Troy Tingey, AFGE Council 214 president, said in a phone interview from Hill Air Force Base in Utah the union hopes to have a memorandum of agreement by the end of this week on how the furloughs will be handled. He said AFGE has asked the materiel command to send the notices no later than March 22 to give workers time to deal with the expected 20 percent loss in income during the time the furloughs are in place.
The Pentagon has estimated the furlough of 26,000 Department of Defense employees in Ohio will mean about $167 million in lost wages.
Once employees receive a furlough notice, they will have a week to appeal under the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Some in the Pentagon have expressed hope that furloughs can be avoided if Congress stops the sequestration and gives the defense department more flexibility on what to cut.
Tingey said employees have asked about the chances for avoiding time off the job. “We just tell them, look, you keep the pressure on your congressional (representative),” he said. “We believe it’s working.”