Anticipated furlough days for civilian workers at Cherry Point are expected to be reduced from 22 to possibly 14, according to officials.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., 3rd dist., said the number of unpaid furlough days would be reduced, but the exact number isn’t known.
“Our information is that the Pentagon is still reviewing it,” she said. “We don’t know any specifics yet. We will be finding out specifics next week.”
Jamie Norment, a local attorney who represents the Allies for Cherry Point lobby group, said he talked to a spokesman in U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan’s office who confirmed the reduction of 22 to 14 days. He said the spokesman said Hagan was still concerned that 14 days of unpaid time off for civilian Department of Defense workers were too many.
Norment said a senior leader at Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point said no official word on reduction of furloughs has been received.
“They are hopeful that it is accurate but don’t know,” he said of the reports about the reduction in furlough days. “They have been told those exempted from furloughs all together will only be civilian employees in Afghanistan. Everyone else the depot has in the field will still have to take furlough days.”
Official furlough notices were set to go out to employees on Monday, but the Pentagon delayed those for two weeks. Initially, employees would have to take one unpaid day off per week for 22 straight weeks, representing a 20 percent pay cut during the furlough period.
“But I do think this is a positive indication of the Pentagon’s assessment that civilian employees are essential to the workings of the military,” Norment said of the possible change in furlough days.