Furloughs wrapped up on post

By Kristina Jackson

Furloughs at Fort Riley originally scheduled to end on September 30 have been completed.

The furloughs, which affected around 2,400 civilian employees at Fort Riley, ended on Aug. 30 after the Department of Defense reduced the number of furlough days from 11 to six.

Furlough notices were issued in May and furloughs were planned for 11 non-consecutive days throughout the summer.

“Fort Riley welcomed the news from the Secretary of Defense. The reduced number of furlough days will allow Team Riley to better serve our Soldiers, veterans, retirees and their family members,” Fort Riley garrison commander Col. Andrew Cole said.

At the time of Defense secretary Chuck Hagel’s announcement in August, employees had already taken four furlough days. They conducted two more, with the last being Aug. 30.

According to Hagel’s statement, the department was able to shrink the number of furlough days through measures including civilian hiring freezes and layoffs of temporary workers.

This was positive news for the employees, but the future is still uncertain. Secretary Hagel said in his statement that sequestration and the possibility of further upcoming cuts could result in more furloughs next year, although no more are scheduled at this time.

However, Hagel said that the department will do “whatever possible to avoid more furloughs.”

Fort Riley employees are now standing by, ready to respond to Department of Defense decisions that may arise in the case of more cuts.

“The professionalism and commitment to the mission our civilian employees have shown despite personal hardships is admirable,” Cole said. “Each member of Team Riley is crucial in ensuring our continued success.”

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