Thomas Taylor, a local TSA employee at the Spokane International Airport, says he and some other agents who have not been paid since the start of the government shutdown are OK with continuing to work because they will eventually receive the missing paychecks.
The 33-year-old Spokane man says he made a choice to become essential personnel, or those who are required to continue to work even if the government shuts down.
“I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me, I’m actually OK with it,” Taylor says. “My wife works as well, not for the federal government, but she works and brings in income.”
But while Taylor says he and others expected the government shutdown to occur, it has still caused some concern for those who don’t have another source of income or could not save to make up for the missing checks.
“Some have mortgages, some have rent that they have to pay, some have bills they have to pay of course,” Taylor says. “It is tough for them, but I think most of them expected this, so I think they were pretty prepared for it.”
Taylor says he has heard a few employees express unhappiness with the shutdown, which will become tied for the longest in U.S. history on Thursday.
He also says he has coworkers who are willing to work “for months on end.”
During a government shutdown, essential personnel are still required to work while not being paid. Once the shutdown ends, employees receive all back pay they previously missed.
Taylor, who started with the TSA in December, says he received his last paycheck on the 31st.
Taylor says he hopes both parties can come to an agreement so people can get paid. But in the meantime, he and his fellow TSA employees will continue to work because they “need to be there.”