Northeast Ohio federal workers respond to government temporarily reopening

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CLEVELAND -- The end of the partial government shutdown is a big relief for federal workers in Northeast Ohio. However, many of them worry that they could be in the same situation again three weeks from now.

"There was quite a bit of outpouring from the community, support for us and we would just like to thank everybody for the outreach and we truly appreciate it," said Nathan Jones, local union president for air traffic controllers at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport control tower.

Nathan said he and his fellow controllers are excited that the partial government shutdown is coming to an end. Although they continued to work during the 35-day shutdown, they did not get paid.

"People are now starting to worry about, you know, second paycheck missed, the bills are still coming, they still want their money...the mortgage is still coming, just that kind of stuff," Jones said.

Friday morning, unions representing the TSA and aviation safety specialists picketed outside the airport, before a deal was announced,. Hundreds of passengers had their flights delayed or cancelled, particularly those flying to New York.

"It simply couldn't go on safely and to increase risk like that is simply not acceptable, should never happen again," said David Sheagley, union representative for District 6 of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Megan Fitzsimmons is a teacher at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County. She and her husband work at the facility and also thrilled to finally be getting paid.

"It's definitely gonna take the pressure off a lot of people, I mean it's not a permanent solution, we'd be a lot happier if, you know what I mean, permanent, but at this point people are struggling so we'll take anything we can get right now and just hope for the best in February," she said.

"We're just kind of hoping this good luck continues in three weeks when they negotiate again," said Jones.

Federal workers are looking forward to catching up on bills, but realize the current deal is not permanent.

"If those aren't passed, the politics are undecided in DC, then we're right back to where we were," Jones said.

Continuing coverage, here.

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