Civilian furloughs to start July 8
July 3, 2013
With civilian furloughs just days from going into effect, the good news is most facilities at Fort Sill, Okla., will remain open, though at a reduced capability.
The furlough will cut civilian employees' paid hours by 20 percent, cutting one day each work week from July 9 to the end of the fiscal year. Congress will then determine whatever action is necessary for the coming fiscal year.
"I encourage everyone to be patient and understanding during the furlough period," said Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general. "Some conveniences may be lost, but that's a fact of operations when the civilian workforce is operating at 80 percent of its capacity.
"I'm very pleased with the outstanding efforts of our civilian employees, they are vital to the post being able to continue to meet its mission," he added. "However, until this matter is resolved this workforce cannot function at its full capability."
The following offices or services at Reynolds Army Community Hospital will be affected beginning July 8. (Unless otherwise noted, operating hours are Mondays through Fridays):
-- The RACH emergency room and ambulance service will remain open on all furlough days.
-- The RACH pharmacy is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
-- The Pharmissary at the Fort Sill Commissary is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
-- Both pharmacies are closed weekends.
-- Frontier Community Based Medical Home will be closed Fridays, but patients will be seen at RACH.
-- Behavioral health will consolidate to one clinic on Fridays.
-- There will be no Exceptional Family Member Program immunization, physical exams or overseas screenings on Fridays.
-- No MRIs, ultrasounds or mammograms will be scheduled on Fridays.
-- Patient appointments will be scheduled around doctor team furlough days.
Also of note, the commissary will be closed on Mondays. It will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
Garrison facilities are open Mondays through Fridays, however, customers can expect staffs to be 50-percent manned Mondays and Fridays, and ID cards will be by appointment only. For an appointment call 580-442-5010.
There have also been some changes in gate operations. Key Gate East will close July 8 through Sept. 30. In addition, Gate 6 (52nd Street gate) hours will change from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Most of Fort Sill's 2,800 Department of the Army civilian employees will be furloughed.
The Financial Readiness Program, available through Army Community Service, has a number of resources for civilian employees from financial management training to financial counseling and coaching. For more information, call 580-442-4916.
Fort Sill National Bank and Credit Union also offer free financial classes.