Q&A of the day – About federal employees working without pay

Q&A of the day – About federal employees working without pay  

It’s the Q&A of the day. Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.  

Feel free to shoot away with your questions and I’ll do my best to keep up. Today’s question comes from Michael. 

I was listening to you this morning and just have a comment about your statement that the partial government shutdown is not affecting the general public.  As an air traffic controller I am still going to work and doing my job but not getting paid and that is partially why the general public is not feeling it.  

At some point if the shutdown continues, I as well as my fellow controllers will be forced to find another source of income and we will no longer be able to go to work guiding planes.  At that point airlines, pilots, flight attendants, support crews, sky caps, taxi services, airport retail services, and a multitude of other industries will be affected not to mention the millions of people who need to travel.   

That is when the public will start to feel the pain of the lack of government services.

Bottom Line: That’s certainly a valid point to specifically address. From the onset of this conversation I’ve mentioned that I hold no animus specifically towards federal employees, even those who work in one of the 430 federal agencies that I’m pretty sure no one other than they could name. Additionally, I’ve mentioned that this isn’t a sustainable way to manage the government because of essential service professionals such as yourself. It is unfortunate that you and those in similar situations are caught in the middle of this. I hear you loud and clear that somewhere along the way something will have to give. At the same time, and this isn’t meant to diminish your situation, it is the job you signed up for with the knowledge that you could be called on to perform under these circumstances. Adversity is something that every professional faces in the private sector as well, often with far less job security and lessor benefits. Ask any fledgling small business owner what it’s like not knowing if you’re even going to be able to make payroll, pay your taxes and keep the lights on – let alone collect a paycheck. But that’s the risk they took on with their decision as well. That’s life. But back to your situation and that of others like you... 

You will be paid, federal law mandates it, it’s a matter of when. And I get it, it’s real when there are bills that may come due before that time arises. To your point, how many essential service employees are currently working while potentially having to wait to be paid? I spent time digging into the nitty gritty to get an answer and have that broken out as a separate story today and through my research I will be amending the way I’ve positioned this partial government shutdown to date. 

 

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