Sequestration Furloughs Would Hit 94 Percent of Navy Civilians
Some 94 percent of the Navy’s 200,000 civilian employees could be furloughed because of across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration, according to talking points recently updated by the service.
The Navy said sequestration would “create significant financial hardship” for civilian employees facing unpaid furloughs. Veterans make up 50 percent of the service’s civilian workforce, the document said, and budget cuts would mean a 20 percent reduction in base and locality pay for fiscal 2013.
In a blog posted April 1, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert wrote that the service would “carefully evaluate” and prioritize funding for the Navy’s operations and investments.
“We’re going to do the right thing, the right operations, in a deliberate manner to get 2013 where we need to be and prioritize for FY14 [fiscal 2014],” Greenert wrote.
The continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of fiscal 2013 -- signed into law by President Obama in late March -- shifted some resources at the Pentagon, including nearly $10 billion into the military’s operation and maintenance accounts. Subsequently, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the Pentagon was going to push back the first furlough days to mid-June, and reduce the required number of unpaid leave days from 22 to 14.
The Navy also said its tuition assistance programs remained intact. Other service branches, including the Army and the Air Force, cut their TA programs soon after sequestration began to take effect. The late-March resolution to fund government, however, mandated the restoration of the programs, and the services are now under pressure from lawmakers to restart them.
Cuts from sequestration and budget uncertainty forced the Navy to delay the deployment of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike group, shut down the Carrier Air Wing Two, and return a number of other ships to home port. Additionally, the Navy also began “de-obligating efforts” in several major investment programs, including the Virginia Class submarine and the Joint High Speed Vessel.