Federal workers brace for first missed paycheck amid shutdown
TGIF — but not this week.
Some 800,000 federal workers impacted by Washington’s partial government shutdown — including 17,000 in New York state — are bracing Friday for their first missed paycheck.
The check would have covered their previous two weeks of work, but has now fallen victim to the border wall impasse between President Trump and congressional Democrats.
At Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, the inmates are continuing to make 40 cents an hour working in the federal prison’s warehouse or cafeteria.
But the correction officers, including those guarding Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, are not being paid.
“We are working in a very dangerous place and stressed at this point about receiving no paycheck,” said Tyrone Covington, 42, of Brooklyn, the national vice president for the American Federation of Government Employees union’s Council of Prison Locals.
Guards were already working 16-hour shifts due to understaffing, he said. Now, as they work for no pay, the Bureau of Prisons is continuing to deposit non-appropriated, shutdown-exempt pay into inmate accounts.
“Friday is definitely going to be a tipping point,” Covington told The Post. “I think people are already starting to break.”
Housing and Urban Development employee Belkys Colon, an assistant fair housing investigator who works at the federal building in lower Manhattan, teared up as she described counting her pennies, living on peanut butter, and putting off back surgery because of costs.
“My heart is broken,” she said. “I just want to get back to work … I don’t want them to gamble any more with us.”
She told her Bronx landlord that she is a furloughed federal employee, she said. But he had no sympathy. “I just cross my fingers and pray to God that this will be over and my life can go back,” she said.
Raymond Adams, president of the national Air Traffic Controllers Association’s Newark Airport office, tweeted Thursday that he actually did get a paycheck. It just said “zero.”
“Got my first $0 pay stub today,” Adams tweeted.
“Anybody need the services of a 29-year Air Traffic controller with a background in legislative affairs?” He added this reference to the calculations controllers do to plot airfield traffic: “Will vector for food.”
On Saturday, the partial shutdown will hit a record 22 days — surpassing the previous 21-day record in 1995-96.
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