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News Eagle - Hawley, PA
  •  Army Depot faces major budget slashUnpaid furloughs for 5,136 employees

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    Tobyhanna Army Depot will face a $309 million reduction in funding from its planned $873.3 million budget if sequestration continues.
    If sequestration is not reversed, Tobyhanna Army Depot will move forward with unpaid furloughs to its 5,136 civilian employees for 22 non-consecutive days (totaling 176 hours) between late April and Sept. 30. Union negotiations are underway to determine the details of furlough implementation.
    Work performed by several hundred personnel at the installation and its forward repair locations will be impacted by the Army’s cancellation of its fiscal year 2013 third and fourth quarter depot maintenance programs.
    In response to a downward trend in workload this fiscal year, depot officials have already implemented a number of initiatives to balance its work force with declining workload.
    Members of a special project team are developing various courses of action that will position Tobyhanna for the workload and budget challenges of the next several years. Thus far, the depot has frozen hiring, restricted purchases of supplies, limited travel, and deferred plans to modernize and upgrade depot facilities and equipment. In addition, 150 Tobyhanna employees opted for early retirement on March 1, taking advantage of the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) and Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) programs.
    In a message to the depot work force, the depot commander urged personnel to remain focused on mission requirements. "I know this issue has been weighing on all of us," said Col. Gerhard Schröter. "Our warfighters continue to rely upon Tobyhanna and they deserve our finest efforts every day."
    Tobyhanna Army Depot, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2013, is the largest employer in the Pocono Northeast region of Pennsylvania. According to their web site, the work force includes 490 from Wayne County and 87 from Pike County.
    The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance’s (NEPA) certified economic model reports that the Depot's total regional annual economic impact is $4.4 billion. The model shows that Tobyhanna Army Depot's presence creates 19,300 regional jobs.

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