Falher pilots 4-day work week for office staff

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Employees in the Town of Falher office are now on a four-day work week in a pilot project.

At its regular meeting Aug. 9, council adopted the policy for the project that was introduced to council May 10.

The pilot project started Aug. 30 and will be completed at a tentative date during the first week of May 2022.

“Council opinion of the policy is positive,” CAO James Bell says.

“They are happy to see a creative concept make its way to fruition.”

Mayor Donna Buchinski supported the proposal at the May 10 meeting.

“It’s something we should look at,” Buchinski says.

“I think it would be a pilot project to see if it works with the number of staff we have.”

Bell says a reduced work week would give staff a luxury and flexibility in their work and life.

“At any time throughout the pilot project, council may extend the pilot project, terminate the project, or adopt the four-day work week as a permanent policy,” the policy says.

The shortened work week applies to four staff positions in the office, including the CAO.

Under the policy, participating employees work three fewer hours a week, down to 32 from 35 in a five-day work week.

Annual salaries for participating employees will remain unchanged.

Bell says he consulted the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, N.S. that introduced a four-day work week.

Buchinski says the Town would still maintain regular business.

“It won’t change anything for office hours,” Buchinski said as the policy was first discussed in May.

“The office would still be open five days a week, the staff will just rotate.”

Under the pilot project, the reduced work week does not include employees in the public works department.

Bell said at the May meeting it is difficult for public works, which has to work at various times on weekends to routinely monitor and check town infrastructure and other facilities.

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