COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Federal workers were supposed to be paid Friday, but more than 800,000 people are set to miss their first paycheck of the year because the government is shutdown.
Local families say they’re starting to feel the effects of the shutdown, which started Dec. 22. If it lasts through Jan. 12, this will be the longest shutdown in United States history.
Christopher Tyndall works as a correctional officer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Florence. He said his family is doing OK for right now because they have savings, but some of his coworkers are hurting.
“It’s a hard time for everybody, obviously,” Tyndall said. “I don’t know why people have the misconception that we are well-off and we don’t live paycheck to paycheck. A lot of people do.”
Tyndall said he is considered an essential worker, so he still has to go to work even though he’s not getting paid. He’s worked through three shutdowns and said he’s gotten paid in the past once the shutdown ended and the government reopened, but it’s never a guarantee.
“We don’t have to get paid,” Tyndall said. “That’s always hanging over our head. If we have to take a sick day, they always warn us, ‘You might not get paid for this.’”
Tyndall and his wife, Tatjana, have been married for about a year. This is the first government shutdown Tatjana Tyndall has been affected by.
“It’s kind of worrisome not knowing every day that they discuss and have not come to a resolution,” she said. “We’re in limbo.”
Christopher Tyndall said if he and his coworkers want to get another job, they have to get it approved. But the people who can approve that are furloughed, so there’s no one the workers can ask right now.
Tatjana Tyndall said she’s working two jobs right now to help pay for school, but she might have to get another job if the shutdown lasts much longer.
“He goes to work every day with not being paid, so obviously the lights need to stay on, the water needs to stay on, so that’s left to me,” she said.
The Tyndall family said they’re thankful the community has stepped up to offer free meals and help during the shutdown. They say they don’t need those services yet, but they’re glad it’s available for others. Here's a link to some of the services offered to federal workers during the shutdown.