FEW supports federal employees working!

First, I hope that everyone is able to enjoy their time with family and friends during this holiday season.  It is unfortunate that I must write about the current state of affairs of the “partial government shutdown”, but it is vitally important that as a member of Federally Employed Women (FEW) you are aware of the official position that we have as an organization.  We are taxpayers and United States citizens employed by the federal government on this very important matter.

FEW unequivocally supports federal employees returning to work as soon as possible.  Federal employees, like all other hardworking Americans, have responsibilities and bills that do no cease because of partisan disputes.  Federal employees have families with needs, have mortgages and bills with fixed due dates.  Those needs and due dates do not shutdown just because the government shuts down.  It is unconscionable to use federal employees–some of whom are their family’s only breadwinner–as a means to extract policy concessions.  In an economy when more women than ever are heading up American households, the impact of the government shutdown at Christmas is detrimental to the health of this economy and this nation.

In fact, our concerns are the same as those expressed by many in Congress, as well as the President.  The government shutdown is impacting the very employees who stop the drugs, human trafficking, gang members and criminals from coming into our country. Our purpose is to protect and serve this country and we deserve to do our jobs with the security of pay.   So, the question becomes is this about border security or political warfare where the federal employees are the negotiating tool.

Here’s the information on those employees who are impacted – many of whom are members of FEW:  In all, nine federal departments and smaller agencies have closed their doors, putting more than 380,000 federal workers on furlough and forcing another 420,000 employees to work without pay.

The agencies impacted by the shutdown include Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, State, Transportation, and Treasury.  The partial shutdown means all but essential operations in those departments will be closed and some 800,000 federal employees will be furloughed or forced to work without pay until the standoff is resolved.

We eagerly await the reopening of the federal government and responsible governance.

Here are 10 Things You Should Know

If You Have Been Furloughed Due to the Government Shutdown

  • When the Government shutdown ends, you will not necessarily get paid for the time you were furloughed.
  • You cannot volunteer to work.
  • You cannot use annual leave or other paid time off instead of being furloughed.
  • Your health insurance coverage will continue.
  • Payments into your federal retirement plan accounts cease when you enter non-pay status.
  • Your years of service toward your retirement will not be affected by a short-term government shutdown.
  • You should not use any government-provided information technology, including laptops and cell phones, except to intermittently check for updates on furlough or recall (return to work) status.
  • You may be entitled to unemployment compensation depending on your state’s unemployment compensation requirements.
  • You need to be careful getting a second job.
  • You can take action: Write to your representatives and urge them to resolve the issue and end this now on ENGAGE.

Contact your Congressional Representative Today – Use ENGAGE!