6/19/08

Gov't adopts 4-day work week in Michigan

Related story: "Surge of gov't employers adopting 4-day week"

AFSCME avoids fingerprints on 'European' work cut

The four-day work week might end up migrating here from Oakland County (MI), after all. County Commissioner Rose Bogardus, D-Davison, wants to hear from department heads about whether that type of flexibility for employees would work in their offices and will talk about the idea further in a finance committee meeting next week.

"It's strictly about $4-a-gallon gas," Bogardus said. "I think it can (work) in some cases."

A similar proposal was approved for Oakland County recently, a program that could put as many as 1,500 employees on a 40-hour, four-day work week.

Genesee County Controller George Martini has said such a change here wouldn't be a financial windfall for the county and cautioned it would be nearly impossible to adjust some county departments' schedules without shortchanging customers.

Bogardus said any program would have to be voluntary and wouldn't be available if department heads believe the four-day week would be unmanageable.

She said she expects to find out that many departments already have "flex-time" arrangements with some employees to work fewer days but longer hours each day.

County Equalization Department Director Michael G. Ortiz said he's not sure the four-day week will work well for his office, but he's willing to talk more about it.

"We have found (the five-day work week) much more productive," Ortiz said. "(But I would) review the possibilities."

The Flint Journal could not immediately reach representatives of AFSCME Local 496 for comment Wednesday. The union is one of several representing county workers.

(mlive.com)

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