Depot employees returning to regular work schedule
August 15, 2013
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced August 6 that the 11-day furlough for about 650,000 DoD civilians has been reduced to six days. In accordance with this guidance, Tobyhanna Army Depot has notified its 3,500--plus civilian employees that the last furlough day is scheduled for Friday.
On that day, depot operations will be shut down and the majority of depot employees will not report to work. Depot commander Col. Gerhard P.R. Schröter said that normal operating hours will be restored beginning Monday.
Work performed by personnel at the installation and its forward repair locations has already been impacted by sequestration, resulting in reductions to the fiscal year 2013 third and fourth quarter depot maintenance programs.
In response to this downward trend, depot officials have already implemented a number of initiatives to address the declining workload.
Among these actions are a freeze on hiring new employees, restricted purchases of supplies, limited travel, and modified plans to modernize and upgrade depot facilities and equipment. In addition, 310 Tobyhanna employees accepted early retirement offers in March, May and June. Contractors released since Oct. 1 total 356.
"The reduction of the furlough is good news for our hard working employees and northeast Pennsylvania, which benefits economically when we are working full work weeks," Schröter said.
Although the furlough is reduced, it resulted in a loss of more than $4 million in salaries and wages. Most depot employees live in northeast Pennsylvania.
Schröter added that the depot will continue to support all branches of the Armed Forces with quality communications-electronics products.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network.
About 3,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the command's mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.