Union asks MSPB for pre-emptive ruling on DoD furloughs


With the Defense Department expected to announce a final furlough policy as early as this week, a union has asked the Merit Systems Protection Board for a heads-up on how it would rule on behalf of DoD employees who appeal decisions to make them take unpaid time off.

Issuing “a pre-emptive statement of opinion” on whether those employees could win appeals would save the board “from deciding thousands of cases that would likely come,” Gregory Junemann, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, said in last week’s letter to MSPB chairman Susan Grundmann. A board spokesman declined comment Friday, but said a response will be coming soon.

As of today, DoD officially plans to furlough most of its almost 800,000-strong civilian workforce for up to 14 days by the end of September. But in an April 26 letter to members of Congress, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel indicated that the Pentagon is still searching for ways to trim or eliminate the number of furlough days. In a sign that something’s brewing, the Navy on Friday postponed sending furlough notices that were supposed to go out today.

In seeking an advance ruling, IFPTE is also hoping to prod Hagel into taking furloughs off the table altogether or else relax the department’s current policy requiring military services and other components to stick to the 14-day benchmark even if their finances allow for a lesser amount of unpaid time off. While that goal is a long-shot, the letter is a reminder that the board–as Federal Times has previously reported–could be swamped with appeals if mass furloughs do take place.


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  1. Why is it the civilian employies are the ones taking the hit? while the president and congress (the ones who created the deficiet in the first place) are emune to any pay cuts or furlows? yet are recieving yet another pay raise? isent it only fair that both the president and congress submit to there shair of the Cequester and take the blunt of the furlow impact

  2. It is very unfair that the President, Congress and Senate allow such a sequestor to take place. It shows their lack of concern and their disdain for federal workers. As part of the DOD civilian workforce, I have had no pay increases since 2010, I have been moved against my will, and I have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and have been awarded medals for outstanding service. I have stood next to soldiers in the combat zone and performed my duties with pride. I also served my country as a soldier for 16 years before becoming a civilian member of the force. I haved served with pride, and I work to ensure that the ‘warfighters’ are supported at max capacity at all times. And now, out of their thanks for my service to my country, my own President, Congress and Senate have in no uncertain terms declared that they do not care about me or my over 800,000 civilian employees of DOD that work so that the conuntry is protected. They should be ashamed. I think that it is finally time for some new blood in the capital, all of the current politicians have shown that they should not be there.

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