Obama’s gift to federal workers: four-day weekend for holiday
WASHINGTON — ’Twas the day before Christmas and all across the federal government, workers were enjoying an extra day off after President Barack Obama issued an executive order closing offices Monday and excusing all but postal service employees from duty.
The estimated cost for shutting down the government for a day is $100 million.
Obama signed the order on Friday closing all federal executive departments and agencies on Christmas Eve and making the day a holiday for their workers.
The decision to grant federal employees a four-day weekend came after 28,257 people signed an online petition on the White House “We the People” website requesting it.
“Federal employees have had a pay freeze for the past several years and the pay and benefits for the federal workforce have been under serious attack during the national elections held this year,” the petition said. “Giving federal employees an extra holiday on December 24th, 2012 would be a good gesture to improve morale of the federal workforce,” the petition said.
In 2010, Obama announced a blanket twoyear pay freeze for all civilian federal workers, citing the government’s budget deficit.
It was set to expire Dec. 31.
But on Friday the president formally extended it through March 27.