ALBANY — More than 2,000 people aboard MCLB-Albany could feel the sting of furloughs initiated by the Pentagon, base officials said Friday.
There could be 11 furlough days for those base employees, with the days expected to begin no earlier than July 8, base officials said.
“Under the current guidelines, approximately 2,000 appropriated fund employees across Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and the Marine Corps Logistics Command may be affected, with a percentage of critical service providers directly responsible for preserving life and property, and possibly others, excepted,” a statement from the base public affairs office states.
The exact impact of any furloughs on the tenants at the base, including Marine Corps Logistics Command, which is responsible for managing the supply chain of the Marine
warfighter, is not known.
“While it is difficult to accurately predict the overall impact to the installation in the short term, base leaders will continue to prioritize support requirements of our tenants that support the operating forces, in accordance with the Commandant’s guidance,” the statement reads.
Base leaders say they’ll be notifying impacted employees. That will include proposal notices, an employee reply period and official decision letters.
The U.S. defense budget has taken the single biggest hit from automatic spending cuts, known in Washington as the “sequester,” and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he had tried to spare civilians the financial hardship ahead by first cutting elsewhere.
“We did everything we could not to get to this day, this way,” Hagel told an audience of Defense Department employees earlier this week. “But that’s it. That’s where we are ... And I’m sorry about that.”
For those of the more than 600,000 civilian defense employees affected, the decision translates to a salary cut of roughly 20 percent during the furlough period, which runs from July 8 until the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.
Although the total will vary, most civilian employees will be on unpaid leave for 11 days, shorter than the earlier Pentagon estimates of 14 days issued in March and 22 days in February.
But many civilians had hoped Hagel would find other ways to cut the budget or allow individual branches of the military to shield the civilian employees entirely. The move is expected to save $1.8 billion.
Although civilians will be able to challenge their furloughs, personal issues such as financial hardship will not be taken into account, one Defense official said.
Reuters News Service contributed to this report.