Sequester hits home: civilian workers at Scott AFB set to receive 30-day furlough notices

Belleville News-DemocratMarch 20, 2013 

More than 4,500 Scott Air Force Base civilian workers will receive 30-day notices in the mail by the end of the week informing them they will be taking one-day-per-week of unpaid vacation between now and September because of the federal budget sequester.

The air base employs nearly 5,600 civilian workers. Civilian employees who are exempted from the furloughs, which are set to begin in a month, are those who have jobs considered essential for base safety and security, such as civilian firefighters, said 2nd Lt. Korey Fratini, spokesman for the 375th Air Mobility Wing, which runs the air base near Mascoutah.

The Scott workers will receive a total of 22 days of unpaid furloughs, Fratini said.

The unpaid furloughs at Scott will cost the St. Louis region at least $28 million in reduced spending, according to budget analysts.

The federal budget sequester, which began March 1, is a product of debt ceiling negotiations in August 2011 between President Barack Obama and the Republican House of Representatives.

The sequester aims to remove $85 billion from the federal spending plan, with about half of that coming from cuts to the Department of Defense.

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