CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Monday marks the 7th day of the partial shutdown of the U.S. government--and still there's no resolution in sight. But Congress displayed a rare act of bipartisanship over the weekend, that will help some workers who were furloughed.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asked that 350,000 of the Department of Defense's furloughed civilian workers return to their jobs. This comes after the House passed a bill on Saturday, which will guarantee back pay to these federal employees.
All civilian workers of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base will be able to return to work on Monday.
The Commander of the 439th, Col. Steven Vautrain, said in a statement sent to 22News, "It will take a while for civilian personnel to straighten out the paperwork, but all offices should be manned for normal operations starting Monday. Guidance on last week's pay for furloughed employees is forthcoming."
"We did our job during the shutdown, we did missions, but it was at a low capacity. It will be amazing to have people back at work", said Lt. Col. James Bishop, Chief of Public Affairs at Westover ARB.
But there are still several dozen "traditional" reservists at Westover who will remain off the clock, until Congress can reach a resolution. This includes 400,000 government workers in the U.S.
"Until we do get a continuing resolution, [the reservists] have to stay home--and of course--they're a valuable part of the mission", explained Lt. Col. Bishop.
For those who are returning to work Monday, they will not receive their paychecks until the shutdown is over. At the moment, no one knows how long that will be.