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860 Coast Guard members in Charleston impacted by shutdown, not getting paid

Coast Guard Rescue Boat (U.S. Coast Guard via Twitter)

ABC News 4 reached out the Coast Guard to find out local numbers of employees impacted by the government shutdown.

Here is the response from spokesperson PA3 Ryan Dickinson, with PADET Jacksonville.

1. How many people are employed in the Coast Guard in Charleston?

There are approximately 250 active/reserve members in the greater Charleston area. This includes Sector Charleston, Station Charleston, and Coast Guard Cutters Anvil and Cormorant.

Base Charleston has 150 personnel.

Cutters at Base Charleston include the Coast Guard Cutters James, Hamilton, and Willow with approximately 300 people.

The Maritime Law Enforcement Academy has 160 personnel.

2. How many people employed in the Coast Guard in Charleston are impacted by the government shutdown?

All Coast Guard members are impacted and continue to work diligently and faithfully during this time of uncertainty. The Coast Guard has some resources available. Once legislation is passed, Coast Guard members can expect to receive back pay, which will take up to 3-5 business days to process.

3. What are the duties of the employees who are working with no pay?

During the partial government shutdown, our priorities include essential services such as search and rescue, port and homeland safety and security, law enforcement and environmental response. Activities like recreational boarding's or safety checks, the issuance or renewals of merchant documentation and licensing, fisheries enforcement patrols, and routine maintenance to aids to navigation are also delayed and/or curtailed, as are some administrative functions, training, and maintenance activities to our surface and aviation fleets.

4. What are the duties of the employees who are not coming to work?

All civilian positions in the Service are considered critical to executing the Coast Guard's missions. However, during a government shutdown, certain civilians positions due to function are not furloughed in order to maintain operations that provide for national security or that protect life and property and therefore continue to report for work. Examples include search-and-rescue coordinators, vessel traffic service watchstanders, and hazardous material specialists.

5. Is any existing Coast Guard employee still getting paid?

Not that I am aware of in Charleston.

6. What happens if someone is unable to continue working without pay and/or needs to get another job? Is that person replaced? Are others working overtime with no pay?

Coast Guard members continue to work diligently and faithfully during this time of uncertainty. The Coast Guard has some resources available. Leaders at all levels of the service are fully engaged to help mitigate potential financial impacts to our workforce during the lapse in appropriations.

7. When did the no paychecks officially begin for workers in the Charleston area?

Dec. 31, 2018 was the last pay check received. Coast Guard personnel are paid bi-weekly typically on the 1st and 15th of each month. The next paycheck would have been Jan. 15, 2019. Once legislation is passed, Coast Guard members can expect to receive back pay, which will take up to 3-5 business days to process. Historically, Congress has paid personnel who were furloughed during previous lapses in appropriation, but this not a guarantee. The approximately 1,300 civilian employees who perform excepted missions will be compensated for the time they worked at the end of the lapse in appropriation, but will not be paid until the lapse in appropriation ends. The approximately 800 personnel who are exempted from furlough based on the funding source of their salaries will continue to be paid so long as funds remain available.

A helping hand

Local Coast Guard members and other federal employees impacted have been getting assistance at the Lowcountry Food Bank, free matinee movies, food at a downtown restaurant and more.

South Carolina Rep. Joe Cunningham also filed a bill to pay Coast Guard during government shutdown.

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