Union President Donald Martin said if the shutdown lasts too long, some officers will have to look for work elsewhere. That could create a staffing shortage and raise safety concerns because the prison currently houses more than 14-hundred inmates.
Martin also said the prisoners are still being paid for the work they do at the facility. "The inmates are paid from appropriated funds that are separate from what we get paid from, so they're continuing to get their pay however the correctional officers who are supervising them are not, so it really sets up an awkward scenario in any event," said Donald Martin, AFGE Local 1242 President.
Many Social Security employees are also working without pay -- including several at this office in Merced. Residents say they are thankful the workers are still accepting appointments, even though services are limited because of the shutdown.
Furloughed workers are hoping for retroactive pay, but they say that won't cover overtime costs.