Furloughs Tentatively Planned For Air Base

Youngstown Air Reserve Station

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More than 400 employees on Tuesday were given proposed furlough notices at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

The furloughs, the result of the federal budget sequester, is proposed to start July 15, said Master Sgt. Robert Barko.

Barko said the other tentatively scheduled furlough dates are every Monday from July 15 through Aug. 26. An eighth furlough day was tentatively scheduled for Sept. 3, the day after Labor Day. Barko said three other furlough days have not been scheduled.

He also said the furloughs could be avoided if Congress acts. The furlough days could eventually be changed, he said.

Barko said the last time furloughs were implemented at the air base was 1995.

Some security forces and the fire department will remain at the base during the furlough days. Dan Bryant, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1952 Union President said some law enforcement employees at the base will only have to take about five and a half days of furlough time.

Other details were uncertain on Tuesday. Barko said he believed most of the civilian and military personnel at the base would be affected by the furloughs. It is uncertain if other workers, such as contractors and employees paid by non-Department of Defense funds, would be affected.

“For many of us, this is foreign territory,” Barko said.

The base originally was supposed to take 22 furlough days because of the sequester but that was cut to 11 in May.

The cutbacks are supposed to save the Defense Department about $1.8 billion nationwide.

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