State Department orders staff back to work, says they will be paid

1 month 7 hours 11 minutes ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
By: Nicole Gaouette and Jennifer Hansler, CNN

(CNN) -- The State Department is ordering its staff back to work next week, pledging that it will find the money to pay them despite the partial government shutdown.

In an "urgent message" issued on the 27th day of the shutdown, Deputy Under Secretary for Management Bill Todd told staff that "as a national security agency, it is imperative that the Department of State carries out its mission. We are best positioned to do so with fully staffed embassies, consulates, and domestic offices."

"As a result, all State Department direct-hire employees and State Department locally employed staff are expected to report to work on their first work day in Pay Period 2," Todd wrote. He noted that for most employees, that will be January 22, while for others posted in countries where the work week begins on Sunday, that will be January 20.

Todd wrote that given the "increasing hardship to employees caused by the ongoing lapse in appropriations, the Department is taking steps to make additional funds available to pay employee salaries."

No effort had been made to do so earlier because agency officials had thought the shutdown would end earlier, according to a State Department statement.

In a statement, the agency said that it had done "its best to address matters essential to achieving US national security and foreign policy objectives during the ongoing lapse, it has become clear as the lapse has continued to historic lengths, that we need our full team to address the myriad critical issues requiring US leadership around the globe."

A State Department spokesperson said the money will come from "residual balances" and will cover State Department employees at bureaus that are not already funded. These balances could have been left over from the last fiscal year or several fiscal years. The spokesperson noted the funding will not cover back pay -- that will have to wait until the budget for fiscal year 2019 is approved -- and will only be available for one pay period, after which Congress will have to approve additional funding.

Beyond that point, the Department will act with the guidance of the Office of Management and Budget.

According to the agency, as of Thursday, approximately 23% of US direct hire overseas employees and 40% of direct hire domestic employees have been furloughed. The emergency funding move was coordinated with OMB and the White House, according to the State Department.

It does not cover locally employed staff, most of whom are set to receive pay through March 2.

Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey and the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, criticized the stopgap funding method.

"There is no doubt that President Trump's temper tantrum over his wall and his pointless government shutdown continues to create a real risk for U.S. foreign policy, and what we stand for as a nation," he said in a statement. "And while I believe it is critically important that our diplomacy and development professionals get paid for their service to our nation, trying to hold a government together with duct tape and bailing wire is no way to govern."

As of September, agency figures show it employs 13,855 foreign service officers, 10,171 civil service employees and just over 49,734 locally employed staff in postings around the world.

Todd noted that while most personnel operations will resume, bureaus and posts will be expected to adhere to strict budget constraints when it comes to new spending for contracts, travel and other needs.

Todd's "urgent message" comes on the same day he issued a letter "to whom it may concern," asking for patience and understanding as State Department employees "may have difficulty meeting their financial obligations on time" as they are not being paid at the moment.

"We extend our thanks in advance for your patience and compassion towards our employees during this time when they are negatively impacted by the lapse in appropriations," he wrote.

In its statement, the State Department said it was "deeply concerned about growing financial hardship and uncertainty affecting Department employees whose salaries and well being are affected by the unprecedented length of the lapse."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri saw an uptick in reports of discrimination and harassment in the 2017-2018 school... More >>
10 minutes ago Sunday, February 17 2019 Feb 17, 2019 Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:43:00 AM CST February 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One man received minor injuries after a firetruck overturned while responding to a call early Sunday morning. ... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, February 17 2019 Feb 17, 2019 Sunday, February 17, 2019 6:49:00 AM CST February 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - It's been 50 years since a historic moment occurred on MU's campus Community members met Saturday... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:41:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
OXFORD, MISS. - The Missouri Tigers fell short in Saturday's game against Mississippi, losing 75-65. The Tigers made the... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 10:03:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - City plow crews are continuing to clear snow covered streets as they prepare for more winter weather overnight.... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:08:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
STURGEON - A judge ordered the city of Sturgeon to reinstate Greg Halderman as its police chief, according to court... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 5:05:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - One person is dead after a pair of crashes Saturday afternoon. Jordan E. Hoyt, 37, died after... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 4:29:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa opened up the grounds of the Governor's Mansion on Saturday... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 4:13:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Money raised at the 14 th annual Rootin’ Tootin’ Chili Cookoff on Saturday afternoon will benefit the Columbia... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 3:42:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Even with slick sidewalks and snowy roads, runners still showed up for Mizzou's Rockin' Against Multiple Sclerosis 5K... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 2:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Sixty-three more people have been infected with salmonella linked to raw turkey products in an outbreak that began... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 12:27:00 PM CST February 16, 2019 in News
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 16 2019 Feb 16, 2019 Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:25:00 AM CST February 16, 2019 in News
SARCOXIE, Mo. (AP) — The Jasper County prosecutor on Thursday charged a 23-year-old English teacher at Sarcoxie High School with... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 9:56:18 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Battle High School's Girls Wrestling team will make history by competing in the first high school girls state... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:56:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The first snow system has come to an end and two more are on the way in less... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 8:25:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Weather
COLUMBIA - Despite the treacherous conditions, some people have no choice but to drive in weather like Friday's. "My... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 6:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Humane Society of Missouri rescued 21 dogs and 21 cats from a property in western Missouri Friday.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 5:42:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Another winter blast hit Missouri Friday, causing multiple accidents, closing schools and leaving highway experts... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 4:03:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
11am 32°
12pm 33°
1pm 33°
2pm 33°