Furloughed military workers begin to return to work | NevadaAppeal.com

Furloughed military workers begin to return to work

Steve Ranson
Naval Air Station Fallon public affairs officer Zip Upham speaks to Carson High School Navy Junior ROTC students who toured the control tower. Upham, who returned to work on Monday, was one of about 100 civilian employees placed on emergency furlough because of the impasse between Congress and the Obama Administration.

Furloughed civilians reported to work Monday at Naval Air Station Fallon, while about 583 military technicians and civilians statewide are heading back to their jobs Tuesday with the Nevada National Guard.

This includes between 90-100 employees with the Nevada Army National Guard in Carson City.

The Pentagon recalled on Saturday almost 350,000 furloughed civilian employees, who included military technicians, back to work this week. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel based his decision on a “liberal” interpretation of a bill passed by Congress last week to restore immediate pay to active-duty military who were not furloughed. Broad language in the bill also exempted Department of Defense employees from being furloughed if their jobs were tied directly to supporting the military.

Last week government shutdown and emergency furloughs for nonessential civilian employees focuses on the House Republicans not wanting to pass a budget that does not include a delay or defunding of Obamacare. The disagreement between the two major political parties has caused a stalemate; however, the U.S. Senate accepted a Republican idea from the House of Representatives late last week that would pay active duty military, some civilians and defense contractors. That action, according to Pentagon officials, expedited the interpretation of the bill to allow furloughed employees’ return to work this week.

For NAS Fallon public affairs officer Zip Upham, the emergency furlough hit “close to home” for the base’s top spokesman.

“We were called by leadership — the phone tree — and postings on Facebook,” said Upham, when he learned of the decision for about 100 employees to return to their jobs at the air station. “As far as I know, everyone except for one or two is returning.”