Unpaid days off would start July 8

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11:52 PM.

The Department of Defense announced late Tuesday that the vast majority of its civilian workers would be furloughed for 11 days, further reducing the amount of unpaid days off for employees.

The furloughs would impact about 3,300 workers at the Fleet Readiness Center East maintenance and repair facility at Cherry Point as well as about another 1,100 civilians who work at the air station. About 700 base civilians who receive pay through non-appropriated funds are not part of the furlough, as their pay does not come from defense department funds.

The civilian employees will be forced to take the 11 unpaid days incrementally beginning July 8 through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, according to defense department memo outlining the furloughs. Employees will have one unpaid day off per week, meaning a reduction of 20 percent in salary for the 11-week period.

Employees will receive furlough proposals from May 28 to June 5 and will have seven days to respond. Official notification of furloughs is set for June 5 to July 5.

A product of sequestration, the furloughs were originally projected to be 22 days, but that was reduced to 14 in March and further reduced to 11 on Tuesday.

Local base supporters and lobbyists as well as local business owners feared the furloughs would significantly impact the area economy during already difficult economic times. Cherry Point’s economic impact on the region in 2012 totaled $2.2 billion, with about $621 million of that coming in salaries for civilian workers.

The furloughs do not affect active-duty military personnel at the base. 

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