FY 2012 Funding Alert

Message from NTEU

FY 2012 Funding Alert

Government agencies currently funded by a continuing resolution are being instructed by the White House to begin reviewing shutdown plans. The current CR expires at midnight on Friday. If Congress has not completed work on the remaining appropriations bills, or passed another CR, there could be a partial government shutdown.

NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley this afternoon discussed the steps agencies were taking with Jeffrey Zients, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Deputy Director for Management, and John Berry, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director.

Shutdown Terms
Who Works?

Formerly referred to as “essential” and “non-essential”, agencies are now using the term “excepted” to describe employees who are required to work during a shutdown. “Excepted” employees are described as “employees who are excepted from a furlough by law because they are (1) performing emergency work involving the safety of human life or the protection of property, (2) involved in the orderly suspension of agency operations, or (3) performing other functions exempted from the furlough.” All other employees paid by appropriated funds will be deemed as “non-excepted” and furloughed during the duration of a government shutdown.

Agencies with FY 2012 funding legislation in place that will not face a government shutdown are:  Department of Transportation, HUD, Agriculture, National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Justice, Commerce, FDA, and CFTC. Agencies funded with non-appropriated funds: FDIC, NCUA and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will continue to operate.

The remaining government agencies will begin contacting employees today and plan to provide informal determinations of excepted or non-excepted employees by Friday with formal notice no later than Monday. If the government shuts down on Friday at midnight, non-excepted employees will report to work on their next scheduled day—Saturday or Monday—to begin orderly shutdown procedures. If possible, those activities can be conducted remotely.

Berry and Zients said President Obama does not want a government shutdown and they acknowledged that the uncertainty over funding puts employees in a very difficult spot.

The situation on Capitol Hill remains very fluid and a government shutdown is not certain. The administration believes that Congress still has time to resolve its unfinished business and pass legislation that will fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. As we come closer to the deadline under the current CR, agencies are scheduled to send employees additional information and so will NTEU.
This is similar to the situation we faced in April, and should a partial government shutdown occur, employees have many questions including:

  • whether or not they will be required to work;
  • when, how, and if they will be paid; and
  • how long a shutdown might last.

President Kelley specifically asked the administration officials about employees who are out on ‘use or lose’ leave and OPM promised guidance on that issue very shortly. NTEU is committed to working with impacted agencies where the union represents workers to get that information to employees. Additionally, OPM says it will be updating shutdown information on its website.

NTEU will continue to closely monitor congressional action and stay in touch with the administration and agency heads.

Be sure that NTEU has your most up-to-date contact information including your home e-mail address. NTEU will be launching a government shutdown webpage and invites all members to receive breaking news updates to their cellphones by texting SHUTDOWN to 24587.

“...to ensure that every federal employee is treated with dignity and respect.”