:48 am
Free loaders will not be cut.

Free loaders will not be cut. Obummer will always take care of them! Politicans are the ones that need to be cut, starting with the upcoming elections. People need to realize nothing is going to change with the same bums in office time and time again.

Bodhisattva 03/10/13 - 07:20 am
Cut taxes, cut taxes, cut

Cut taxes, cut taxes, cut taxes, cut spending, cut spending, cut spending, just make sure any job cuts are somewhere else. Repeat for every Republican district and state that lives on government jobs.

mybaskett 03/10/13 - 03:34 pm
Remember "Fair Share"?

I have heard quite often from people that work for the government how great the wages and benefits are at Eisenhower/VA. Along with that they also talk about the waste and how people rarely lose their job. I think the Government can afford to lose some weight. Just like the average American taxpayer. For the last 5 years all we heard was everyone needs to pay their fair share. Well guess what? Your Turn!!

Cirroc2012 03/10/13 - 07:50 pm

Great congress is looking over the budget, hopefully they will decide to take a pay cut. Review the standards on who should be receiving public assistance and make the freeloaders get a job!

Armyspouse 03/11/13 - 01:07 pm
The real truth

I'm a government employee at DDEAMC. Just to set the record straight working for the government has pros and cons, the pros are that we get a fair amount of leave and paid holidays. But the cons are Job security is no longer there, we could be furloughed at anytime, we have not had a cost of living pay raise since 2010, and our counterparts on the outside make a lot more working for the civillian sector. The reason that I choose to work for the government is because my husband served his country and I had to move every few years and being a government employee is the only way that I could make sure that I have a retirement check when I get older. If ANYONE thinks that having this furlough is a good idea you are wrong! Patient safety will be at risk. Patients will wait months to get appointments and hours to get lab work, X-rays and Prescriptions. A lot of clinics will be forced to close one day a week. 90% of the staff at DDEAMC are civillians. I suggest that if you get care at DDEAMC you put your congressman's number on speed dail.

Hi IQ 03/11/13 - 01:41 pm
Furloughs ???? slow down federal contracts instead

Government agencies vary widely in how they are dealing with the "sequester," as the automatic cuts are called, according to labor unions that represent federal workers. More than half of the nation's 2.1 million federal workers could be furloughed over the next six months. The federal government is the country's single largest employer, with its employees making up about 1.2 percent of the nation's work force. "A lot of people think federal employees are fat-cat bureaucrats in Washington, but they don't realize more than 85 percent of these workers live outside of D.C. I would have you look at "In some cases, a ways to slow down federal contracts instead of taking it out of federal personnel. The longest furloughs are expected at the Defense Department, where about 800,000 civilian employees face up to 22 unpaid days off over the next several months. no one has yet specified when those will happen, but some agencies may try to put off furloughs for several months in hopes that Congress will come up with a budget fix.

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