Post leaders plan for furloughs, cuts
March 8, 2013
By Leader staff
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson leaders from the various units across the installation are dealing with the reality of sequestration, the automatic spending cuts that went into effect March 1 on the installation.
About 3,500 civilian employees on post are subject to one-day-a-week furloughs, which could begin in late April, if other mitigating solutions fail.
"This is serious business. There's a new norm on Fort Jackson," said Col. Ken Royalty, Fort Jackson chief of staff, in a meeting with senior leaders Wednesday.
Affected employees could be furloughed for 22 discontinuous days between implementation and the end of fiscal year 2013, with no more than 16 furlough hours per pay period.
Employees will receive at least 30 days' notice before furloughs go into effect. To date, no furlough notices have gone out to Fort Jackson employees.
For planning purposes, Fort Jackson leaders anticipate that in case of furloughs, they would go into effect April 26. Before the furloughs take effect, several notices will be provided to employees.
This process will be preceded by impact and implementation bargaining with Fort Jackson servicing unions. DA civilians are encouraged to consult with their command leadership for the latest information about their organizations.
No plans have been finalized on what services on post will be affected by the cuts, but installation leadership is working on minimizing the effect on the community. A civilian hiring freeze is in effect for the majority of open positions, and most temporary employees will not be extended beyond their term's expiration date.
In addition, installation leaders are evaluating contracts, are putting a stop on furniture acquisitions and are considering other cost-saving strategies, such as limiting temporary duty expenses and reducing energy costs and cell phone use.
The Initial Entry Training mission was designated the Number 3 funding priority by DoD, which means Fort Jackson's training mission will continue without major interruptions. So far, Fort Jackson and the Army Training Center have already cut $2 million, or 5.5 percent, of its budget for fiscal year 2013.
In an open letter to all Soldiers and DA civilians signed by Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno and Secretary of the Army John Mc Hugh, the Army community is urged to remain focused on the mission.
"Develop your Soldiers, civilians and our future Army leaders; conduct tough, realistic mission focused training; maintain and account for your equipment; be good stewards of your resources; and sustain the high level of esprit de corps in your organization," the letter reads.
For the latest sequestration updates, visit the following websites:
-Fort Jackson: http://www.jackson.army.mil/sites/info/pages/776
-MEDCOM FAQs: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/files/39433456 (AKO login required)
-MEDCOM Updates: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/files/39326990 (AKO login required)
Editor's note: Information from www.army.mil andwww. cpol.army.mil was used in this article.