Local News

Bragg workers tight-lipped about furloughs

Posted March 4, 2013

Fort Bragg sign

— The pending furloughs that are part of the automatic federal spending cuts that took effect Friday were a big topic of discussion in Fayetteville over the weekend, with thousands of Fort Bragg workers soon to see their weekly pay cut by 20 percent.

On Monday, however, no one wanted to discuss the furloughs publicly.

"You can understand. I mean, no one wants to come on camera and be seen as painting their employer in a negative light," said Greg Taylor, director of the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance.

About 8,500 civilians work on post in jobs ranging from teacher to groundskeeper to hospital janitor. The spending cuts mean that, unless Congress and the White House can reach a budget agreement, each of them will be forced to take an unpaid day off every week from mid-April through the end of September.

In a region so reliant on federal jobs, Taylor said, the trickle-down effect can't be ignored.

"I don't know that anybody's going to go out of business, but you're talking a significant amount of employees that are going to lose 20 percent of their income," he said.

At the Huske Hardware House restaurant in Fayetteville, the furloughs aren't keeping owner Josh Collins up at night. Slowdowns come and go, he said, and need only be reflected in the annual budget.

Fayetteville Sign Fayetteville seeks to weather defense cuts

"We've been here when two-thirds of the military installation is deployed, when all the contractors are deployed, and our business has never seen a downturn," Collins said. "This cut, though it's a 20 percent cut, I think it'll be more psychologically damaging than anything else."

About 5,000 students attend school on Fort Bragg, and the Department of Defense is trying to minimize the impact of furloughs on them, spokeswoman Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde said.

"We are preparing for reduced spending with careful and thoughtful decisions that preserve the ability to provide students a full school year of academic credit and maintain school accreditation standards," Hull-Ryde said in a statement.

Although the students are getting a hard lesson in American governance, Collins said they, like the rest of the region, will survive sequestration.

“We’ve weathered a lot here in Fayetteville," he said. "I don’t think you become the All-American city twice by not being able to weather a couple storms.”


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  • Bob3425 Mar 5, 2013

    miseem -- Contractor will pay will not be cut, that only applies to DoD employee's, that not saying contract will not be cancel it that case they will lose their jobs (most contractor are at will employee). In war zones no one being cut, I don't think it even applies to person overseas. Remember each agencies is affect differently,

  • oleguy Mar 4, 2013

    When I was in the military,, We the active duty did these maint. type jobs,,,I dont remember seeing civilians working on the base...

  • Big Mike Mar 4, 2013

    You don't mess with our National Defense at any level...and you don't mess with the Air Traffic controllers who direct our air traffic...but if you want to lay off some Congressional folks who hardly earn their pay...that is ok with me!

  • unpublished_1 Mar 4, 2013

    If the Dems & Rep genuises r so sincere about a solution, freeze their pay until a solution is found! They don't care bc it doesn't affect their $$$$! I don't blame 1 party, IT'S BOTH!!!

  • miseem Mar 4, 2013

    The sequester refers to total defense department cuts. You can't furlough soldiers, especially if they are in a war zone. So defense department paid contractors have to pick up the slack. Meaning they may get 20% cuts because troops get no cuts.

  • aightCPA Mar 4, 2013

    Interesting government math... mandatory cuts across the board of less than 10% costs the government worker 20%???


    Think about what you are saying.....Maybe you should think about the fact that all of the cuts aren't coming from cuts in fed employee wages.

  • AlbertEinstein Mar 4, 2013

    Interesting government math... mandatory cuts across the board of less than 10% costs the government worker 20%???