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Wayne County begins four-day work week

Posted August 4, 2008

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— High energy prices mean big changes for some public employees in Wayne County. Several departments are switching to a four-day work week, beginning Monday.

County officials said they are hoping a shorter week will help the county's bottom line. Although many would love to work four days instead of five, not everyone is excited about the change.

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said he has gotten mixed reviews from employees.

“This is not going to be easy for employees. It may not be easy for some of our customers,” he said.

Smith said some employees are concerned about their hours changing.

“We’ve had questions about daycare and childcare,” he said.

The change is a result of rising fuel costs. Although employees will still work a 40-hour week, workdays will be longer to accommodate for the extra day off.

The first phase begins Monday, and officials hope it will save up to 15 percent of utility costs while continuing to provide the same level of customer service. The cost cutting measure is estimated to save the country $300,000 to $500,000 a year in energy costs.

Not all departments and buildings will go to a four-day work week. The Wayne County Courthouse, sheriff's office, county administration building and animal control will continue to operate five days a week.

Those departments closed on Friday include the human resources department and social services. (See a complete list.)

Smith said closing the County Office Building, which houses the health and social services departments, should save a lot in energy costs.

The first phase of the plan will be in effect for a year, Smith said. The county said it hopes to implement a second phase of its utility savings plan later this year.

The community is split on the idea.

Wayne County resident Phil Kastner thinks the decision is a “great idea.”

“There are several companies here in Wayne County that do a four-day workweek,” Kastner said.

Aletra Jones, of Goldsboro, said she is not comfortable knowing the health department will be closed on Fridays.

“People do need the service Monday through Friday, you know… so I don’t think it’s fair at all for them to be closing,” Jones said.

Smith acknowledges the new hours will take some getting used to.

“This is not going to be without growing pains. We know that,” he said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • NCTeacher Aug 4, 2008

    I just don't buy the whole "what about the people that need to go to the health department on Friday" line. If you are that sick or unwell- you need to take yourself to the hospital. If you aren't sick enough to go to the ER, you can wait until Monday when the health department opens back up.

    Or you can always spend the $75 to go to Urgent Care.

  • VT1994Hokie Aug 4, 2008

    The concept may prove to save several dollars, but I worry about health services for the elderly, and others that need assistance.

  • NeverSurrender Aug 4, 2008

    "A DJ on G105 was commenting on this and just said something to the extent of, "Can you imagine working twice the hours in one day?" Hey Genius, 40 hours in 4 days equals ten hours a day, which is a whopping 2 extra hours, not 16 extra hours."


    He might have been on to something...the workers they have might only be productive for two hours a day. This scheme would give them the opportunity to double that... :)

  • FANCY Aug 4, 2008

    I'm with you Spartan.

    Plus, with the hours being Mon-Thurs 7-6, people that need the services may be able to go before or after they have to go to work and not have to take time off from their jobs.

  • What_I_Think Aug 4, 2008

    Amen spartan!

  • spartanpirate Aug 4, 2008

    I like the idea of a 4 day workweek. Less commuting would save a lot in fuel costs for everyone. As for Aletra Jones statement that people need assistance 5 days a week is not very intelligent. What do they do the other 2 days of the week now?

    As for Mental Health and Social Workers there is someone always on call to give help to those in need. Why not 3 days on call instead of 2?

    Give the State workers an opportunity to experience this themselves. Our legislative body could make that a law if they wanted to. It has been done before so why not now? They couldn't give us a decent raise to keep up with inflation so why not at least give us a break on what it costs to come to work? Any one out there with me?

  • RaleighMan Aug 4, 2008

    Kudos to this forward and creative thinking. More of this should be happening in this country. Could you imagine the impact this would have on our fuel consumption if the nation only commuted 4 days in lieu of 5?

  • Common Sense Man Aug 4, 2008

    A DJ on G105 was commenting on this and just said something to the extent of, "Can you imagine working twice the hours in one day?" Hey Genius, 40 hours in 4 days equals ten hours a day, which is a whopping 2 extra hours, not 16 extra hours.

  • mommy2caroline Aug 4, 2008

    Our county's DSS will probably not look at doing this because of the lack of availability of workers. Abuse, neglect, dependency and crisis don't take the day off just because the workers do. I'm fine with my current work schedule.

  • Citizen7265 Aug 4, 2008

    As we recently wittnessed with the change to run tradtional school calendars between August 25th and June 10th, laws can be changed. Year round schools are also on the 180 day rule, but they are not bound by the Aug. 25th to June 10th dates. It would be a smart move for saving fuel to change current law to allow the extended four day week.