Shutdown’s over, tell us what you think

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Some furloughed feds breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing news from the Office of Personnel Management that the federal government would reopen Thursday.

The House and Senate had agreed on a deal late Wednesday night to reopen the government after a 16- day shutdown, and President Barack Obama signed the bill into law early Thursday.

The news raised some critical questions for federal employees. With agency websites down and no update from OPM until early Thursday, feds asked if they were supposed to work or not.

House passes $700B defense bill, which includes pay raise for military personnel

“So do we go in? My server is blocked so no use getting in if they haven’t reset the email and data servers!” Julie Kenkel Yates commented on a Federal News Radio Facebook post.

Others are still cynical, pointing out that the measure only temporarily funds agencies.

“Only till Jan. Our government really does not have its act together….maybe they all need to go back to school,” Randy Horton commented.

“So since this is a short term deal, this means we are going to be furloughed again come January 15th?” Mirena Heigh commented on Facebook.

“Snd then a replay of the whole drama in Jan/Feb and on and on till they someday start doing budgets instead of continuing resolutions,” P Scott Schlitte commented.

During the shutdown, Federal News Radio invited federal employees to share their thoughts.

Now that it’s over, we still want to hear from you.

What concerns you most about going back to work? What are your thoughts about the shutdown? Tell us what you think via Facebook, Twitter, email or the comments on this page.

Below you will find reader responses with comments from Facebook in gray, Twitter in red, email in blue and story comments in black. We will be updating this page daily.

You can also call Federal News Radio’s Comment Line at (202) 274-4806, to leave an audio response. These messages may be used on the radio as part of Federal News Radio’s continuing shutdown coverage.

And now, here are your comments:

Monika Maz: Feds are more loyal to the government than it is to us. I’m just sayin’…
Oct. 18 at 9:01 p.m. – Via Facebook

During the shutdown we in the field offices were deemed essential. We were told all leave was canceled. Many of us came to work every minute of every day, although we had pre-approved leave. We were told no management would approve any leave for any reason. We had to deal with ever-increasing rudeness from the public when we had to tell them there were many workloads we were not authorized to work on during the shutdown. We have tons of work to catch up on now. We showed up every day, missing time with family, working through migraines, etc., because we had been advised if we took leave it would be considered AWOL, and most definitely would not be paid, and would possibly face losing our jobs. Now we are being told any and everyone who was off, pre-approved or not, will be granted administrative (FREE) leave! We are demoralized as it is, and now to be slapped in the face for doing our duty?
Oct. 18 at 12:04 p.m. – Via Email

Has anything been mentioned about those employees who had to work? They were not able to sit at home and then receive compensation. How fair is that? That’s like a paid vacation for some while others had to grind it out.
Oct. 17 at 7:59 p.m. – Via Email

So, we federal employees finally got back to work today. I believe that a lot has been asked of us the past couple years at least: tirelessly do your jobs well day in and day out and what we receive in exchange for that is ever decreasing budgets, one threat of shutdown after another, so-called budgets passed for mere months at a time, disrespectful comments and attitudes in Congress … and now this real 16-DAY shutdown. And another budget showdown in three months??? It is ridiculous. We can and should expect more from our well-paid Congress than this.
Oct. 17 at 6:56 p.m. – Via Email

I was an excepted employee for SSA. We were threatened with no time off during the shutdown. Any leave we needed or had scheduled prior, we were told it was NOT APPROVED leave and to take at your discretion. We had to sign furlough papers for that time off. It led us to believe it was unpaid unless Congress approved back pay and, that if it was approved for back pay, it’d be charged accordingly (annual or sick leave). Therefore, I canceled my leave as well as others did. Now we find out that those that called in sick during the shutdown are getting ADMINISTRATIVE leave instead of having to use sick leave. Two of my coworkers called in two times each during those 11 shutdown days. They are now rewarded with approved leave and gain 16 hours of sick leave because they are being paid administrative leave instead of sick leave. One of these people has already called in over 32 times THIS YEAR ALONE. Now she gets 16 more hours of sick leave. Another employee had 5 days of annual leave scheduled and took it. Now that employee will get five free days of annual leave because it will be paid ADMIN instead. How is that even fair to those of us that canceled our leave because it was NOT APPROVED? The government continually rewards the ones that do not follow the rules. The rules change constantly. I’m glad the furloughed workers got back pay but that is again NOT FAIR to those of us that worked those 11 days of the shutdown. I love my job but I dislike the mismanagement, lack of communication, and unfairness. I’ve never worked at such an I don’t care place in my life. People think they are so overworked yet spend more time chit-chatting than working. Calling in sick for every little thing. NO consequences to anything. It’s pathetic.
Oct. 17 at 5:14 p.m. – Via Email

GrumpyJoe Treadway: A lot of coffee cups with hair growing!
Oct. 17 at 2:33 p.m. – Via Facebook

@SalASwan: So far we rec’d welcome back e-mails from all levels of Mgt. including Sec’y of Treasury. Waiting for apology from Congress
Oct. 17 at 2:21 p.m. – Via Twitter

Chris Ireland: Thank you for always keeping us informed, I appreciate what you all do
Oct. 17 at 2:10 p.m. – Via Facebook

John Mccormick: Worked through this lol
Oct. 17 at 1:25 p.m. – Via Facebook

Mirena Heigh: What the what? A soup can from 1997? Ewww lol. My first day back is going good. Very busy but I’m not complaining at all.
Oct. 17 at 1:25 p.m. – Via Facebook

