Ogden IRS Workers Live In Uncertainty As Shutdown Continues
OGDEN, Utah – The leadership of the local, Chapter 67 branch of the National Treasury Employees Union may be out of work right now, but they are keeping very busy, trying to help union members.
“Everyone is very concerned,” Chapter President, Jenny Brown said. “Many calls. A lot of emails, a lot of texts, people wondering, ‘when are we going back to work? What do we do?'”
While there may never be good timing to be out of work, the partial federal government shutdown, just before Christmas was not ideal.
“It is a grandmother’s privilege to spoil their grandchildren,” Chapter Treasurer, Shelly Carver said. “I have my first brand new grandbaby. I kind of backed off on buying gifts for him, because we just don’t know when we’re going to get a paycheck.”
Others have had to cancel travel plans.
“We were going to go out of town this weekend, even just to Idaho,” Communications Director, Krystle Kirkpatrick said. “We decided it’s probably smarter to stay home.”
“I know people who had travel plans to go spend Christmas with extended family,” Brown added. “They had to cancel those plans, because they didn’t want to spend the money.”
Brown says IRS employees will receive a paycheck next week. Beyond that, remains uncertain. Union staffers are doing what they can to help workers; even supplying letters that can be sent to creditors, for those struggling to keep up.
“When you do a shutdown like this, it’s not just a, ‘oh I don’t have spending money.’ It’s ‘how am I going to pay to get food on the table? How am I going to get diapers for my babies?'” Chapter Secretary, Shellee Gamble said.
Meantime, NTEU Chapter 67 leaders say the workload continues to pile up back at the office. They say exempted employees who have to work without pay as a result, have to take on the additional stress.
“The whole shutdown process is very frustrating for most employees,” Carver said. “They’re really frustrated and nervous about how they’re going to get their bills paid; their mortgages, their phone bill, their light bill, their gas bill.”
Brown says IRS employees typically get a four hour window before having to return to work, once a new budget agreement is reached, meaning many of them have to be ready to head back in with relatively short notice.
“We just want to get back to work,” Brown said “We want to get back to our business there at work, serving the taxpayers.”
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