On this edition of the Governor's News Conference, Governor Huntsman unveiled a plan for the Executive Branch of the State of Utah to move to a four-day, ten-hour work week. The new Monday through Thursday Workweek is expected to be fully implemented in August.
Benefits include expanding hours of government agencies to outside the normal working hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the saving of energy costs due to building shutdown, and lowering automobile emissions by reducing worker driver hours.
Governor Huntsman brought in Jeff Herring, Executive Director of Human Resources, and Kimberly Hood, Executive Director of Administrative Services to explain the benefits of his plan.
An Excel document of savings charts is located under the "Documents" tab above. For more information of the 4-10 workweek, please visit utah.gov.
As a State Employee and as the numbers look in black and white as of this date I face two issues with a 10 hour day.
1. I will no be able to utilize UTA as I am presently doing as the morning bus is not early enough and the afternoon bus (last one for my route) is 5:15p.m. = I will have to drive all 4 days of the week
2. I am enrolled for two classes at the U which start at 6p.m. = will not be able to continue my studies
Posted by Jennifer Reynolds, Thursday June 26th, 2008 @ 3:36 pm
What a great decision, thank-you Governor Huntsman. Now I won't have to leave work early or take vacation time to do business with the State. I can see this benefit employees also giving them an extra day to do things they would normally not be able to do. I think this would also help stimulate Utah economy as those workers would probably be spending a little money on those days off. Last but not least I see the environmental savings the governor discussed.
Keep up the great work Governor.
Posted by Stan Bankhead, Thursday June 26th, 2008 @ 5:39 pm
I would like to know who this is really benefiting?? Being open longer hours during Mon-Thurs is not saving energy because you are making up the time for Friday's hours using energy...also some mothers will have problems with daycare hours because daycare centers need to go home to their families also makes for kids to become more ornery because of longer hours takes away from families spending family evenings together because they will be in a hurry to get ready for the next day's long hours. Also some kids have activity sports parents would like to attend and be able to take their kids to timely.....its like putting a burden on someone else to take over with the everyday activites that are already in place. It appears that everyone including daycares, transit, people in college that need to leave work on regular schedule to make clases, kids getting to their games on time or practice games. I see nothing but flaws with closing on Fridays, state government agencies affect everyday living with the public. People will not be staying at home on their day off either so gas prices will probably keeping going up of which there needs to be some sort of a cap with these crooks out there that make it hard to survive from pay day to pay day already. The economy stinks there is no room to grow anymore with these outrageous changes that our state constantly changes and for whose benefit. There's more frustration than good that will happen with this change, my solution is Flex Plan this works because the county has it.
Posted by Debra Bonacci, Friday June 27th, 2008 @ 9:38 am
I commend our Governor for this bold move. Energy efficiency is very important these days and so is doing our part in saving our environment. I commute into Salt Lake City everyday (90 miles round trip) so taking a day away from that commute is ideal. I understand the concerns of those who will have issues with daycare and bus schedules but for myself, I am very excited to participate in saving energy and work towards improving our environment. I love the additional benefit of having a 3-day weekend where I can spend more time with my grand children.
Posted by Jolyn Bevan, Friday June 27th, 2008 @ 11:05 am
I love the idea of working 4 days and having a 3 days weekend. But my children are raised. As a single mom I could have not worked 4 long days with 3 young children at home fending for themselves. I appreciate Governon Huntsman intentions, but before implementing it we need to understand the needs of our employees in our agencies.
Posted by Maria Holmes, Friday June 27th, 2008 @ 10:28 pm
First of all I love KUED!
Now regarding the program:
I am a tax auditor for the state. No one that works for the state was ever asked about their input of a 4/10 schedule. So Governor Huntsman is lying.
Second, they tried this in the auditing division five years ago and it failed miserably. Productivity tanked. If they do this again, they will have the same outcome. The auditing division helps the state collect revenue that funds everything. The less we collect the more everyone suffers. It is likely the loss in collection revenue will be greater than the savings in operating costs.
More so, taxpayers won't have the same accessibility to auditors. Huntsman thinks the state will be more accessible if offices open at 7 am. When was the last time anyone ever ran errands that early? I'm an auditor, do you know how many taxpayers call me on Fridays?
