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Fort Drum outlines furloughs for employees

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FORT DRUM — Furloughs for most of the post’s workers will occur on Fridays following an agreement between the post and its employees’ union last week.

Jeffrey W. Zuhlke, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 400 at the post, said notices will go out to employees in about a week. With furloughs expected to go into effect the week of April 21, the first furlough day would be April 26. The furloughs, which are unpaid days off, are scheduled to go until Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year.

“We still have a mission to complete,” he said. “I’m sure this isn’t going to be the smoothest process, but it is what it is.”

Mr. Zuhlke said the post’s medical command, seeking to avoid facility closures, has split its furloughs between Fridays and Mondays.

He said the post and union reached the agreement Wednesday and added “other than the sequester going away, it’s probably the best we could hope for.”

Post spokeswoman Julie A. Cupernall said the post is still awaiting guidance from the Army on how to notify its civilian workers of furloughs and added she would offer further comment when that notification process ended.

However, the post on Monday announced furloughs will begin for Child and Youth Services staff members from April 26 to Sept. 30 because of the sequestration, barring congressional action on the matter.

Employees were informed of the change Saturday and a released statement from the post said customers were first notified Monday. It is estimated the move will affect approximately 900 soldier and civilian families.

The announcement said families will not be charged for service on the furlough days when there is no activity.

More information would be forthcoming, the announcement said, as the post’s leaders determined furloughs’ additional impacts on the community.

The letter to the post community from Garrison Commander Col. Gary A. Rosenberg about the Child and Youth Services furloughs can be found at http://on.fb.me/W1zBlD.

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