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News > DoD revises furlough plan to 11 days
DoD revises furlough plan to 11 days

Posted 5/16/2013   Updated 5/16/2013 Email story   Print story

    

5/16/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced May 14 that he has signed a memorandum directing defense managers to prepare to furlough most Defense Department civilian employees for up to 11 days between July 8 and the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

"I have made this decision very reluctantly, because I know that the furloughs will disrupt lives and impact DOD operations," he said in his directive memorandum to the services.

The planning and implementation of furloughs will be carried out based on the schedule below:
-- May 28 - June 5: Furlough proposal notices will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs.
-- June 4 - June 12: Individual employee reply periods end seven calendar days from when the proposal was received, unless Component procedures allow for a different reply period.
-- June 5 - July 5: Furlough decision letters will be served to individual employees subject to furloughs, depending on when the proposal was received and prior to the first day of furlough.
-- July 8: Furlough period begins no earlier than this date.

Assuming these actions remain necessary, Hanscom will furlough employees Friday of each week. Exceptions to the Hanscom Friday furlough day plan are expected to be rare, with requests approved at the program executive officer/deputy PEO, local functional director, or 66th Air Base Group commander or designee level, said Kathy Owens, chief of Employee and Labor Relations.

Compressed Work Schedules will be temporarily suspended during the duration of a furlough while flexible work schedules will remain unaffected. Telework and participation in the Physical Fitness Program also remain unaffected.

There will be no approval for overtime, compensatory time or credit hours during the duration of a furlough, except for those organizations that had obtained prior Air Force-approved emergency exceptions, Owens said.

Leaders and personnel specialists both warn that working during furlough time is legally prohibited.

"Working on a furlough day could result in disciplinary action against both the supervisor and employee," said Owens. "Supervisors must ensure furloughed civilians do not work from home or on-site, officially or unofficially, on their furlough days. This means that employees are legally prohibited from checking their Blackberries or using their Air Force issued laptops while on furlough."

Hanscom leaders plan to conduct additional town hall meetings to go over current furlough plans and to respond to employee questions and concerns. Dates and locations will be established soon.

Additional information about sequestration and furloughs can be found under the Civilian Workforce Information section of the HanscomNet at https://hanscomnet.hanscom.af.mil. This link provides a special section where employees can gather information and submit questions regarding furlough. The Hanscom public website www.hanscom.af.mil also provides a direct link to the AFMC furlough information (http://www.afmc.af.mil/sequestration.asp).

Employees are encouraged to check the Q&A section on the Civilian Workforce Information section of the HanscomNet periodically, as it is being updated frequently, Owens said.



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