NewsCovering Colorado


Federal workers call members of Congress 'pathetic hypocrites,' as they fear work without pay

Correctional facility officers worry government shutdown lasting months, can't pay bills
Posted at 5:42 PM, Sep 29, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — The countdown clock to a government shutdown is now two days away. It would mean furloughs and require essential workers to work without pay.

Some correctional facility officers in Florence worry the shutdown could last months, leaving them no choice but to dip into savings and put off paying bills.

"I feel like they don't care about us at all," said one officer Michael Eberhart.

Eberhart has been an officer for 17 years. He said he already works overtime to keep his family afloat.

"Right now we're doing fine but the moment you cut off that paycheck, we have to decide, do we want to make a car payment or feed our kids," said Eberhart.

Workers say if they don't get paid, they'd have to prioritize getting gas to go to work over paying bills.

"Then it impacts your credit, if you have negative credit reports working for the Dept. of Justice, you could potentially face discipline for not paying your bills but you're not getting paid to pay your bills," said another officer John Butkovich.

The government guarantees back pay to federal workers after a shutdown.

"You watch your savings account go down, you watch your credit card balances go up and when you get back pay it all goes back to even 'cause you got to take the funds you just got and pay everything off," said Butkovich.

Members of Congress get paid no matter what happens. Something these workers believe is unfair.

"If anyone should go without a check, it's them, I think they're a bunch of pathetic hypocrites," said Eberhart.

The last government shutdown was 5 years ago, lasting 35 days, but it's something these workers worry about year after year.

"'Cause it's no longer a matter of if but when and the frustrating part is for us is how long is this one going to last," questioned Eberhart

These workers are part of a 600+ person union at the correction facility. They're not the only ones in this boat. Our military and TSA workers are also bracing to work without pay.


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