Local federal workers worry about missing a paycheck

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DENVER -- Right now, about a quarter of Colorado's 50,000 federal workers are worried about when they'll get their next paycheck.

They, along with nearly 800,000 other federal workers, are either furloughed or working without getting paid because Congress and President Donald Trump can not agree on a budget.

"Get it done," Sebastian Henao, the Colorado president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, told FOX31. "I mean, what else can you say? Stop hem hawing. Just get it done."

Henao and a few hundred other Federal Aviation Administration technicians in Colorado are responsible for making sure FAA and air traffic control equipment is working.

"I can’t even tell you how critical it is," Henao said.

He and his coworkers are considered essential employees. They had their holiday time-off canceled and are forced to go to work without knowing when they'll get paid again.

"Several of us have the means to float us by for a little bit," Henao said. "And then others just keep that to themselves. They figure out their own ways to get by."

Some federal workers will struggle if they miss their next paycheck, which is likely if the shutdown continues for another week.

Meanwhile, The Action Center in Lakewood wants workers to know that help is available.

"These may be families who maybe never thought about needing The Action Center before and they may think, 'That’s for people who need these things more than we do. We have it pretty good,'" said The Action Center Executive Director Pam Brier. "But this is a critical time for people who are suddenly without the income they’ve come to rely on."

The Action Center, along with other non-profit organizations, are ready to help federal workers by offering counseling, food and potentially money to help with mortgage, rent and utility bills.

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