Fort Gordon civilian furloughs hit home for local man

Fort Gordon's main gate.

Fort Gordon's main gate. (May 2, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Friday, May 31, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Michael Collins has made a career working in civil service.

He's worked at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center for nine years, but starting in July, things are going to get difficult.

"We just got our papers in yesterday, and all of us in the office are going to get furloughed," Collins explained.

The letter from the Department of the Army was labeled "Notice of Proposed Furlough."

It says full-time employees will be furloughed up to 11 days or 88 hours.

"For me, that's about $120 a day times 11 days," Collins said. "That's almost $2,000."

That's a number Collins says will hit his family hard.

"That's like another house payment, a medical bill ... that could be insurance," he said.

Furloughs start July 8 and go through Sept. 30.

"It's going to be tough," Collins said. "A lot of stuff we've got to cut back on, there's no way around it."

Collins says he dealt with furloughs at his last civil service job during the Clinton administration.

He said now that it's happening again, he's really disappointed in government.

"Hopefully, they go ahead and pass the bill and quit, so to speak, monkeying around, and pass it," he said. "They can pass these small bills, but they cannot pass a budget? That don't make any sense."

He says he hopes something will change before July.

"We're helping soldiers and their family members and retirees get back into life system again," he said. "I just don't understand."

Furloughs work a bit differently at every place, but full-time employees are usually docked one day a week until they hit 11 days or 88 hours.

And again, this only affects civilian workers at Fort Gordon -- not active duty military -- but it's affecting more than 3,000 civilian workers at Fort Gordon and about 680,000 civilian workers nationwide.


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