Reporting Cleve Bryan
By Cleve Bryan
POMONA, N.J., (CBS) — Staff from the FAA Technical Center are among furloughed federal workers wondering when they’ll see pay checks.
“We’re being kicked around like a political football,” says Gary Baca, an FAA radar support worker and president of AFGE Local 200.
Baca says he and his co-workers were optimistic Congress could reach a budget agreement, but as the shutdown continues, it’s making them more and more upset.
“I’m very proud of this country, I served in the military, I worked as a government employee for the last 15 years. This is an embarrassment,” says Baca.
Some of the FAA Tech Center workers like Joe Yannone and Tony Nappi have spouses also employed by the government and on furloughs.
“Both my wife and I are federal employees, both of us are on furlough, so there’s a good possibility that there’s not going to be a check coming in anytime soon,” says Yannone.
Besides the pay, officials from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association say sending home more than 3,00 support staff nationwide gives them safety concerns.
“I think the functions we perform are critical to the safety of air traffic control. There’s a safety margin and the longer this shutdown goes the more than margin gets squeezed,” says Nappi.
Many of the highly trained and experienced engineers and technicians are now spending time on the phone applying for unemployment. They’re also going over family budgets trying to look for ways to cut back.
“We have an 11-year-old daughter going to school, she’s a gymnast you know we have to start looking at things that we have to cut back. Is it steak tonight or furlough fish sticks? we don’t know,” says Yannone.