More people will be forced to drive because UTA won't be able to cater rides so early or late in the evening- increasing carbon output. UTA even said they were never approached in the matter.
This is a decision that was rushed. Most people conduct research before making a decision. The Governor has taken the opposite approach. Thanks.
Posted by Ajay Gupta, Sunday June 29th, 2008 @ 12:14 pm
I am a state employee and I think it is funny that the new logo the Governor has for the new 4/10 schedule has Employees listed on the bottom and the text is upside down. Which is what this new schedule is doing to a majority of state employees- turning their lives upside down. I also think this decision was rushed and employees were not consulted. I have heard that department heads were somewhat consulted and then a week later it was implemented. I understand the Governor wanting to save energy, but it comes at a high price for state employees.
Posted by State Employee, Monday June 30th, 2008 @ 4:25 pm
I applaud the governor’s decision on a four day work week. Some people have a hard time with change, once they become accustom to the change. Everyone will understand how much more beneficial the four day week would be. However, I believe the governor should look into the telecommuters program more. Rather than adjusting any times for UTA routes. Most of our office work could be effectively completed from home. Thank, you Mr. Huntsman and staff.
Posted by Kenney Christensen, Tuesday July 1st, 2008 @ 7:44 am
I happened to be on vacation when the Governor issued his edict. I call it an edict because no state employee was asked for their thoughts. I participated in the “survey” that was mentioned in the show by Kimberly Hood. The “survey” said absolutely nothing about going to four 10 hour days. The whole survey consisted of five questions:
“1. At which building location do you currently work?
2. What is your main mode of transporation (sic.) to work?
3. How many days a week do you drive a personal vehicle to work?
4. If you use a personal vehicle, ON A TYPICAL DAY, approximately how many miles do you drive ROUND TRIP(to and from work)?
5. What is the average miles per gallon (MPG) for your personal vehicle?”
Is this mind bogglingly simple survey is the basis for all of the projected energy savings? Good luck with that.
What does this mean for me and my family? For the last year and a half, I had already been working a flexible schedule. One that allowed me to have every other Monday off. Why Monday’s? Because my wife’s days off are Sunday and Monday. When I was working a standard 5 day x 8 hour, I only got one day off a week with my wife and it put a lot of stress on our marriage. When I got the Monday off, it helped us out considerably.
Why can’t my wife switch her schedule? Fridays and Saturdays are her best money making days at her job.
Now I’ll be forced back onto a schedule where I’ll only get one day off a week with my wife and I’m sure it will make my marriage more stressful again. Thanks Governor for boosting my “quality of life.”
The Governor mentioned that “flexibility would be critical in the month of July.” Apparently he was referring to employees being flexible and not the state being flexible. I don’t see anyone “pondering the variables”. When I have asked about how much flexibility there is and if I might be able to keep my one Monday a pay period off and telecommute on the following Friday I’m being told, “Absolutely not. DHRM will not allow anyone to telecommute on Fridays.”
Finally I would like to close with the following thought. Does DHRM and the Governor really care about employee moral? I think if they did they would have:
1) Opposed House Bill 213 which removed one of the best if not the best employee benefit.
2) Opposed kicking 80% of us off the medical PPO plan and forcing us onto the HMO.
3) Would have insisted the Legislature fund a Market Comparability Analysis at some point in the last four years and chastised them for allowing the average state employee to be underpaid by an average of 20% (including the increasingly less “cushy” benefits).
4) Would have taken some input from employees on his four day x ten hour work week instead of issuing it as an edict and demanding every employee change their lives over the next five weeks.
5) Would not currently be trying to destroy the employee merit working system which protects people like me from political retribution and the good old boy network.
Posted by john cook, Tuesday July 1st, 2008 @ 3:04 pm
I am happy with the Governor's decision. I have been working a 4/10 schedule for several years and it has worked well for me. My drive is approximately 70 miles round trip per day and once at work, I would rather stay longer hours than drive an extra day. It has also worked well for my family because I have had one day where I have been able to help out by tending my grandchildren. The last two or three years, I have been registering all our vehicles on line (even though I could have just brought them to work with me) and I have found it to be quick, easy, and convenient. I realize that not everyone has access to computers, and there will be adjustments for both the public and employees, but hopefully we can make this work.
