Civilian workers concerned about sequestration, Fort Gordon prep - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Civilian workers concerned about sequestration, Fort Gordon prepares for cuts


The clock is winding down on a deadline that would send drastic budget cuts across the board in government agencies. Sequestration is all part of an attempt to get a hold of the more than $16 trillion national debt. More than $500 billion will be cut from the Department of Defense. Here at Fort Gordon, anxiety is building about what will happen.

"I think someone who's not concerned is simply not paying attention," said J.C. Matthews, public affairs officer at Fort Gordon.

In preparation for the cuts - Fort Gordon has already reduced the funds used to operate the installation by 30 percent. Officials say they've reduced purchasing on post. And have eliminated all but official travel expenses, tending to emergency and maintenance orders for facilities on the installation. Furloughs may also be implemented to the hundreds of Fort Gordon's civilian workers.

"They're a national treasure," Matthews said. "We certainly want to see that they come through this with as little anxiety and stress and an effect on them as possible."

 The cuts are weighing very heavy on the minds of the workers who could be affected. We spoke with dozens of civilian employees, but none wanted to go on camera saying they were too afraid they might get in trouble talking about this sensitive issue.

Fort Gordon officials say they're also reviewing contracts with outside corporations with hopes to reduce the cost of those; a hit South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson says will impact the economy in his state.

"I'm very concerned that the president's proposal on sequestration will have a very negative effect in Aiken and Barwell County, particularly at the Savannah River Site, where thousands of jobs are truly at risk in terms of furloughs," Wilson said.

The Pentagon's plan is to furlough 22 days per employee; a slash in paychecks that civilian workers told me they're "depressed" about.

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