Federal prison employees have a very dangerous and difficult job. It takes a dedicated public servant to work in a prison. For most people the thought of being surrounded by convicted criminals and not knowing if you will be able go home at the end of your shift is stressful enough. The men and women of the Federal Bureau of Prisons are accustomed to facing uncertainty on the job but their current government imposed dilemma will surely make supervising and controlling prison inmates a lot tougher especially when you are required to do so without being paid. Prison employees will be more focused on how to pay their bills since the government is literally holding their paychecks hostage. Several thousand federal prison employees put their lives on the line by reporting for work everyday to protect life, property and the general public. Since September 28, 2013 prison employees have not and will not be paid any overtime worked, after September 30, 2013 they will not be paid for using their accrued sick leave time or vacation time, nor can they get a legitimate second job without authorization from the government and any employee who does without authorization may receive disciplinary action up to termination. Prison employees only received pay for six days of work although they worked 40 hours per week for the current two week pay period. The government requires federal employees to pay "just debts" in a timely manner as a condition of employment and employees can be disciplined for failing to pay their debts and to add insult to injury employees are finding that some creditors will not or can not make temporary financial arrangements to assist them with current bills regardless of the government shutdown. AFGE-CPL33 Union Local 1637 officials who work at the Federal Correctional Institution at Seagoville, Texas have voiced their frustrations to the local media in Dallas, Texas about federal inmates being paid in full and federal employees not receiving full pay and soon no pay at all. Union Local 1637 officials explained that physical and verbal assaults on staff, inmates attempting to escape, hostage situations, threats against staff and their family members and/or any acts of violence against any person inside of a prison DO NOT and WILL NOT STOP because the government has shut down. Most federal prison employees are considered federal law enforcement officers and just like members of congress took an oath of office to "serve faithfully". Employee morale is extremely low especially since federal inmates are being paid in full for the hours they worked and federal prison employees are not. Federal inmates know that the staff are not getting paid and some inmates may use this opportunity to compromise a financially stressed staff member by coercing that person into supplementing lost income through bribery, extortion or other illegal methods. Under normal circumstances any employer requiring employees to work and purposely not paying them would be heavily investigated and fined by some enforcement arm of the federal government. To willfully not pay thousands of federal prison employees for work that has already been completed is irresponsible, unethical and most of all Un-American. Please visit www.myfoxdfw.com and click on the link "Prisoners Getting Paid, Guards Not" to learn more about how the government shut down is affecting prison employees. These are matters of public concern and the American public has a right to know how its federal agencies are being operated and how its federal employees are being treated.
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