Some military members go back to work despite government furlough

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The government shutdown continues, but some military members are being told they can get back to work after being furloughed. Under the Pay Our Military Act hundreds of thousands of civilian workers are being recalled. That includes nearly 770 Kansas National Guard Federal technicians.

The Pay our Military Act was signed into law September 30 just hours before the shutdown. It was passed to ensure the pay and allowances for members of the armed forces and is just now being implemented.

More than 765 Kansas National Guard Federal technicians who were furloughed will now return to work. But 263 federally funded state employees do not fall under the new guidelines and will continue to be furloughed.

Many civilians employed by the military are now back to work, but plenty more are still out of a job. The Missouri Career Center says it’s seeing more federal workers coming in to file for unemployment benefits. Call centers are even extending their hours because of the extra volume.

Ironically, staff at the career center says all of their programs are federally funded, but thankfully they are able to stay open.

“We have made the decision that we’re going to continue to do our work, serve our customers in a very positive way, as we always have,” said Mary Ann Rojas with the Missouri Career Center.

Rojas said the shutdown poses a challenge, but said she’s focused on her employees doing their jobs. “I can’t control the decisions in Washington, but I can control, to some extent, the environment here.”

No word on when or if Missouri’s furloughed National Guard Federal technicians will get back to work. Seventy percent of the 1,400 person workforce have been off the job for more than a week now.

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