Comments about ‘Gov. Gary Herbert saves state employees' four-day workweek with veto’

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Published: Wednesday, March 30 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT

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Herriman, UT

Sorry, but no we have not grown accustomed to Mon-Thur work hours. I can't count how many times I have gone to make a phone call only to find that the office is closed because it is Friday. I hate it and it is not saving money! Why couldn't the guv have vetoes the GRAMA and guest worker bills instead?

Beverly Hills, CA

Too bad he didn't have enough guts or leadership to vet HB477

Salt Lake City, Utah

Keeping the four day work week keeps Gov Herbert popular with governmental employees. It does not make him popular with the other Utah citizens. He really needs to be voted out in the next election.

Southern Utah, UT

I am disappointed. The 4 day work week saves the state little if any money in the key agencies that deal with the public on a daily basis. Huntsman unilaterally made the 4 day work week manditory without involving the legislators, and that did not go over well with some.

This was not the bill to veto. Government employees who directly serve and work with the public, need to work a five day week just like the majority of adults do. If this were the private industry realm, I would say that the 4 day work week is very poor customer service.

They will have problems with CPS services as there are some statuatory terms that have to be met regardless of what the Governor vetoed

Kearns, UT

Tami - Does your telephone not work from 7:00AM to 6:00PM, Monday thru Thursday?

No offense, but people will find anything to complain about. If offices were still open Friday, but closed earlier and open later, you'd be complaining because you can't get ahold of someone when you get off work in the afternoon. Not to mention the most used service, DMV, is open on Friday at a few locations.

The program has saved money. Not as much as hoped, but isn't something better than nothing at this point? Instead of having thousands of government employees commutting 5 days a week, those cars are off the roads. That's a positive. Not to mention how many cities and private companies followed Huntsman's lead. Many other states have also considered the policy.

If the 4-day work week makes it difficult for anyone, it's the state employees who literally cannot make that phone call you can because they are at the office from 7-6, M-Th.

In Utah, UT

Actually it does save the government money, and the legislature passed the bill but refused to find funding to make it work.

Why does every office need to stay open if through a realistic compromise, money can be saved.

Also this was an intrusion on executive authority, the Utah constitution mandates that the governor is responsible for administration of state agencies and employees.

Kaysville, UT

"The state found that its compressed workweek resulted in a 13% reduction in energy use and estimated that employees saved as much as $6 million in gasoline costs. Altogether, the initiative will cut the state's greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 12,000 metric tons a year. And perhaps not surprisingly, 82% of state workers say they want to keep the new schedule."

- Time Magazine

"The state also has experienced other cost savings through the initiative. For example, state agencies reduced janitorial contracts, resulting in an annual savings of $250,000. Fleet services of state vehicles also saw a dramatic decrease in usage, resulting in a savings of $1.4 million for the year. While not all of the fleet savings can be directly attributed to the four-day workweek, it was a factor in the savings. Lastly, Utah experienced a significant decrease in overtime paid to employees. During the first year of the four-day workweek, overtime decreased by $4.1 million."

- The Council of State Governments - Knowledge Center

Kaysville, UT

Contrary to what our legislature thinks a majority of the public prefers the State 4-day work week.

"Results indicated Utahns preferred the new work schedule. Sixty-two percent of the population thought the switch to a four-day workweek was a good idea, with another 11 percent had no opinion on the issue. Sixty percent indicated the extended operation hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. was a good thing, with another 29 percent indicating the extended service hours made no difference. Seventy-two percent of the population indicated the modified work schedule was a good way for the state to save money, with another 8 percent didnt specify."

"The final question in the citizen survey asked if residents wanted Utah to continue with the current four-day workweek. Sixty-six percent wanted it to continue, while another 14 percent didnt specify. From these numbers, it was clear that the citizens believed the four-day work schedule was a benefit to the state and a good and innovative approach for government."

- The Council of State Governments, quoting a Dan Jones Poll.

Citizens don't like the 4 day? The opposite is true.

Kaysville, UT

"Prior to the launch of the four-day workweek, Utah provided more than 800 services online. Citizens could renew their vehicle registration, create a business, receive unemployment assistance, pay their taxes and much more without ever visiting a brick-and-mortar state building or waiting in a line. These online services are also available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week."

