2,200 Fort Rucker workers notified of furloughs

DOTHAN, Ala. — Fort Rucker confirmed Wednesday that about 2,200 civilian workers received notification to take up to 11 furlough days through the remainder of the fiscal year, affecting both their paychecks and multiple post operations to which residents have access.

The Department of Defense announced earlier this month that up to 11 days (or 88 hours) of unpaid days for most of the department’s civilian personnel are set to take effect July 8 at the rate of at least one furlough day (or eight hours) per week.

A release from the Fort Rucker Public Affairs Office said the furlough will likely impact all Army civilians across the installation, with the exception of the post’s Child Development Centers, Non-Appropriated Fund Employees and sexual assault/sexual response personnel.

The release said the Commissary will be closed on Monday and Tuesday during the furlough period, although the Army Air Force Exchange is set to keep its regular hours.

A reduction in the availability of the Faulkner and Newton gates may also become necessary during the furlough period, according to the release.

“… As we have said from the beginning of this current budget situation, everything is very fluid and changes are to be expected," the release said.

"We will do our best to keep the community informed of any changes. … We continue to train the most professional and proficient Army Aviators in the world, … (and) will continue to work closely with Army leadership to ensure we are in lock step with their directives."

According to a DoD statement, the furloughs are the result of a more than $30 billion shortfall in the budget and higher-than-expected wartime operating costs in the department’s operation and maintenance accounts. Those funds, according to the statement, are used to pay most civilian employees, maintain military readiness and respond to global contingencies.

The number of furlough days through DoD are half of what was originally planned, and there will be some exceptions driven by law, according to a DoD statement.

According to the American Federation of Government Employees, more than 100,000 federal workers are affected by the furloughs government-wide. According to the DoD Finance and Accounting Service, the civilian pay scale for federal workers in Alabama and Georgia began at $21,237 annually in 2012 and peaked at $154,501.

Civilian workers can appeal the furloughs within 14 days of receiving their notification.

The Fort Rucker PAO release said the Army Community Service has developed some financial counseling specifically related to furloughs in an effort to assist Fort Rucker’s civilian employee population.

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