AUGUSTA, Maine — The number of employees of the Maine National Guard affected by the shutdown of the federal government has risen to more than 400 and it’s possible another 50 may be furloughed, a spokesman for the guard said Wednesday.
Soon after announcing Tuesday that 280 federal technician employees of both the Maine Army and Air National Guard had been furloughed, another 126 employees were informed that they were being sent home, said Maj. Michael Steinbuchel, public affairs officer for both branches of the Maine National Guard.
“There was some initial confusion about who was able to stay on and it was cleared up soon after the initial announcement went out,” said Steinbuchel on Wednesday. “The total number of employees furloughed is 406.”
The breakdown of furloughed employees is 222 in the Maine Army National Guard and 184 in the Air guard, according to Peter Rogers, spokesman for the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management. The employees are stationed around Maine but most of the affected workers are from Camp Keyes in Augusta, the Maine Air National Guard base and the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Bangor.
Approximately 100 employees were excepted from being furloughed, according to Rogers. Members of the active guard and reserve, numbering more than 350, are unaffected by the shutdown.
Asked whether any more employees might be furloughed, Steinbuchel said there are 50 state workers for the National Guard whose salaries are paid in part by the federal government. The Maine National Guard is awaiting word from the federal government about whether those employees will be affected, he said.
It is not known if furloughed employees will receive back pay when they return to work, Steinbuchel said.
“I hope people appreciate what a trying couple of days this has been for these employees, who have been placed in a difficult financial position [by the shutdown],” he said.