Furlough notices landing at Scott Air Force Base

The cuts at Scott would deliver one of the sequester’s biggest economic impacts in the region, amounting to a $28 million drain on the economy, officials have said.

Lt. Korey Fratini, a spokesman at Scott, said personalized letters are being sent from the base personnel office this week formally advising employees of the furloughs.

The furloughs take effect 30 days after receipt of the notices, meaning that imposed four-day work weeks and 20 percent pay cuts would be starting this time next month.

Details of the furloughs were well-known before the formal notification. Three town hall-styled meetings were held at Scott earlier this month to help workers prepare.

“It would be great if something happened and we could avoid cuts being mandated,” Fratini said, referring to deliberations in Congress.

“I’m not sure some people understand the effect that a 20 percent cut in pay truly means for people. For some it might not be too bad, but for others it could mean needing to go get a job that one day,” he said.

The fate of the furloughs for civilian defense workers and other federal employees could depend on the latest round of budget negotiations under way in Washington. But more than two weeks into the sequester, Congress has given no indication of a concerted effort to stop the across-the-board cuts.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., introduced legislation last week seeking to give federal agencies flexibility to avoid furloughing “essential” employees.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which represents about 600,000 federal employees, has scheduled rallies Wednesday to protest the cuts, at 100 locations across the country — among them Blunt’s office in Clayton.

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