12/07/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2017 17:23
Washington, D.C. - The short-term spending agreement Congress approved Thursday provides only temporary relief to federal employees and taxpayers who expect their federal government to operate without interruption, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Tony Reardon said.
Congress avoided a government shutdown this weekend by extending current federal spending levels, but the new deal expires Dec. 22. The White House is expected to sign the extension.
'The shutdown threat is delayed - not resolved -- and federal employees and their families will spend the next two weeks wondering about their work schedules and their paychecks,' Reardon said.
A government shutdown on Dec. 22 would force some employees to take unpaid furloughs. Others who are excepted from a shutdown would be forced to work without pay, even if they had already scheduled leave.
NTEU now urges Congress and the administration to use these next 14 days to reach agreement on adequate government spending levels for the remainder of the fiscal year and avoid the anxiety of another shutdown deadline.
'Federal employees want to work and taxpayers deserve no less than to have a federal government that is open and responsive to their needs,' Reardon said.
NTEU also urges Congress to approve the Federal Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2017 (S. 861), which would make sure that federal workers who are furloughed or forced to work without pay during the shutdown are compensated fully and quickly when the government re-opens, regardless of the next regularly scheduled pay date. It would also allow those who are required to work during a shutdown to take scheduled annual leave and sick leave while the government remains closed.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 31 federal agencies and departments.