About 3,500 civilian employees at MacDill Air Force Base begin taking unpaid days off Monday, as part of a Department of Defense program to cut costs. The federal government estimates MacDill employees will lose about $8 million in wages over the next three months.
Each employee is to take 11 furlough days through the end of September. The furloughs were mandated by the Defense Department after automatic federal spending cuts went into effect March 1.
When the furloughs were proposed, the civilian employees were looking at 22 days without pay, but that number eventually was halved. The cuts are expected to hit employees and their families hard, as well as those who rely on their spending.
"The impact on their lives and those around them cannot be measured, but we know it will add stress to their daily lives as well as their family," Col. Scott DeThomas, commander of the 6th Air Mobility Wing and MacDill base commander, wrote in an emailed statement last month.
There are about 2,200 affected employees at the 6th Air Mobility Wing, as well as about 900 employees at U.S. Special Operations Command, more than 450 at U.S. Central Command and others spread through MacDill's many units.
The Department of Defense began sending out furlough notices May 28.