MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is great relief for hundreds of thousands of federal workers with word of Friday’s temporary deal to end the government shutdown. After 35 days, employees will return to their jobs and for those who continued on the job, back pay after two missed paychecks.
“We are very grateful that this thing has gotten to a point where we can get paid now. That’s going to relieve a lot of people. We were getting close to the point where people who were able to put money away have run out of that,” said Neal Gosman, TSA screener and AFGE union representative.
“Now it’s time for the politicians to negotiate what needs to be done to do their job because we’ve been doing ours,” Gosman said.
It was clear by the number of federal employees looking for assistance at the airport the shutdown has taken a toll. The Salvation Army began offering financial assistance today and helped dozens on day one.
“We know that people, still going to be a while before they get their back pay and rent is coming due Feb. 1,” Capt. Katherine Clausell said.
Nonprofit Loaves and Fishes committed to feeding TSA employees a meal a day until the shutdown ended, and they’ve pledged to be there until federal workers get their back pay.
“Their world right now is a little inconsistent and if we can be their constant they know there’s going to be a meal here – that’s a win, I think,” Executive Director Cathy Maes said.
Travelers expressed gratitude.
“Thank you so much. I don’t know if I could have done it, I so appreciate them,” said Ellena Schoop, of Maplewood.
And while the support from the community continues, Gosman says the uncertainty doesn’t end.
“I’m worried a little about looking ahead because the message we have gotten from Washington, D.C. is don’t count on us all the time,” Gosman said.
Gosman said it’s still unclear what kind of ripple effect the shutdown will have within the TSA. He said some employees here have quit and others are getting their resumes ready.