IRS postpones Aug. 30 furlough day

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:04 PM

Josh Hicks

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service has postponed its Aug. 30 furlough day, marking the agency’s second cancellation of mandatory time off it had scheduled for this summer.

Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel indicated in a memo to employees Wednesday that “substantial progress in trimming costs” has potentially allowed the agency to reduce the amount of unpaid leave necessary to meet its spending-cut targets under the government-wide sequester.

The agency had initially planned for five days of furloughs.

Werfel said that early next month, budget planners will evaluate whether the IRS still needs to resort to unpaid leave in September.

Last month, the IRS canceled a furlough day that was slated for July 22.

The National Treasury Employees Union expressed disappointment that the agency was postponing instead of canceling its August furlough day.

“It has been and continues to be NTEU’s position that all remaining IRS furlough days should be cancelled,” the union’s president, Colleen M. Kelley, said in a statement.

“NTEU will continue to work with the IRS to achieve that end,” she said.

Unlike agencies that are requiring workers to take unpaid leave on staggered dates under the sequester, the IRS is forcing all of its employees to take the same days off work.

That has essentially closed the agency down on the furlough days.

The IRS has paired some of its furlough days with federal holidays, creating four-day weekends for affected workers around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day — though the latter will no longer apply with the postponement of the Aug. 30 date.

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