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5,000 IRS employees in Ogden anxious to get to work after record-breaking government shutdown ends

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 22:16:27-05

OGDEN, Utah -- Federal employees who have not received a paycheck since December are thrilled to finally return to work.

About 5,000 people work for the Internal Revenue Service at the James V. Hansen Federal Building in Ogden.

Those workers have either been furloughed or forced to work without receiving a paycheck since the beginning of the partial government shutdown last month.

“I don’t like to be on the sideline,” said IRS employee Matt Westrich. “I am an old Army sergeant. I am used to getting the job done.”

With the announcement of a deal to fund the government for three weeks, federal employees are ready to work again.

“It was just a big relief,” said Jenny Brown, an IRS employee and the president of the Ogden IRS employee union. “I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.”

As they celebrate the reopening of the government, Brown and her co-workers fear another shutdown when this deal expires in February.

“I think morale is going to be pretty low. Especially with the concern that it could happen again,” Brown said.

“We got here already and done it, I don’t know how many times,” Westrich said. “I don’t know if these guys [politicians] will ever learn their lesson.”

Brown thinks employees may not recover right away after missing two paychecks.

“It is going to take a long time to dig out of this,” Brown said. “I am hopeful we are not going to be in the same situation in three weeks.”

Brown expects back pay will be dispersed to employees by the middle of next week.

Workers can call a hotline or log in to an online portal to find out when they are expected to report back to the office.