Hundreds of employees at the Defense Finance Accounting Service in Rome gathered in the DFAS cafeteria Monday to hear assurances from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., that their jobs are safe. Schumer brought reassurances from the Army secretary and comptroller.
"DFAS in Rome is firmly cemented in the long term plans for the Army. They told me there is simply no possibility of DFAS closing anytime in the foreseeable future," said Schumer.
The gathered employees cheered when Schumer shared the news.
"That's very difficult when you're driving to work and you realize that, you know, what do you do if you can't drive to this job anymore?" said DFAS worker John Flanagan.
Schumer said Army leadership realized that the tentative plan to hub Army accounting services in Fort Bragg made no sense.
"To have, every six months, new recruits at Fort Bragg try to do this job and train them would not be close to as efficient or effective as having well-trained employees who have done this for years do it."
And who do it more efficiently than any other DFAS office, according to union leadership.
"We're very cheap, our cost of operation unit cost is far less than any of the other four DFAS sites, Cleveland, Columbus, Indy or Limestone, Maine, so they have an asset here," says Ed Abounader.
With Monday's reassurances from Senator Schumer came a reminder that was already in the consciousness of hundreds of government employees at DFAS; there are no real guarantee.
"Things change with the government as everybody here knows but if we stay as vigilant as we've stayed, I think we're going to have the same success that we've had in the past, because this is a very effective facility," said Schumer.