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Florida National Guard members cut back in advance of furloughs

5:11 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nearly a thousand members of the Florida National Guard are getting furlough notices.

On Thursday, the paperwork was being processed for the 20 percent cut that will last through September.

Nearly a fourth of those notices will impact men and women at the Florida Air National Guard located near Jacksonville International Airport.

Mandated cuts in the military will be giving staff off one day a week without pay. Mondays for the next couple of months will be lean ... bare bones.

 

Overlooking the flight line, Tech Sergeant Pat Greaney. After 13 years in the guard, this furlough is his first.

"We are a small percentage of the government work force who is being affected unlike all of the civilians employees we are required to wear uniform to conduct out jobs," Greaney said.

Life here will change on Mondays, when 265 men and women in uniform will have one day a week off. On the horizon, lean Mondays at the Air National Guard.

"It is going to be a skeleton crew on Mondays once the furloughs take effect, much scaled back operation," said Capt. Caitlin Brown.

The First Coast is getting harder than most part of states.  One reason Air Guard operations are headquartered in Jacksonville, Army Guard is headquartered in St. Augustine.

The mandated furloughs will last for 22 weeks into September, one day a week without pay is 20 percent pay cut, nearly six million dollars in salary savings.

Already, talk among those on the front line: what changes are in store to absorb a smaller paycheck.

"We all had to make cutbacks. A lot of people are cutting back non essentials things like cell phones, cable things like that," Brown said.

So the 29th of April will be the first Monday starting four-day weeks that will last into September.   
    
In Florida, a quarter of the staff getting a 20 percent pay cut will be at the Air National Guard.

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