Half of feds don't know if they'll be furloughed

/ Source: National Journal

More than half of federal managers and employees surveyed Wednesday said their agencies had not shared plans with them for implementing a shutdown of operations if funding for federal agencies runs out Friday night — and nearly as many didn't know whether they would be subject to a furlough or not.

A total of 56 percent of the 1,200 people who responded to the survey said their agency had not shared a shutdown plan with them, although almost one quarter — 24 percent — expect to receive notification of a plan this week. Most respondents indicated they were at the GS-12 level or higher.

More than half of respondents said they did not know whether they would have to report to work during a shutdown. Twenty-three percent said they knew they would be excepted from a furlough and would be on the job.

The e-mail survey of 1,200 federal managers and employees was conducted by National Journal and Government Executive's research arm, the nonpartisan Government Business Council, on Wednesday afternoon.

The survey also showed that agency morale is taking a hit as a result of the protracted budget battle. A plurality of respondents (48 percent) rated morale in their agency as "low" or "very low." Only 13 percent considered their agency's employees to be motivated right now.

One-third of federal managers believe it is likely they will receive retroactive pay for the shutdown period. A full 44 percent are less optimistic and believe it is either "unlikely" or "highly unlikely" that they will receive back pay for the shutdown period.

A little more than 45 percent of those surveyed said they would cease all use of agency-issued mobile devices, such as laptop computers and BlackBerrys, in a shutdown, with another 40 percent saying their agencies had not provided such devices to them.

Respondents said they hold congressional Republicans and Democrats most responsible for the potential shutdown, above the White House and the tea party.

The article, "More Than Half of Feds Don't Know Whether They'll Be Furloughed," first appeared in the National Journal.