Fort Campbell Union Steward Says Employees Should Be Able to Take Furlough Days Consecutively

Jul 3, 2013

A union steward affiliated with Fort Campbell says post officials’ efforts to keep civilian employees from taking their mandated furlough days consecutively in order to qualify for unemployment benefits is bullying.

Charles E. Cook is a flight simulations instructor and steward with the AFGE Local 2022.  Cook said very few Fort Campbell employees received a briefing on how to schedule their furlough days in order to qualify for unemployment, and if they did they are too afraid of reprisal to do so.

“When we find management trying to forcefully impose a management decision on an employee when the employee has an option, the management only really wants you to choose one of the options – that’s a form of bullying,” Cook said. “And by not telling a person what their options are, you’ve basically bullied them by omission of information.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered up to 11 furlough days for civilian employees in March, as part of across-the-board spending cuts.

Cook said he has received word from the garrison commander Col. David Dellinger that taking the time off consecutively is not the method he prefers – favoring the furlough days being taken individually between July and September.

AFGE Local 2022 Executive Vice President Judy Hansford said Cook doesn’t represent the feelings of the union.

The furlough period begins July 8.