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Scott Air Force Base Begins Furloughs

The Belleville Gate entrance to Scott Air Force Base.
(via Wikimedia commons/SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF)
The Belleville Gate entrance to Scott Air Force Base.

Scott Air Force Base employees will take unpaid leave beginning Monday as a result of sequestration cuts.

The furloughs began Monday for approximately 4,500 employees. The leave will be implemented one day a week for 11 weeks; most employees will take off Mondays or Fridays. 

The furloughs will last until the end of the fiscal year in September, but spokesman Lieutenant Korey Fratini says there is no word if furloughs will continue into the next fiscal year. 

The focus right now, he said, is supporting employees and their families affected by the cuts.

“Right now, we’re just working as best we can to mitigate any issues that the civilian employees have by working with them, by providing any assistance in terms of education through budgeting or any other financial education that we can," Fratini said. 

Earlier this year, the furloughs were reported to be 14 days; U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, however, then announced the unpaid leave would only be 11 days for civilian employees. 

Fratini said workloads might still be heavier during the days when the affected employees are working due to the cuts.

“So there’s obviously some frustration throughout the civilian workforce with the cuts; however, we’ve been working with them to alleviate any frustrations and try to work as best we can, because the civilians do play a big role in helping the mission succeed every day,” Fratini said. 

The base’s Airman and Family Readiness Center is offering budget counseling for affected employees and their families.