Thousands of civilians who work for the Navy started taking unpaid furlough days this week as part of federal budget tightening known as “sequestration.” It’s affecting operations at the Naval Station Newport and 49 other facilities.
From this week through the end of September, some 4,200 civilian Navy employees will each take 11 furlough days. That’s a 20 percent pay cut for employees, said Naval Station Newport spokeswoman Lisa Woodbury Rama who took her first furlough day on Monday.
“I can speak first hand from this, it’s a very emotional experience. Fortunately we did have enough notice that we were able to try and plan for it financially,” said Woodbury Rama. “But a 20 percent pay cut for a period of three months is impacting everyone. I know very few people who aren’t concerned about this.”
Woodbury Rama said the Navy is providing workers with counseling and budgeting assistance.
The furloughs will cut into security, close the Naval War College Museum on Mondays, and create longer wait times at the health clinic.
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