Fort Bragg town hall meetings address sequestration
March 15, 2013
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Units around Fort Bragg have been holding town hall meetings since last month to ensure the civilian workforce is informed about the impact and effects of sequestration.
To that end the 1st Theater Sustainment Command held a town hall meeting Feb. 28, at the command headquarters main conference room.
Department of the Army civilian employees, supervisors, staff primaries and noncommissioned officers in charge and leadership in Afghanistan were brought together to discuss the impact of sequestration and how the planned furloughs will be managed throughout the command.
"We plan to follow Fort Bragg's model with the exception of the operations center," said Tiffany R. Corwin, 1st TSC civilian personnel officer.
Under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, across-the-board reductions began March 1. The Department of Defense expects to receive $46 billion less for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 and has determined that planned furloughs of civilian employees are required.
Main points discussed at the meeting included a tentative schedule for the furloughed days, a reduction of civilian pay by 20 percent, the effects it will have on retirement, holiday pay, leave accrual, within-in-grade increases and employees' Thrift Savings Plan accounts.
Civilian employees were informed that they would be required to take one unpaid day of leave a week from April 26 until the end of the fiscal year. At this time, the furlough will be no more than 22 discontinuous work days (176 hours), and will be spread over maximum months at no more than 16 hours per pay period, said Corwin.
Questions about overtime and compensation time were raised as well as how to accomplish the unit's mission without the First Team civilian workforce.
Other potential effects across Fort Bragg that were discussed included the impact on medical care, education services, childcare facilities, commissaries and Soldier support activities.
In general, similar concerns were addressed at the different town halls held by units across the installation including the Fort Bragg Garrison Command, that held the first of its three town halls Monday.