Legislators question new 4-day workweek

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  • Commoner
    Aug. 21, 2008 6:01 p.m.

    To those of you who think the Legislature has missed their civics classes regarding the fact that there are three separate branches of government: apparently you fell asleep in that class before they explained that there are three branches so that they can act as a check on balance on each other by questioning the actions of the other two branches, and at time overruling the other branches by using the powers delegated to them.

    Policy decisions belong to the legislature, not the executive branch, so the legislature has every right, even duty, to question the policies implicated by the Governor's unilateral closure ction, such as when government is open and available to the public.

    It was the Governor, not the Legislature, who failed to act consistent with the proper delegation of power by acting unilaterally without involving the legislature in the policy issues involved.

  • Andy
    Aug. 21, 2008 10:51 a.m.

    BEWARE! It seems that we have such terrible structure in most of our government entities. I am just excited for national health care! Could you imagine having the doctor treat you like the DMV? How do we know that the people actually work a 10 hour work day, well that's a manager's job. If the manager doesn't work it, that would then fall eventually on your shoulders dear representitives. You are the one who should make sure that people are working what we pay them for.

  • hunh
    Aug. 21, 2008 10:49 a.m.

    By working two extra hours a day for four days, agencices are opening earlier and closing later. The number of hours per week they are available is the same-meaning the air conditioning, lighting etc. isn't going to see any change. I guess at least employees don't have to commute on Fridays, and with state employees leaving earlier and coming home later, everyone else's commute is a little lighter...

    I definitely would NOT do this for schools. You're just taking the hours they spend on Fridays and adding them to the other days of the week. Air cond/lighting wouold still be used at the same rate. Again, the difference would come by a 20% reduction in bus service, saving taxpayers costs for fuel. Ten hours is way too long for little kids to be in school, trying to focus and pay attention.

  • Kev
    Aug. 21, 2008 9:03 a.m.

    I think most of the state workers affected by the 4 day work week actually punch a time clock so if they go early and come late they get no pay for it
    and of course our all knowing omnipotent legislature did not have a say so they are not happy they get upset if any thing does not come from them or anybody questions them thats just life in Utah

  • My thoughts
    Aug. 21, 2008 8:44 a.m.

    I personally would love to work this schedule, but it may not be effective for schools, especially where young children are concerned. They would be walking to and from school in the dark several months out of the year, and their attention span may challenged.
    My question is what part of Civics did our legislators miss out on when they were in school? The writer who pointed out that we have three distinct branches of government is absolutely correct. Unless the governor breaks the law, he can administer state government as he sees fit. Should be have consulted employees? Yes, and it doesn't look like he did. As a consumer I love having DMV and other services available after my eight-hour day ends. Finally, how do we know people work their full eight hour days? Is 10 any different? I don't think so.
    And Splash, the governor is setting a precedent, not a president.

  • splash
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    Should our pro business Governor really be setting this sort of a president? Working four days a week is not a solution to the energy problems we are facing. Simply not using power does nothing to address the urgency we face in finding alternative forms of energy so that business can be "business as usual." Utahn's want to be able to use more, clean and alternative energies, not have to stop using it all together. Energy is what drives an economy and our quality of lives. Yes, it is easy to say this is a great example of leadership and action. Is it really the right type of leadership and action though?

    Besides, who are we kidding? Do we really think state employees aren't turning on the air conditioning and lights at home each Friday, or taking long road trips to take advantage of a long weekend each week? It might be saving state agencies a few dollars, but we definitely aren't saving more energy as a whole.

  • Orem Parent
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:25 a.m.

    Schools should follow this 4 day week as well.

    Less travel.

    More family time.

  • Question
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:23 a.m.

    How do we know that state employees weren't working five six-hour days? You know, come in a little late, leave a little early.

    That's a specious criticism. The answer is to hold employees and managers accountable to work a full day, regardless of whether its ten hours or eight.

    By the way, I am a state employee, and my office has already seen better productivity because of the ten hour shifts. We have more time each day, and there is an incentive to plan and execute work more efficiently.

  • agreed.
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    Another example of our inept legislators. All reaction and nothing to offer.

  • Dedicated Worker
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:18 a.m.

    There are three branches of government. Does the legislature want to be in charge of all branches? Have they looked at their own staff to determine if the public is getting its money's worth? Are they really working five 8-hour days? How are they measuring this? At least the executive branch is measuring performance. Did the legislature publish its staff performance measures? As with any business, there are productive employees and not-so-productive employees. At some point one must trust managers to weed out the less productive while recognizing the contribution of others.

    It is frustrating to be a dedicated state worker when legislative leadership constantly criticizes my dedication and work ethic.

  • Yep
    Aug. 21, 2008 7:09 a.m.

    I agree, Utah Bill. The Legislature's primary motivation in this seems to be that the Governor didn't bow and scrape before taking action. They haven't done a darn thing, and now all they're doing is criticizing someone else's effort. I would like to see the almighty Legislature's ideas to save energy and money.

  • Utah Bill
    Aug. 21, 2008 4:10 a.m.

    This is typical of our legislative leadership. Theyve done nothing tangible to address our pressing energy situation and yet they arrogantly snipe at Huntsmans leadership in this area. Sure, their feelings are hurt because they think they should have had more say in the matter. But, they dont run the Executive Branch in Utah Huntsman does. Legislative leadership needs to get over themselves and become part of the solution.

    While Huntsman is being invited to counsel and guide the national GOP on important matters facing our nation, Utah's legislative leadership is sitting on the sidelines out of the game. I don't see any of them involved in the same high-level work our country needs at this time. Huntsman makes them look bad by comparison - something their huge egos simply can't abide.