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Message to Members on the Government Shutdown


Unfortunately, once again, we are confronted with a government shutdown. FLEOA is appalled that government services and public safety are used as a political bargaining chip. Since this is a partial shutdown, those of us whose departments were funded stand with our brothers and sisters in the agencies that were closed. Many FLEOA members are in the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and probably more than half of our members are directly effected by the shutdown. Since shutdowns force agencies to identify essential and non-essential positions, the internal discord within closed agencies becomes significant. Law enforcement positions are almost always identified as essential, however, many of the support functions we rely on are not. This jeopardizes the safety of all of our members. Because of this inherent liability, be extra vigilant and cautious performing your duties.


Hindsight provides a modicum of guidance for those directly effected by the shutdown. When appropriations are funded and the government reopens, one of the first orders of business has been to pay all essential employees who were required to work during the shutdown and to restore any unused leave. In fact, after each previous shutdown, Congress has voted to repay ALL government employees whether critical or not! FLEOA remains open and prepared to help. For example, in a past shutdown, one agency deemed all of its law enforcement positions as non-essential, furloughed its agents and required them to surrender their weapons during the shutdown. FLEOA was notified, our Counsel strongly objected and our President contacted the head of the agency. All to no avail. Subsequently FLEOA resolved this unconscionable decision through a legislative mandate. Should you experience a similar safety concern, please do not hesitate to contact FLEOA. We are watching your backs throughout this and any other unforeseen government abandonment of your safety and benefits.

 

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Nate Catura
President