Tinker employees brace for furloughs
MIDWEST CITY – Jeramy Thigpen is a husband and father of two and he’s bracing for a cut in his hours at Tinker Air Force Base.
“We’re going to have to take Fridays off because of furlough which obviously impacts my family financially,” Thigpen said.
Starting July 8th, about 14,000 workers will be limited to a 32 hour work week. That means a 20 percent pay cut. Jeramy Thigpen says he doesn’t like the situation but he is thankful they were given enough notice to make other arrangements.
“I’ve gotten another side job so that’s going to help out a little bit,” Thigpen said. “My wife goes to school full time but she’s also picked up a job.”
It’s not just affecting Tinker employees. According to the Director of Public Affairs, the furloughs will also hurt the overall economy of the area.
“We project at Tinker, at somewhere around $89 million during the furlough period which is again July, August, and September,” Ralph Monson said.
Over the next few months, Thigpen says everyone is going to feel the pinch. He is still hopeful and he and other workers will do what they have to do to get by.
“You know per week, one day off is a 20 percent pay cut. It’s substantial, it’s not pennies,” Thigpen said. “It’s going to hurt but it’s okay. I hope they come to an agreement and nobody has to take anymore days off.”
Because of the furloughs the base commissary will now be closed on Mondays instead of Fridays.