By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) received a memorandum on Wednesday, April 3 informing them of upcoming furloughs. The memo, from James N. Burckman, director of BIA Office of Human Capital Management, detailed the furloughs which are the result of federal sequestration.
“The furlough will be on discontinuous (intermittent) days, beginning May 5, 2013, through September 21, 2013,” the memo reads. “Full-time employees will be furloughed no more than 22 workdays or 176 hours.”
“At this time, we are working diligently to reduce the amount of furlough days/hours that will be needed. We recognize the difficult personal financial implications of any furlough, no matter how large or small.”
Locally, employees at the Cherokee Agency will have 10 furlough days in which to choose according to Superintendent Darlene Whitetree.
“In order for Administration to balance their budget for FY2013, we are all taking one day furlough each pay period, one every two weeks, until the end of FY2013 which is the last of September. The furloughs will be implemented in an equitable fashion with everyone participating.”
Whitetree said the furloughs can be taken once a pay period or lumped together if approved by their supervisor.
In a letter detailing sequestration effects on the Department of the Interior, then-Secretary Ken Salazar wrote, “Tribes would lose almost $130 million in funding from the Department. Reductions would be necessary in many areas including human services, law enforcement, schools, economic development, and natural resources…reductions to BIA’s natural resource programs would impact the development of conventional and renewable energy and minerals on tribal lands.”