There's good news and bad news for civilian workers at Fort Bliss and throughout the Department of Defense.

stock image

Civilian workers were facing a 22 furlough days when sequestration, or automatic budget cuts, kicked in on March 1st, but yesterday Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel without pay. That move will affect up to 800 thousand civilian employees of the DoD, and up to 11 thousand civilian employees at Fort Bliss.

The 11 furlough days amount to a 4 percent pay cut and could cost the local economy 20 million dollars in lost retail sales.

Hagel said it was a tough call to imposed the forced days off without pay on DoD employees because of the significant hardship it would places on civilian employees and their families.

Furloughs are expected to begin on July 8th, and most workers will have one furlough day per week through the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.

Fort Bliss spokesman Major Joe Buccino said the reduction in furlough days is good news for Fort Bliss, but said the impact will hurt many workers.

Fort Bliss offers financial counseling and classes through its Financial Readiness Program, and those classes can help civilian workers who need help making a plan to get through the looming furloughs.  If you are a civilian employee and need some financial guidance, you can go to the Financial Readiness Program.  It's in the ACS building, 2494 Ricker Road.

There are also financial classes and counseling that active-duty service members, retired military, DoD civilian employees and their families can take advantage of.  All programs are free, and you can call 569-8376 for more information to log onto or blissmwr.com/frp.

Flickr-mrsdkrebs