Posted by Susan Waters, Thursday July 10th, 2008 @ 1:42 pm
Governor Huntsman is doing what is best for Utah as a whole. He is protecting this beautiful state of our. This plan will:
1) save energy (20% on heating/air conditioning - electricity is basically a wash)
2) save 20% on fuel (state vehicles will be sitting idle for an extra day and employees will commute one less day)
3) prevent harmful vehicle emissions that cause smog
4) allow citizens to visit government offices before or after their regular work day (you will no longer have to take a day off)
5) give employees a day to take care of personal business without having to take a day off (doctor appt, auto mechanic, etc)
6) improve employee moral and productivity (people are refreshed and ready to work after a three day weekend)
Yes, it will take some adjusting, just like every other change in human history (computers, internet, telephone, fax, air travel, automobile, postal service, bathing). Yes, when these things were first introduced, people scoffed and fought them and they did inconvenience some people, but as a whole, we're all better off.
This will be no different. Times are changing, so you can either go along with it or fight it while the rest of the world moves on without you.
Kudos to Governor Huntsman for his foresight in these changing times!!
Posted by Brad Adkins, Thursday July 10th, 2008 @ 5:15 pm
every state in the union should have a full scale investigation to find out if this can be done in their state, or just put it to a vote by the people.
Posted by herbert forney, Saturday July 12th, 2008 @ 12:37 pm
I work for the city of Orem and there is talk of us having a trial period of 4 10's. I have problems with the idea, too. But first, a little background. I live very close to work--2 miles to be exact. I purposely chose a smaller, more expensive home so I could spend less money on gas and more time with my family. I'm the last to leave for work in the morning on my street and the first to arrive home. Time with my family is everything. I won't save much money on gas and the environment won't benefit that much from me not driving 4 miles on Friday. To boot, I've also been biking to work, which uses NO gas! The ride is only 5 minutes longer than if I drive, so as long as it's warm out, I'll keep pedalling. It's saving me somewhere between $30 and $60 a month on gas. I use that to improve my bike and buy tools for now.
So, having to arrive at work early means I have to get up an hour earlier. That's 5 AM. Four days a week! I'll also get home later. And since I have to wake up early, I'll have to go to bed earlier. So, I now spend about 4 hours with my kids, which will be cut down to about 2. They're not even in grade school yet so my time to spend with them helping with homework and stuff, plus helping with dinner and eating it, is already pretty spent. I, too, have occasional meetings or activities at night so it'll be a rushed dinner (if any at all) before I head out to a 7 o'clock meeting.
As a programmer, I count on having to be alert to think clearly and thoroughly through the problems I'm creating solutions to. Will I really be more productive being at a computer two hours longer than normal? If my memories of school are any indication, the answer will be no. And I'd like to see how many customer service personnel are going to be chipper helping customers after they've been at work for 9 hours. And what if the customer's angry? That would be hard to keep one's cool with that combination.
Posted by Roger Dunn, Friday August 1st, 2008 @ 12:09 pm
Jon Hunstman. Utah’s worst Governor.
There is no environmental crisis. Its a fake crisis.
The reason to supposedly save money is not to reduce our taxes, instead the reason is so the State can SPEND the money elsewhere. Again we have politicians inventing new ways to give us less and take more of our money.
An idea for the Governor... to save money, try cutting useless programs. For example all free services for illegal aliens. Or how about cutting your own salary? As of 2006 it should be over $100,000. There's a good start.
Finally, I have to comment about that ridiculous Excel file on the utah.gov website. You know, the "Savings Chart". Extremely silly.
Posted by Bryon Pinkston, Friday August 8th, 2008 @ 6:50 pm
Somewhat, employees would be benefited of this Gov. Huntsman plan. Most employees are so busy on working that sometimes they don’t have any time for their personal activities, so I think this is also a great help for them. Nonetheless, Utah is looking to become the next state to put interest rate caps on payday loans– otherwise known as a ban in all but name. It is funny that Utah state legislature is mulling over legislation that would cape APR at 100% in the state, because a two week loan by definition can't be annual, therefore payday loans should technically be exempt, shouldn't they? At any rate, it will be awhile before the bill gets out of committee to the floor for a vote. It seems an honest business can't catch a break, but crooked banks that can't run a balance sheet get loads of taxpayer cash.
Posted by Kaily P, Thursday February 26th, 2009 @ 1:51 am
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