- The Council of State Governments - Knowledge Center

"This is a win-win-win all the way around. It is a win for the citizens, who will continue to have extended service hours Monday through Thursday, and now access to the DMV and Drivers License Division on Fridays... It is a win for the states work force, with 82 percent of employees saying they want to see the program extended, and it is a win for the state and the taxpayers in terms of cost savings and other benefits.

- Governor Gary Herbert

Don't confuse the legislature with the facts, their minds are made up.

Salt Lake City, UT

Short of discovering a way to bring Utah 1,000,000 high paying jobs, I hope this Givenor (as in amnesty giver) is voted out next election.

American Fork, Utah

So Tami and North Stream I am guessing that your schedule allows you to visit or call your government service provider at your discretion. I think this is really great for you. My schedule requires that I provide my employer my time during the hours of 8:00 am thru 5:00 pm. I am also in the service industry and as such have to maintain a presence from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The cost of this service is of course passed on to the customer. The extra 2 hours in the 10 hour day give me the customer and tax payer the ability to conduct business without an increased cost for service as well as not requireing me to have to use my time off to conduct government business. However if you will contact your local rep and let them know that you are more than willing to pay the actuall cost of the covernment service you receive I am sure they will be more than willing to listen. I don't work in government but maybe we can cut those that do a break and show some support for the job they do.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt | 3:23 p.m. March 30, 2011

Utahns had a chance to vote for his opponent, Democrat Peter Corroon, last November. Herbert won by a 2 to 1 margin, and Corroon didn't even carry Salt Lake County.

I guess we didn't want the same philosophy in Utah that Obama has in Washington.

Draper, Utah

Try finding one government employee who can be reached by even the second telephone call or cold visit between the hours of 7 and 8 AM, and also between the hours of 5 and 6 PM. Why, they have their caller ID, voice mail, and since they racked up enough sick and vacation pay, they only need to work 32 hours in a four day week. What a bunch of crap! The taxpayers who have to work real jobs for a living loses again. What's this country coming to.

jim l
West Jordan, UT

wish he had vetoed hb 116.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If, as facts-r-stubborn points out, the sate saved a bundle of cash by cutting back services to 4 days, then why not save even more by cutting them back to a single day?

In fact, eliminate about half the busy work and state mandated permission slips and the like that require legions of state employees to show up and shuffle papers and frustrate taxpayers. That would save even more.

But, if we insist on demanding citizens comply with the Byzantine maze of bureaucratic regulations, then we really should make it easier for "customers" to navigate the maze. Perhaps more on line service will balance out a cut back in office hours, but the better solution is to eliminate the requirements wherever possible.

Lindon, UT

At least some people seem like they have their facts straight. It takes a good deal of ignorance to condemn state employees. The job of a State employee is to help the people of this state. And those with "real jobs" should be careful who they condemn. It may well be that you will rely on the help of a State agency in the future (more likely than not, really).
Veto'ing this bill was a good move. Accessibility won't be fixed for the working man by reducing hours and putting State employees on the same 8-5 schedule as everyone else. Did you ever call in at lunch during the 5-day era? Good luck getting someone. And the cost savings are substantial.
Please open your minds, stop listening to corrupt politically motivated figures and do an hour of research. You'll find arguments against the 4-10 week and state employees have no substance.

Salt Lake City, UT

This was a poorly researched and written bill. The sponsor sold a bill of goods to the others. To passing a bill without any concern for funding is extremely poor judgement.

Personally, I believe this was the result of a few power brokers who threw their weight around to help their friends.

Some of this same people are the ones who went after Credit Unions to adledgely help their banker friends a few years back. That bill passed but Utah loss because the CU's went Federal. The power brokers and their buds cost Utah millions. Thanks guv for stopping the another power run

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Mike Noel had no right to change it up based on the fact that it was saving tax payers money, the public was in favor of the shortened work week and so are employees.
This was a good decision by the Guv.
The fact that Noel wanted to change it without the funding to do so proves once again how short-sighted he is. He's all about special interests.

slc, ut

Ernest Bass,Mike Noel went to the wall to support hb477, his leading the call on this bill is also very short sighted. Time for a change.

Vernal, UT

All I know is that I have yet to think 'it's Friday. Thank heavens the State offices are closed!'...

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