Federal workers protest government shut-down

Northeast News
October 16, 2013

protest-1 grp

“Hey, hey; ho, ho; this shut-down’s got to go!”

In singsong voice, federal workers chanted, waving their signs as they stood in front of the downtown federal building in Kansas City Oct. 16. Multiple cars passed by and honked to show their support.

With Congress unable to reach a budget agreement, federal employees have gone without pay since Sept. 30.

“We’re sitting here, waiting for Congress to do something. They’ve had a year to get the budget ready,” said Whitney Foley, a contact representative, who’s worked for the IRS since 2007. “We want to go back to work.”

A number of area federal employees were already living paycheck to paycheck before the government shut-down, she said.

For three years, federal employees have faced frozen salaries and since that time, the cost of living in Kansas City, Mo., has gone up by 27 percent, said Foley, who quoted the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We are severely underpaid and have a hard time making ends meet, period,” she said.

Foley has contacted numerous members of Congress, leaving voicemails in offices that are no longer staffed due to the shut-down.

A mother of three, Foley said they postponed celebrating her daughter’s 16th birthday because the money simply wasn’t there.

“She says, ‘Mom, I understand.’ It was very hard,” Foley said.

Thankfully, their local church stopped by with a birthday cake, she said.

“It’s just been a trying experience for everybody,” she said.

Amy Allmon, an IRS tax compliance officer, said, “I was told by one credit card company, ‘We don’t care you’re not getting your paycheck.”

This month, she couldn’t pay her Missouri Gas Energy (MGE) bill. However, MGE has been sympathetic, she said.

Earlier this year, federal employees endured a three-day furlough without pay, which caused Allmon to fall behind on her house payments. She had just gotten back on track with the payments when the government shut down, and now her payment will be late, she said. To pay for groceries this month, she borrowed $50 from a friend.

As for Foley, her landlords are threatening to evict her since she didn’t pay the rent this month.

“They said they understand, but they still need their money; they’re a business, too,” she said. “It’s very hard. It puts a lot of stress on top of stress. It’s not that we don’t want to pay our bills, we just don’t have it (money).”

To find additional funds to pay her rent, Allmon said she planned to visit Catholic Charities following the protest.

Other federal workers have been skipping doctors appointments or not filling prescriptions because of the cut in pay, she said. For “essential employees” who must still report to work sans pay, the burden is even greater, she said, as they must still pay for gasoline or bus fare to travel to work.

“It feels like little kids fighting over the same toy,” Allmon said of Congress. “I don’t understand. Every year, Oct. 1 is the budget deadline; why can’t you get it taken care of before it causes problems?”

federal employees

Comments are closed.

  • Office Tower slated for Indep/Benton

    April 1st, 2016

    Northeast Ruse KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Officials with Cashphlash, an international payday lending agency, has expressed interest in constructing a […]

    Fire destroys pawn shop warehouse

    November 19th, 2014

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Nov. 19, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Fire Department were called to an […]

    One dead after morning shooting outside City Hall

    November 12th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — One man is dead after a early morning shooting […]

    Kessler Bark: Record breaking tree grows in HNE

    November 12th, 2014

      By Joe Jarosz Northeast News November 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast is now able to claim […]

    Neighborhood Advisory Council seeks candidates for 2015

    November 12th, 2014

    Northeast News November 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City, Mo., Neighborhood Advisory Council is seeking candidates for […]

  • U.S. Navy Blue Angels to stop in Kansas City for preseason visit

    November 11th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 11, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The U.S. Navy Blue Angel representatives will visit Kansas City next week […]

    KCMO to host hard to recycle items event on America Recycles Day

    November 10th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 10, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Are old televisions, mattresses, bicycles and other items taking up space […]

    City offices closed Nov. 11, 27 and 28; trash pickup delayed

    November 8th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 8, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — City Hall wants you to know there will be a few […]

    Gov. Nixon announces summer jobs program for 1,500 low-income youth in Kansas City area

    November 7th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 14, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The lesson learned from earning a buck is something […]

    Jackson County gets four new faces for Legislature

    November 5th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 5, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County Democrats had nothing to worry about on […]

  • What’s Happening

    Northeast Newscast Episode 30 – Jerusalem Farm’s Jordan Schiele on his passion to serve the Historic Northeast

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson sits down with Jordan Schiele, […]

    Probable cause statement reveals details of Sunday homicide on Ewing Ave.

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Just after 5:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, October 15, a woman approached a […]

    KCAI students working on new mural project at Whittier Elementary

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Following last year’s completion of the Scarritt Elementary murals, artist Hector Casanova and his Kansas […]

  • Local Weather