Most Furloughed Civilian Defense Employees Return to Work Monday

The commissary on Fort Carson is one of the places reopening Monday as many civilian Department of Defense employees return to work.
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It's news thousands of people have been waiting to hear: most civilian Department of Defense employees are returning to work on Monday.

Sunday night, Fort Carson officials confirmed more than 1,000 civilians will head back to work Monday morning. They are among thousands of DOD employees who will be on the job at the start of the week.

With the return of so many civilian employees, Fort Carson said the post commissary will be reopening Monday.

11 News reported the lifted furloughs on Saturday and talked to Congressman Doug Lamborn about the development.

"The one problem with the section's guidance is it doesn't go far enough, not as far as I would like. I would like every single civilian defense worker and defense contractor brought back to work. However they are still not going that far," Lamborn said about the Pentagon's legal interpretation of the Pay Our Military Act that will allow workers to return.

11 News has learned 950 civilian workers from the Air Force Academy will also go back to work on Monday, including civilian professors.

"Having more than two-thirds of our employees not here to support the Air Force's Academy mission to produce lieutenants for our Air Force and our nation has been tremendously disruptive," Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson said in a statement. "While the progress to bring back more than 950 people is encouraging, our thoughts go out to our teammates who are still at home without pay. We look forward to the day all of our hardworking civilians are back on the job."

We've also learned all Peterson Air Force Space Command civilians will return to work as of 12 a.m. Monday. All 700 DOD civilian personnel assigned to the NORAD-NORTHCOM at Peterson Air Force Base will also go back to work Monday.

In Pueblo, 130 civilian workers with the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot are also returning to work.

When 11 News talked to Congressman Lamborn Saturday, he didn't have exact numbers on how many workers in Colorado Springs would come back, but he knew the lifted furloughs would greatly impact our community.

"Of all the greater metropolitan areas in the country, Colorado Springs has the most per capita employees of anyone," Congressman Lamborn said. "We have so many that are defense related...this will be a big boost as opposed to places that have non-defense related things...they're still somewhat in the air."

Sunday, Lamborn’s office told 11 News that all DOD workers returning to work will get paid as scheduled, in full and uninterrupted. For those remaining on furlough, they will get paid retroactively sometime after the shutdown is over.