BC civil service floats idea of shorter work week
Voluntary work reduction discussed as way of cutting costs, avoiding layoffs.
VICTORIA, March 2, 2009 — BC government employees could be asked to voluntarily reduce their work week to save money and prevent job cuts within the civil service.
The proposal, being discussed by provincial ministries and unions, would see some of the 30,000 government employees allowed to reduce the number of days they work per week, especially during summer months and at Christmas time.
Government workers are already allowed to request unpaid days under their collective agreements, but requests have rarely been granted by government.
Now, with the province in deficit and the civil service projected to shrink by one-third by 2015, the idea has resurfaced and is being polled on the government's internal website. No final decision has been made.
Murray Coell, minister responsible for public service development, said employees voluntarily limiting work hours could help reduce the need for job cuts — although he was quick to characterize layoffs as — the last thing that will be considered." . . .
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Links and sources
Shorter work week pitched for B.C. civil service, by Rob Shaw and Lindsay Kines, Victoria Times Colonist, March 2 2009
Posted: March 12, 2009
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