National Guard sends home 840 workers
Non-essential technicians sent home as result of federal government shutdown
The Wisconsin National Guard has furloughed 840 non-essential technicians as a result of the federal government shutdown.
Guard spokesman Maj. Paul Rickert said notice of the need to furlough the workers came Tuesday morning. He says 210 employees who work in fire and rescue, protective service and key maintenance jobs were exempted.
“At this time I’m not really nervous. I wouldn’t say at this point but definitely as days tick on, the uncertainty, that’s probably going to grow,” said 1st Lt. Travis Albaugh, with the Wisconsin National Guard.
The shutdown also has military jets on a no-fly order at least until Oct. 7.
Typically more than a dozen jets are flown daily for training. Now those same jets and minimal crews will stay grounded but on standby in the event of an emergency.
Other departments within the Wisconsin National Guard are affected including finance, maintenance and logistics.
Rickert said this is certainly a hardship, especially on top of sequestration furloughs.
"We went through six days of furlough because of sequestration, those same 1,050 individuals. Now we're looking at another furlough, that would be hard for any family to have their paycheck cut," said Rickert.
Rickert will continue to work, but won't be paid until the shutdown is over.
He said he is hopeful a deal will be made.
Furloughed workers who are considered non-essential will not get retroactive pay unless Congress passes a bill to pay them.
About 210 people will be paid retroactively
Rickert said the guard did receive authorization to keep military honors personnel on duty to ensure there is no interruption in services performed at military funerals this week.
The guard got approval to keep the honor personnel after state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asked about whether the shutdown would put their jobs at risk.
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