NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - Relief comes for civilian employees who have been dealing with furloughs for a month due to federal budget cuts known as sequestration. The mandatory unpaid furloughs that started in early July will end sooner than expected.
According to Pentagon officials, those facing 11 unpaid days off will now have those cut to six. This is the fifth week civilian employees have dealt with the furloughs, and now, next week will be their last.
Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point civilian workers have had to take one day off a week without pay since early July. Workers are reacting to the news.
"Thank goodness I'm going to get my pay check back," said Cherry Point helicopter engineer Wendy Doubles.
When we first met Doubles last month, she was doing some number crunching. She said many civilian employees heard talk about the change last week but didn't believe it until they got an email on Tuesday.
"I'm happy they were able to work things out and move things around so that we can get back to the jobs we love to do," she said.
Leslie Hoggard is a federal contractor at Cherry Point. He said he is ready to get back to a normal schedule.
"Hopefully get caught up on all my work because you know, even though we're out, the work load doesn't slow down," Hoggard said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved the final numbers this week after meeting with top leaders. However, Hagel said unless things change, furloughs could happened again next year.
"Hopefully lawmakers can extend it off and it not happen, but it is a reality and something we have to plan for," Hoggard said.
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