Federal agencies will begin telling employees on Friday if they will be required to work or be furloughed during a partial government shutdown, according to union presidents who were briefed Thursday morning by Obama administration officials.

Officials of the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management held a conference call with the leaders of federal employee organizations. The officials offered no details, the union leaders said.

In some cases, employees will start notifying employees on Thursday, said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

The administration apparently still does not know how many employees would be furloughed. “They said they are still trying to get their arms around that,” said J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees. He estimated between 800,000 and 1 million employees, out of about 2.1 million, would be furloughed.

Cox and Gregory Junemann, president of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, said the administration officials indicated that employees who are required to work would be paid “eventually.”

“They can’t guarantee they (the workers) will be paid on time,” Junemann said. “They are pretty comfortable with the statement that everybody who works will be paid eventually.”

That upset Junemann who said “a lot of these people are living pay check to pay check…it’s really immoral what they are doing to the federal workforce.”


Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP