LOCAL NEWS

Workers Contracted By Federal Government Won’t Receive Back Pay

Jan 25, 2019, 9:15 PM | Updated: Jan 28, 2019, 9:45 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While furloughed workers like those at the U.S Forest Service will soon be back to work and paid soon, those who are contracted out by the feds won’t recoup a dime.

Draper resident Steve Bryant said he has been spending a lot more time in his studio lately teaching pottery lessons.

“I spend about 4 hours a day out here verses two in the evening when I’m working,” he said.

The side gig has kept the lights on for the longtime mapmaker working on a contract for the Forest Service.

“I’m 60 years old and there’s not a whole lot other than making maps that I can do for a living,” said Bryant.

He’s one of the many Americans who won’t receive any back pay with the end of the shutdown.

“NPR estimates that 1.2 million contractors like myself just aren’t going to get paid, and in my situation, I can’t make unemployment because our contracting firm told us, ‘Okay, you can take unemployment, but we have to officially lay you off,’” he said.

That would have cost him health insurance.

Friday’s news of a short term solution to the government shutdown was a relief, but it he said he still has taken a hit.

“That’s what we’ve been waiting for,” said Bryant. “I think we’re about to burn up the last paycheck I got.”

The artist hopes the community understands how much of an impact the shutdown has on so many people.

“Sure the Forest Service people are out of work, their contractors are out of work, but it’s also rippling into the support around there like the restaurants, and the dry cleaners, and people like that are being affected,” he said.

Even with a shutdown solution, Bryant and his mapmaking colleagues will have to wait for the Forest Service to restart their work order before they can get back to work.

He said it could take at least two more days.

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Workers Contracted By Federal Government Won’t Receive Back Pay