Federal Workers to Congress: Do Your Job! - The Stand Up to the Shutdown
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More than 800,000 federal workers are directly affected by the current government shutdown. A stark 71% of these federal workers oppose the shutdown. Nine federal departments are currently closed, though nearly 500,000 exempt and excepted employees must continue to work without pay. A new round of furlough notices hit inboxes on Monday, December 31st, and at least 340,000 employees have now been sent home without pay.
However those made to work, for example, include federal law enforcement officers who work in our prisons. They monitor some of the world’s most dangerous criminals in efforts to keep our local communities and country safe. However, in prisons like USP Hazelton, a federal penitentiary in West Virginia, officers there, continue to risk their lives and face inmate assaults, day in and day out; and now, doing so without pay. Read about it here
Other unpaid workers are TSA agents, who keep our airports secure and safe. Since 9/11 they have been providing a vital public service by making sure air travel is safe for the millions of citizens and families who fly everyday. Now that they are being forced to work without pay, they are having to seek additional outside employment to make ends meet. Read about here
These federal workers took an oath to perform their duties by serving the public. However, they did so with the expectation of getting paid properly and on time. This is not a partisan matter of “wall vs. no wall,” this is a matter of “pay check vs. no pay check!” Federal employees should not be used as pawns in a political chess game. They perform their jobs, not as democrats or republicans, but as honorable men and women who provide an essential service to the federal government and the public.
By not receiving pay, these public servants are having to make decisions between buying groceries or buying fuel for their vehicles. They have to now decide what’s more important, lights and utilities or mortgage and insurance. However, most are making these decisions while still performing their jobs, without knowing when or if they will be paid.
Additionally, over 30% of these federal workers are our military Veterans; many of whom have service connected disabilities. Having served their country in both uniformed Armed Services and now as a civil servant, they deserve to be paid for their work, as promised and on time. They should not have to decide whether to show up to their local VA appointments due to fear of disciplinary action, because their medical leave has been canceled.
Federal workers are “Standing Up to the Shutdown” and demanding that Congress do the job they have been elected (and continue to get paid) to do and pass a budget to reopen the Government. We are asking that our friends and families stand with us as well. In addition to our day to day jobs, we are the everyday citizens who help local communities thrive. We are your local youth mentors, your “Big Brothers and Big Sisters”, your little league coaches, or your neighbor next door. We are simply public servants in all aspects of the words. Our request to Congress is simple, DO YOUR JOB, open the government and pay those people who have dedicated their lives to public service.
- Respectfully, Unpaid Federal Workers
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