Clackamas four-day workweek under fire

To deal with the budget Clakcmas County government has decided to move ot a four day work week. The Oregonian reports:

“Clackamas County’s four-day workweek skirts state law and punishes the struggling real estate industry, according to critics of the county’s new schedule. Real estate professionals and others can no longer conduct business with the county recorder’s office on Fridays, a popular closing day for buyers who want to move into their new homes over the weekend. “They’ve taken out one of the busiest days of our workweek,” said Brian Reynolds…A delay in recording real estate transactions can be a headache for homebuyers, critics contend, because until a deal is recorded, title companies typically won’t issue title insurance, and banks generally won’t issue loans. In addition, locks on mortgage rates commonly expire on Fridays, which means buyers who miss the deadline could have to pay a higher interest rate. However, having county employees work four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days produces no payroll savings.

Is this a cost saving measure or a another bungled government solution? Comment.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 07:33 | Posted in Measure 37 | 21 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • NenastenTus

    Сильно умно написано

  • Provo

    The four day week saves not only money but energy. How can anyone disagree with that?

    • Steve Plunk

      Provo,

      How does it save money and energy? Working ten hour shifts does not save payroll costs. The employees are in the office using energy for 40 hours a week either way so where are the energy savings? There’s one less commute day but I would expect the personal driving to increase on that extra day off. I see the public employees as the winners and the public as the losers.

    • Harry

      The energy savings are not there, since the group shares office space with other departments that use the office (heat, AC, electricity, etc) on the Fridays that ClackyCounty does not show up for work.

      No energy savings… and forgot about the false carbon footprint savings. These union lackeys go shopping, the movies, the bars, the ski slopes, and everywhere else on Fridays, except work.

      • Provo

        I see a potential for savings, Clackamas Copunty is missing an opportuntiy of they are doing this just for show.

  • R W

    I’m sorry but this isn’t one of those departments that siphons money out of the budget. This is a department that CHARGES for it’s services. Those charges should cover it’s expenses – if not then they really need to take a hard look at what they are doing wrong.

    If business is that slow, perhaps reducing staff would be more appropriate than reducing service hours. Especially as this is a ‘monopoly’ and a mandatory ‘service’. In other words, the county requires any person buying a house to use this agency. How is is that the government can require the people do do something, then restrict the time in which it can be done?

  • dean

    Day after day on this site people write in and whine about the cost of government. One County government takes some action to save a few dollars and now we get whining about the inconvenience of that. I suppose government services should be free and open 24-7. That would be nice.

    • Steve Plunk

      Dean,

      So far no one has substantiated any cost savings. Another comment points out this is a fee based department that charges for services and should reduce staff if there is a reduction in need.

      Far from whining we come here to exchange ideas. That’s precisely what this place is for. I realize there are some who merely come here to troll around and cause trouble but a majority of us have honorable and reasonable reasons to join the discussion. Whining? Jeez.

      • Mohammed

        Steve,

        dean is ethically, morally and critical-thinking challenged.

        Of course nobody here criticizes attempts at true efficiencies and cost reductions.

        “One County government takes some action to save a few dollars…”

        No evidence of any cost savings.

        Changing to a 4×10 schedule that benefits the government workers, at the expense of the taxpayer public and the customers?

        Faux savings at best! All for the noble goal of reducing carbon footprints. Increased sustainability. Green is Good!

        Balderdash!!

      • giggle guy

        Not come here to whine? No, you come here to trash people, at least people who work in higher education. I’ve seen you do it more than once.

  • Joanne Rigutto

    Dean, no matter what government does, someone will be unhappy.

    I think that, as with most changes in scheduling, some people will benifit, others will be inconvenienced.

    I’m not sure which day they are going to cut out, and for those businesses and individuals, the day that is eliminated will be a severe inconvenience for them, and that’s not something to be poo-poo’d. It is an inconvenience and will cost people money, time, etc.. But as I said, it will be a boon to other people and will save them time because the offices will be open longer hours on those 4 days that they are open.

