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ryan_mcgreal
Jul 28, 2008, 6:30 PM
http://raisethehammer.org/blog/1070

In a press release he issued today, Councillor Sam Merulla (Ward 4) announced that he will be asking the next Committee of the Whole to consider moving the city administration to a four-day work week.

Noting rising energy costs, Merulla argues that a four-day week (working nine or ten hours a day) would reduce commuting time, lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, reduce office energy use, and increase productivity and staff morale.

He argues that the savings to the city could help to offset this year's projected $7 million deficit.

SteelTown
Jul 28, 2008, 6:39 PM
Oh I can see it now.....Merulla Days.

matt602
Jul 28, 2008, 7:23 PM
I don't like that at all. Just a bunch of downtown offices that will be empty on whatever day they choose to take off. I really can't see how this is gonna save any money either. Almost seems like they'll be losing money by having to catch up on all the missed work from that day off. I think a better radical idea is a public transit initiative amongst city employees. It's easy to flap your gums about the environment, reducing energy uses and travel time but it's completely another to actually give up that morning and evening ride along the 403 in your Lexus for a seat on the bus instead. I'm sure that one won't fly at all.

DC83
Jul 28, 2008, 8:47 PM
Nope. I don't buy the environmental / gas price factor at all.

Whatev, Merulla. We ALL want 4-day work weeks. Stop using popular excuses to advance your own agenda.

Good idea, Matt!! I think we should counter his proposal with "Free HSR for City Employees Days" every Friday! Hell, if you're so concerned with the environment, make it "Free HSR For EVERYBODY Days" every Friday!

adam
Jul 28, 2008, 10:58 PM
I am calling BS on this one!!! If they really cared, guys like Whitehead and Merulla and Clark would all carpool. Either that, or buy a place downtown and walk to work. I've been trying to figure out whether to respect these guys or not since I moved here a couple years ago... this certainly doesn't help.

raisethehammer
Jul 29, 2008, 1:22 AM
Does this guy do anything worthwhile??
All I hear from him is strange ideas...some good, some idiotic (like this one).

LikeHamilton
Jul 29, 2008, 4:36 AM
They will not all work the same 4 days. Some will work Monday to Thursday; some will work Tuesday to Friday. They will get 3-day weekends and when they shift from one schedule to the other they will get either a 2-day weekend or a 4-day weekend. Some city departments already work this schedule. I believe the building department and the fire departments fire prevention people work 10-hour days. It is 1 less day commuting in and they travel in off peek hours. They are also working 7 to 5 and 8 to 6. This gives them better service with the business community being open 11 hours a day. There should not be any extra cost involved. Just happier employees!

adam
Jul 29, 2008, 5:06 AM
Maybe if we converted more streets to 2 way, he'd have to work a 3 day work week to retain his current greenhouse emissions value?
:laugh:

BrianE
Jul 29, 2008, 12:48 PM
This idea would only make sense if entire buildings full of city employees agreed to take the same day off. Otherwise you'll just have a half empty building on Friday, and the same on Monday when everyone else takes their day off. And then you're heating, cooling and lighting an entire building that is half full for 2 out of the 5 days of the week. That's not efficient at all.

Not only that. But savings are only realised if all buildings owned by the city have digital thermostats to turn up or down the temperature of the offices outside of work hours. Don't forget about lighting either... and all staff must remember to turn off their computers before leaving their 4 day workweek.

thistleclub
Sep 25, 2008, 1:03 PM
PRESS RELEASE

Hamilton, ON -- September 24, 2008 -- At its meeting of City Council tonight, City Council endorsed the following direction that was moved by Councillor Sam Merulla (Ward 4 - East Hamilton):

"That staff be directed to prepare a report which explores the opportunities to create an innovative work environment, including variable work hours through the improvement and use of information technology to enhance seamless citizen access to City services."

"I am pleased council has finally endorsed the review of a four day work week and working from home to assist in providing better services and decreasing our carbon footprint," Merulla stated.

