Budget cuts could affect civilian jobs at Anniston Army Depot
by Shane Dunaway
More than 3,254 Anniston Army Depot civilian employees, some of whom live in Talladega and St. Clair counties, may be adversely impacted by looming sequestration budget cuts.

Barring an eleventh-hour agreement by Congress on our nation’s budget, the projected $85 billion in cuts — $47 billion from the Department of Defense alone — become a reality.

“We work a 5-4-9 compressed work schedule,” said Clester Burdell, public affairs officer for the depot. “This means each employee works eight nine-hour days and one eight-hour day, totaling 80 hours in a bi-weekly pay period. At this point, we are unsure of how the work schedule would change for depot employees.”

As the nation prepares to tighten its belt when it comes to fiscal responsibilities, the civilian DOD workforce continues to take hit after hit. A little more than 11 percent of the employees in temporary positions appear to be in the most immediate jeopardy.

“There is a strong possibility that all of our temporary employees may be released at the end of their appointment March 30,” Burdell said.

With each U.S. military branch establishing civilian hiring freezes in January and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision Feb. 21 to impose civilian furloughs if a budget agreement could not be negotiated, the uncertainties begin to mount.

“While dialogue continues regarding furloughs here at the depot, we are still working through the details,” Burdell said “At this point, we do not know specifics as to how we will be impacted.”

© 2013