PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Joe Scioscia has a stack of bills piling up. Some he can afford to pay; some he cannot.

He's had to have some difficult conversations.

"I had a medical bill call me the other day, and I said, 'I'm part of the furloughed employees. I'd love to set up a payment plan but I don't know when I'll have the money. Watch the news. When they tell me I'm going to get paid, you can call me.'"

[RELATED: Trump says government shutdown could last months or years]

Scioscia is an officer with the Transportation Security Administration at Sky Harbor Airport and one of the 800,000 federal employees nationwide whose lives have been turned upside down because of the partial government shutdown.

A 13-year TSA veteran, Scioscia serves on the board of the American Federal Workers Association and has heard story after story of co-workers barely getting by because they're not getting paid.

"You still need the cash," Scioscia said. "You have to go to the gas station, have to get food, to buy formula, buy diapers, pay for daycare and those things are tough."

Federal workers missed their first official paycheck this weekend. That has led to a growing number of TSA officers calling in sick.

[RELATED: Federal workers get $0 pay stubs as shutdown drags on]

Scioscia doesn't think leaders in Washington realize the impact this shutdown is having on people.

"They say they can relate," he said. "But sitting here, I don't see how they can relate."

[RELATED: AZ breweries struggle with government shutdown]

"One person I work with, she wasn't at work for several days last week, mainly because they were going to food banks stocking the cupboards because they don't know how long this is going to last, and she's got several children that (sic) depend upon her,” Scioscia continued.

Nobody will say for sure if the growing number of TSA officers not showing up to work will impact safety and security at Sky Harbor and other airports, but it is a concern among passengers.

Scioscia said he has no plans to change jobs, but said it would be nice to get paid for his work again.

"We wear a badge. We take an oath. So, we have to come to work," Scioscia said. "I really wish they would come to some sort of agreement in Washington, D.C."

[RELATED: 4 ways to get help during government shutdown]

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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Reporter

Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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(2) comments

Dean

The grumpy TSA people are having a pity party with the help of the anti Trump media. They know very well they will get ALL of their back pay as soon as the democraps do what they should to protect this country from illegal invaders and of course illegal voters.

SenseiGerry

The dems have held out for far too long. Enough of this "If Trump is for it, we're against it" BS.

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