Susan: I am a contractor for Health and Human Services and am upset that contractors are not being reimbursed for the shutdown. And to make matters worse, no one is addressing the impact on contractors!
Oct. 17 at 9:56 a.m. – Via Email

Cindy: Just curious….if the government is going to pay all Federal employees for their time off, what are they going to do for those employees that worked during the shutdown? It certainly isn’t fair for those who stayed home to get the same pay as those who had to get up and go to work!!
Oct. 17 at 9:34 a.m. – Via Email

@JamieBerman0: Wow just like the private sector – pay based upon performance
Oct. 17 at 9:34 a.m. – Via Twitter

@kaykow13: and they should be penalized for the #shutdown
Oct. 17 at 9:27 a.m. – Via Twitter

@kaykow13: it is only over temporarily
Oct. 17 at 9:24 a.m. – Via Twitter

@Libby_Bowers: YEAH!
Oct. 17 at 8:58 a.m. – Via Twitter

Kevin: Do the employees that had to work the past 16 days get an extra 16 days paid vacation. I know for those furloughed there is a delay in.being paid, but at the same time it is unfair to those that worked.
Oct. 17 at 8:23 a.m. – Via Email

@kaykow13: some of us were working – will we get our accrued AL & SL?
Oct. 17 at 8:19 a.m. – Via Twitter

@brad3harv: may i ask what was t purpose of shutting down at all? We all new they would get deal done b4 2 much damage & now backpay???
Oct. 17 at 7:52 a.m. – Via Twitter

Anonymous: I was one of the excepted employee that had to work during the shutdown. How its fair for us that worked getting the same pay that those who got send home. In others words, they got a free paid 16 day vacation but we did not. I think for us that worked and keep the government running should be compensated or pay interupted.
Oct. 17 at 7:50 a.m. – Via Email

Tony: Everyone seems to forget about the 6-days that all federal employees lost prior to the government shutdown. The Department of The Navy worked their budget out to accommodate all government civilians working for the Navy. Hagel furloughed us anyway. When will we see that back pay?
Oct. 17 at 7:36 a.m. – Via Email

@couch_dad: Would this also apply to legislative agencies (CBO, CRS, GAO)?
Oct. 17 at 7:26 a.m. – Via Twitter

@kaykow13: good news!
Oct. 17 at 7:24 a.m. – Via Twitter

Randy Horton: Only till Jan. Our government really does not have its act together….maybe they all need to go back to school
Oct. 17 at 6:07 a.m. – Via Facebook

Nick Casberg: From Federal Government

Applies to: October 17, 2013

Status: Open

Open. Employees are expected to return for work on their next regularly scheduled work day (Thursday, October 17th for most employees), absent other instructions from their employing agencies.
Oct. 17 at 1:20 a.m. – Via Facebook

P Scott Schlitte: and then a replay of the whole drama in Jan/Feb and on and on till they someday start doing budgets instead of continuing resolutions.
Oct. 17 at 12:01 a.m. – Via Facebook

Sam Doucette: You should be getting a recall of some kind from your chain of command. For us in DoD, that’s what happened. My boss called me on Oct 5 (Sunday) to let me know I had to come to work the next day under the Pay Our Military Act.
Oct. 16 at 11:08 p.m. – Via Facebook

Chris Quirk Chitwood: Do we go to work tomorrow?
Oct. 16 at 10:44 p.m. – Via Facebook

Julie Kenkel Yates: So do we go in? My server is blocked so no use getting in if they haven’t reset the email and data servers!
Oct. 16 at 10:35 p.m. – Via Facebook

Jeanne Pilewski Bravin: they are voting right now
Oct. 16 at 7:45 p.m. – Via Facebook

Chris Quirk Chitwood: CNN is reporting Federal Government will reopen tomorrow….confirmation please?
Oct. 16 at 4:12 p.m. – Via Facebook

Mirena Heigh: I was going to say the same thing. So since this is a short term deal, this means we are going to be furloughed again come January 15th?
Oct. 16 at 3:13 p.m. – Via Facebook

Mike Bryant: I haven’t seen anything new about back pay…
Oct. 16 at 2:04 p.m. – Via Facebook

Oct. 16 at 1:23 p.m. – Via Facebook

Geoffrey Miller: So we look forward to another furlough in about four months?
Oct. 16 at 12:47 p.m. – Via Facebook

Jess Milcetich: Awesome thank you! Let me know what you find out!
Oct. 16 at 12:43 p.m. – Via Twitter

Geoffrey Miller: Hope so as well… Also, hope that this isn’t a delay tactic for something else down the way.
Oct. 16 at 12:27 p.m. – Via Facebook

kaykow13: if it passes, when can we expect the #govt to reopen?
Oct. 16 at 11:21 a.m. – Via Twitter

Mirena Heigh: Hope it passes completely through all the proper channels in Congress.
Oct. 16 at 11:10 a.m. – Via Facebook

kaykow13: but will the house and the president go for it?
Oct. 16 at 11:01 a.m. – Via Twitter

Gregory L. Treible: Thank YOU for shining some light on this issue. Its been a big concern for me during this #shutdown.
Oct. 16 at 9:47 a.m. – Via Twitter

kaykow13: I’ve heard that story before and it hasn’t happened
Oct. 16 at 8:44 a.m. – Via Twitter

P Scott Schlitte: unless the govt figures a way to stop spending more than they bring in these budget fights will be a regular thing…
Oct. 15 at 5:11 p.m. – Via Facebook


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