    I have a good friend who works for DVM at one of the express offices. Her office is open from Tuesday through Saturday, but they are closed Sunday and Monday. No one expects them to be open on Sunday, but I have heard people complain that they are not open on Monday. They don’t understand that the office is staffed by a fixed crew, and if the office was open 6 days a week then a lot of overtime would have to be paid. These people also don’t want to go to a regular office that is open on Monday and would complain if the express office was open on Monday and overtime was being paid, or would complain if the express office was closed on Saturday so that it could be open on Monday.

    What I’d really be interested in finding out, is if the public was being served better by the county offices being open 4/10 instead of 5/8. That’s where the rubber really hits the road. After all, county services are here for the public to use, and cost (opperating expenses) has to be weighed against benifits (public access to county services/offices).

  • Jerry

    They are not saving any money. Go to the buildings on Friday – heat is up, lights are on.

  • AperneHouro

    На Ваш блог подруга ссылку в аську кинула. Оказалось ,что не зря 🙂 Понравилось. Тепрь постоянно читать буду 😉

  • John Fairplay

    Here is the kind of thing that would actually be interesting, and useful to know: Can Clackamas County provide data showing what days/times the County Recorder’s office (as mentioned above) is most busy? For instance, the article says many people want to come to the Recorder’s office to close real estate transactions on Fridays. Is this true? What do County records show regarding the percent of business done by the Recorder’s office on Fridays vs. other weekdays?

    I would bet a million dollars the County never even looked at information like this prior to deciding which day to close the Recorder’s office. Friday was chosen because it is attached to the “normal” weekend – giving government union employees three consecutive days off with no regard for the convenience or preference of the customer. Can you imagine Fred Meyer behaving like that?

    • Joanne Rigutto

      I would think that the county employees would be just as happy to have Monday off if Friday was the busiest day.

      I’d also be interested to know if the county looked at which day was the most active, Monday or Friday, and if this was taken into consideration in determining which days the department would be open.

      • dean

        A little digging says that somewhere betwen 2/5 and 3/5 of the County staff are on 4 day weeks. The projected savings are $70,000 a year in energy by closing ONE of the campus buildings. They are also trying to save energy by reducing commute days. The project is a 1 year pilot that could change based on findings.

        Another place trying the 4 day schedule are the State of Utah, that liberal bastion. They found that absenteeism decreased and worker productivity increased, so there may be additional advantages.

        Personaly I think France has the right idea. A 36 hour work week.

        • Anonymous

          We could always try the Dean plan – a 0 hour work week spent blogsterbating.

        • Jerry

          Yes, Dean, France is really doing well with their work week. They consistently outperform all other countries in productivity. They are a model of what works. You are very wise to reference them. They are the greatest nation on earth. Vive la France!

          • dean

            Jerry…you should do your homework. Last year France “out-performed” all but 4 other nations in productivity (total amount of goods and services divided by working population) and was 2nd in productivity per hour worked. The US ranked first in both categories.

            A 36 hour work week is about quality of life, not productivity. But lesser hours worked does not appear to have hurt France at all. Asian nations have the highest amount of hours worked, but other than Japan do not rank at all high in productivity.

  • effIguekewjum

    Хорошая статья, узнала много нового!)

  • tony

    Without debating the value of the services, a four-day workweek with extended hours (i.e., 10 hour days) has pros and cons that many have dealt with. Swing shift workers have it much worse.

    Pros:
    -Extended hours of operation. Services available later/earlier in the day
    -Some work-related costs to the worker reduced 20% (gas, lunch)
    -Travel time reduced 20%, lower work-related pollution and traffic
    -Reduced energy costs (?) as building temps can be in “unoccupied” mode for 3 days instead of 2. Not sure about this one.
    -3 day weekend!

    Cons
    -Childcare/watch/latchkey extended by 2 hours Mon-Thurs
    -Business must be conducted Mon-Thurs

    If childcare issues can be addressed, I think it is a good idea.

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)