As the partial government shutdown ended Monday, Spokane’s federal workers went back to their counters in the United States Court House, the downtown Post Office and the Social Security and Bureau of Mines offices.
Last week’s furlough of some 41 people at the Social Security office could cause a delay of no more than a week in the processing of new claims for benefits, said staff assistant Meredith Hilby.
At Fairchild Air Force Base, 264 furloughed civilian workers returned to positions that were filled by uniformed personnel last week. Most of the jobs were administrative and clerical posts, in civil engineering and housing management.
“As a team, we were able to handle it,” said Sgt. Sue Conard, a base spokeswoman.
Some 140 employees of the Bureau of Mines returned to work. For them, shutting down the government temporarily complicated their efforts to shut down permanently.
The bureau, which goes out of existence Jan. 8, is trying to find a home for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of mining data, said Richard Grabowski, chief of the western division. There’s no word yet if employees will get an extension because of last week’s work stoppage.
“It sort of adds insult to injury to be furloughed prior to being fired,” Grabowski said.