Local civilian military workers worry about sequestration

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM.

“We just continue to support the mission and do what we do,” said Thaddeus Wallace, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1897, which represents thousands of local blue collar civilian military employees.

“This is another extremely hard hit to take,” he said.

Wallace said he’s worried not only about his workers’ pay, but also about possible impacts to the military’s mission that relies on civilian support work and how the loss of income will affect local businesses that civilian workers frequent.

Because of that, he questions whether laying civilians out on the chopping block is the best way to cut the military’s budget.

“I think overall we can look at how we spend in general,” he said. “There’s lots of ways to address this. Just looking down at the civilians at this particular point is a method that can have long-range effects on our economy.”

The civilian workforce makes up about 10 percent of the military’s total personnel budget, which includes military, civilian and contractors, according to a Department of Defense document from 2011. Contractors are the costliest, at about 50 percent of the total personnel budget.

While many employees are scrambling to try to plan for the pay cut, Rocky Tasse, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1942, is bracing for a fight.

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