December 2018 / January 2019 SHUTDOWN / FURLOUGH


1. AFGE National – National news and opportunities to act to end or lessen Shutdown effects. CAUTION – some areas should not be accessed on Government Equipment / Time. They are clearly labelled.

2. Length of the Shutdown – We are disheartened by the current state of ending this Shutdown. We urge that all employees become engaged to the extent possible to help each other and to end the Shutdown.

3. Back Pay – this is always on the mind of all employees. The Union will track all legislation on this issue. During the last 16 day shutdown, our direct contact with Congress gave us day to day status on Back Pay which was solved in the first week.

  • Jan. 31, 2019 Update – See Post-Lapse Pay, Leave and Benefit Fact Sheet From the Office of Human Resource Management in the section below.
  • Jan. 29, 2019 Update – See Back Pay Processing Document From AHR-1 Pay Update Document in the section below.
  • Jan. 16, 2019 Update – Back Pay will happen! Trump signs law ensuring shutdown pay for government workers

4. FAA Links / Documents – As clarification comes to the Union from the FAA, we will share. This is expected for nuances for those affected by differing funding sources, etc.

5. Overall Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Furlough Guidance – Includes extensive material pertinent to this 2018 Shutdown. 1) Policies on isssues like use or lose, leave that is cancelled is to be restored and many other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs); 2) “Sample Letters for Furloughed Employees’ Creditors”; 3) Information on Unemployment Benefits. Considering applying for unemployment is a personal decision. It is authorized. But if Back Pay is authorized upon the end of the Shutdown, unemployment must be paid back. The entire processes are somewhat complex.

6. TSP Loan Factsheet – Provides details on existing and new loans during shutdowns / Non Pay Status of employees

7. Community Support –AFGE National has urged all affected employees to contact food bank and other relief services to lessen the pain of this Shutdown.

  • To anyone affected by the government shut down- If you need a little help with food, the Main Street Food Pantry at the First United Methodist Church in Mays Landing is ready to help and all are welcome! We offer 3 days of food, once a month for residents of Hamilton Twp. and the surrounding areas.  Our hrs. are 9-11am, 2-4pm, and 6-7pm every Wednesday. Bring a photo I.D. and proof of how many people are in your household. We look forward to serving you!
  • United Way, one of the AFL-CIO’s national partners, supports 2-1-1, a free nationwide information and referral line that helps people find local resources they may be eligible to obtain 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • South Jersey Shutdown Services – US Congressman Donald Norcross dedicated on-line resource page.

8. Outside Employment – Employees have asked if Furloughed Federal Employees can take other jobs versus relying on unemployment. The answer is YES, but … We caution BUE’s about other employment during a furlough. We are still employees of the federal government and may need to avoid and/or report employment. Especially those in sensitive positions or for outside jobs that may be deemed ACTUAL or POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST (COR’s, managers, contracting officers, security clearance positions, etc.). When in doubt, contact Human Resources, management AND the Union for clarity.

9. New Jersey Unemployment Processing – Overall – New Jersey is starting claim processing and not denying. However, the federal government is not validating our earnings (at least in some cases) which is getting in the way of processing (probably OPM or DOI people who do that are furloughed …). All employees should have a recent Earnings and Leave Statement (ELS) and/or SF-50 ready to upload to processors.

10. Financial Assistance – This page contains a list of institutions offering financial assistance alternatives to furloughed workers.