OK, that might confuse you, but today Dave was granted his (2014) Easter holiday from work because otherwise he wouldn’t be getting paid. Let me explain…
Dave works for a research lab that is mostly funded by the government, and the government is currently shut down, so funding for the lab has stopped. The lab has worked hard to make sure its 6,000+ employees can continue to be paid for as long as possible so they have been using reserve funds to pay their employees through this past Friday. Now, they are in their last bit of reserve funding and have pulled out a few last tricks to keep everyone paid while the government sorts out their problems. Today the employees were given their 2014 Easter Holiday early, they will be able to work to wrap up current projects on Tuesday and Wednesday and then on Thursday and Friday they get two more of their 2014 holidays (President’s Day and New Year’s Eve, if you were curious).
While we’re super grateful that the lab has worked it out to keep paying Dave, they cannot pay anyone starting Monday, October 21. If the government is still shut down on Monday then Dave and everyone else at the lab will be furloughed without pay. And because he works for a lab funded by the government but is not a federal employee then even if the bill passes to back pay federal workers, he won’t be included.
So if the government doesn’t get their act together soon we will join the ranks of the thousands of furloughed workers in this country. It’s a shame that the leaders of this nation seem to be too stubborn to really see how their decisions, or lack thereof, are impacting real people. And I’m not just talking about closing some national parks and memorials.
Our local economy will take a hit. With 6,000+ local workers in a smaller community losing their pay even for a short time, local businesses will see reduced spending and reduced revenue. Some families we know will lose their only source of income (and we would lose 2/3 of ours). And it’s not like these furloughed workers can apply for unemployment or just go get a new job. Technically they all still have jobs, they just can’t work at them. And as soon as the government gets going again they will all go back to work. It’s just this crummy time of unknowns that is causing a lot of worry and frustration. And the worst part is there is (almost) nothing that we as individuals can do to make any difference or move things along faster.
Please pray for our leaders to come to an agreement on our national budget and get all of the furloughed workers back to work ASAP. Regardless what your political beliefs are, I think we can all agree that keeping hard-working people from their paychecks isn’t a good thing.