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Park Rangers, TSA Working Without Pay During Shutdown While Costs Continue To Grow For Americans

10:48 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- For many federal employees, it's been more than two weeks without work. For others, it's meant working without pay.

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked to one of the only park rangers left to run the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro. Nine military park employees were furloughed on October 1st. Two were kept on to run essential operations. Not only are two people trying to manage the workload of eleven but fifteen days have gone by and they're not getting paid.

"Leaves are abundant on the ground, the grass needs mowing, there's a lot of things that need to be done here at the park, a lot of repair work. Two people just can't carry the load," said Kevin Wyrick, the Chief Ranger.

Because the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is very popular, located in an urban area and intersects public roads, city parks, and trails, it's impossible to keep people out. So instead, Wyrick and one other employee are keeping the 250 acres functional.

Wyrick said, "It's been an inspiration. The public has been so supportive and appreciative of what we're doing here every day. I've had numerous people that come out and use the park ask can they pick up trash. Can they help out? What can they do?"

TSA employees at the airport are in the same boat. Out of roughly 59,282 employees across the country, 4,071 were furloughed. That leaves 55,211 TSA employees currently working without pay.

So with all those people not getting paid, how is it that the government shutdown is costing us so much money?

USA Today reported that the shutdown costs $160 million a day.

UNCG political science professor, Dr. Omar Ali said the shutdown costs the American people money because of retroactive compensation, lost revenue, and backlog.

Unlike typical furloughs, government furloughs will most likely be paid back. That's what has happened in the past.

We're also losing money because there's no tourism at national museums, parks and zoos.

And, work is piling up. That means backlog, therefore overtime and extra staffing will likely be required when the government shutdown is over.

Dr. Ali said the last shutdown in 1996 cost the American people roughly $2 billion. That shutdown lasted 26 days.

Click here: Make A Difference: Contact Your NC Lawmaker

WFMY News 2, USA Today

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