OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Monday was Day 17 of the federal government shutdown and problems are piling up for federal workers in the Bay Area who are not receiving paychecks.
“Will the money eventually come as back pay? Of course,” said Nicole Lauer of the East Bay Coast Guard Spouses Club. “But that doesn’t help families pay their bills right now. It doesn’t help families get food on their table right now.”
For Coast Guard families like Lauer’s, it is looking like another pay cycle will come and go without a paycheck. While President Trump says families will adjust, support groups are now having to organize food drives for families who have simply run out of money.
“Worry about your bills, make sure that’s taken care of,” Lauer advised struggling families. “We’ll make sure food gets on your table.”
Speaking outside the White House, President Trump said he would not bend in his fight for a border wall.
“I can relate,” Trump said of federal workers going without pay. “And I’m sure that people who are on the receiving end will make adjustment. They always do.”
What has that meant for Lauer and her family?
“We had to move money around. We had to pull money from savings that should be truly for emergencies to make sure the bills are paid for the month, to make sure that credit scores don’t get dinged, said Lauer. Because if your credit is dinged, that can affect security clearances and all that.”
TSA agents are another set of federal workers affected by the shutdown. There have been reports of increased sick calls at some U.S. airports. KPIX 5 has looked into whether or not that has been seen at Bay Area airports, but there are no indications of problems so far.
At San Francisco International Airport, security screeners are not federal employees, so they are still getting paid. The TSA agents at Oakland International Airport have a more typical story.
The men and women who screen passengers flying in and out of Oakland are not receiving paychecks. KPIX 5 spoke with a few of those Oakland TSA agents off camera, and they said there has not been a noticeable increase in absences.
Those workers also said they feel they are part of a team and don’t want to let each other down. By and large, they’re showing up and working. Airport management in Oakland and San Jose reports that the shutdown has not caused any changes or disruptions for security or passengers so far.