Update: No Furloughs Necessary for INL Contractors

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Updated: 10/17/2013 3:35 pm
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Department of Energy says last night's deal to end the federal government shutdown means no furloughs will be necessary for either of the Idaho Site cleanup contractors.

Danielle C. Miller, Department of Energy, Idaho Communications Office, says employees working for the Idaho Treatment Group (ITG), and CH2M-WG Idaho(CWI) have been informed that they should continue to report to work at their normal schedule. 

That follows a similar announcement that a curtailment plan for nearly 2600 Battelle Energy Alliance employees would be avoided.

Amy Lientz, Director of Communications and Government Affairs for the INL, says, "With the President's signature [Wednesday] night, this means that Battelle Energy Alliance employees can avoid implementing the work curtailment that was scheduled to begin by the close of business Thursday. Our BEA employees have been incredibly patient and understanding. It is good to know that that we can go back to doing what we do best –science and engineering in support of U.S. energy security, national and homeland security."
This news is only associated with BEA and not the other contractors at the site.  KPVI News Six is making an effort to find out how they will be impacted by the reopening of the federal government.  Stay tuned on KPVI News Six for the very latest.

PREVIOUS STORY: Nearly 2600 Battelle Energy Alliance employees will soon have their jobs curtailed because there is no funding for them as the federal government shutdown reaches day ten.

According to an email addressed to KPVI News Six, John Grossenbacher, Idaho National Laboratory Director, notified BEA employees of the ramped down operations Thursday.

As part of the curtailment, starting October 18, all programs, except critical national security work, will be paused until further notice. Around 900 designated INL employees will continue to work to ensure the safety, regulatory compliance and security of all INL assets while the lab is in curtailment.

Employees will learn by letter next week if their position is impacted by the curtailment.

Health benefits for the curtailed employees will continue in addition to personal leave.

A toll-free number will also be set up to give employees updated information. That number is 1-866-495-7440.

An INL Resource Center for employees will open at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies to provide answers about benefits or other human resources-related issues. INL's Employee Assistance Program will also be available during those times. The resource center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Grossenbacher issued this statement in the message to employees, "I understand how disruptive this curtailment will be to many of you and your families. The current lapse in appropriations is extraordinary. I am confident that we are responding appropriately and have an executable plan to return to work as soon as adequate funding is available. I expect those who are not curtailed to stay focused on their work under circumstances that are not normal for the lab. I encourage us all to help and support colleagues and co-workers who are impacted by the curtailment to the best of our ability during a period which will undoubtedly prove very difficult for some."

Grossenbacher added, "Hopefully, Congress will resolve the issue before these actions take place, and we will be able to move forward with our mission of ensuring the nation's energy security."

The government shutdown's impact on the other contractors at the site is still to be determined.
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