Federal corrections officers struggling without pay

Federal corrections officers struggling without pay (PHOTO: KOMO News)

SEATAC, Wash. — On Saturday at noon, President Trump is set to make a major announcement on border security and the partial government shutdown which is now entering a 5th week.

So far, the White House is not giving any hints about what he plans to say but federal correctional officers who are struggling without pay say there's only one thing they want to hear from the President.

They told KOMO News morale at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac is low, but they're still going to work without pay to support each other.

Adam Cunningham been guarding some of the most dangerous convicts for nearly two decades.

"If you think of the worst person you got? We get them,” said Cunningham.

A job that's already tough — got harder because Cunningham has been doing it without pay, thanks to the shutdown.

“It's just ridiculous. I don't understand how they can sit in their offices up on that hill and think that it's okay for one minute,” said Cunningham. “They’re not doing it for anybody else other than themselves right now. They're doing it on the backs of the working men and women for the federal government."

After missing two paychecks and not knowing when the next one will be, Cunningham is voicing his frustration in a letter to anyone who will read it.

“Do you know how many staff get assaulted and you don’t hear about it? Yet, we continue to put our uniforms on and walk the line behind the walls, we do this because maybe at one time it was our job or maybe we thought we were making a difference. Mostly now we do it because for our brothers and sisters we do not want to leave behind,” Cunningham wrote.

As President Trump gets ready for his announcement on the shutdown, Cunningham has words for him and lawmakers.

“I want an apology from them. That’s what I want,” said Cunningham. “I want them to say the government is open and I want them to tell me we are sorry we are not upholding our end of the deal when you guys all voted us into office."

Cunningham said officers got an email they may have to start paying for dental and vision insurance out of pocket because of the shutdown. It would be another added cost many officers can’t afford.

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