Union: EPA Will Furlough Employees Six Days in 2013 Under Sequestration

EPA Headquarters EPA Headquarters Flickr user c_nilsen

Environmental Protection Agency employees would be forced to take six unpaid days of leave before Sept. 30, should sequestration go into effect, according to a union representative.

An American Federation of Government Employees leader in Chicago said the furloughs would occur in two waves. Between April 21 and June 15, each EPA employee would have to take one day of leave without pay per paid period, for four pay periods. From July 5 through Sept. 30, each employee would be required to take two furlough days.

An EPA spokeswoman told Federal News Radio, which first reported the story, that the specifics are still up in the air.

"Senior Environmental Protection Agency officials have engaged union leadership this week in discussions of the scope and timing of furloughs that will be required to meet the across-the-board cuts mandated by sequestration," the spokeswoman said to Federal News Radio. "These talks are ongoing and no final decisions have been made."

The AFGE official said contractors would be unaffected by sequestration.

The EPA has sent a letter to Congress detailing how its programs would be affected by sequestration, including a reduction in its ability to test and research air and water quality. 

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