FairHamilton
Sep 25, 2008, 2:01 PM
PRESS RELEASE

Hamilton, ON -- September 24, 2008 -- At its meeting of City Council tonight, City Council endorsed the following direction that was moved by Councillor Sam Merulla (Ward 4 - East Hamilton):

"That staff be directed to prepare a report which explores the opportunities to create an innovative work environment, including variable work hours through the improvement and use of information technology to enhance seamless citizen access to City services."

"I am pleased council has finally endorsed the review of a four day work week and working from home to assist in providing better services and decreasing our carbon footprint," Merulla stated.

How many staff do we have in this city preparing reports????? Can't any of these councillors make decisive decisions?

DC83
Sep 25, 2008, 2:29 PM
So Council votes DOWN a Green roof for City Hall, yet approves looking into a 4-day work week?!?!

It's obvious where their priorities are and it's really, really sad.

What is going on in this City!?

MsMe
Sep 25, 2008, 2:44 PM
I forgot what gov person said this but I had to agree with them. He had mentioned that "we are a service to deal with the city's and people's needs. If aren't here on that day we won't be able to deal with the needs of the that."

Cannot they not use bikes, and car pool, and buy electric scooters etc to cut down on the pollutions which is what they are aiming for to compensate that day off. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

adam
Sep 25, 2008, 4:01 PM
Will they still be working 5 days a week but one of those days be working online at home?
Can we as citizens represented by the council attempt to contact them at home, and then when we cannot reach them contact the mayor and ask where they are? Accountability??

BrianE
Sep 25, 2008, 5:23 PM
Well not every single City employee is a front line customer service person. There are a ton of people in planning, engineering, public works etc, etc. that never talk to the public and could either work from home, or work flex hours. I think it just has to be planned right so that everyone on a floor, or in a building agrees not to work certain days and everyone has to agree to shut down computers and turn off lights otherwise the City doesn't get the energy savings to justify this.

FairHamilton
Sep 25, 2008, 5:51 PM
I think it just has to be planned right so that everyone on a floor, or in a building agrees not to work certain days and everyone has to agree to shut down computers and turn off lights otherwise the City doesn't get the energy savings to justify this.

It's exceptionally inefficient to heat or cool a building floor by floor. There is no insulation (apart from noise insulation) between floors internally within a building. Turning down of heat or A/C on one floor would mean additional energy to heat/cool the floors below and above, lowering any savings by a substantial amount.

Also, I don't think for a minute that those with a day off would not drive their cars, at least as far as their commute. More than likely they'd drive more kilometres.

If there needs to be a study done, Merulla should write a well thought out and informative business case and submit it to the council for approval/disapproval. If the councillors had to prepare their own business case, instead of asking city staff for a report than questionable issues like this one would quickly disappear. That's how things are done in the corporate world. If you really want something, then write a business case for the project.

I'm even willing to bet there would be a few (probabley most) councillors who'd go through an entire term without writting one business case.

thistleclub
Sep 25, 2008, 6:49 PM
So Council votes DOWN a Green roof for City Hall, yet approves looking into a 4-day work week?!?!

It's obvious where their priorities are and it's really, really sad.

What is going on in this City!?

Jedi mind tricks. From The Spec (http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/440761):

Less than three weeks after rejecting Councillor Sam Merulla's plan to look into four-day work weeks for city employees, council voted last night to go ahead with the study.

All it took was a few name changes, Merulla said.

Instead of "four-day work week," Merulla used "variable work schedule." Working from home, another option Merulla proposed that was initially rejected, was re-branded as "telecommuting."

"I just repackaged it and renamed it," Merulla said.

--

Clearly the Green Roof should be pitched as a Carbon-Based Roof Panel.

adam
Sep 25, 2008, 10:25 PM
Carpooling to work would be better for the environment than working at home.
Working from home still requires a computer be turned on, lights be turned on, etc. WITH the added risk of also having another set of computers left on at work with nobody using them... stupidest idea ever. Kind of like Hurricane Hazel riding a bike with 3 gas-powered vehicles following her.

FairHamilton
Sep 25, 2008, 11:33 PM
Plus, if people use adjustable thermostats which change the temperature setting during the day when they are at work they'll have to override that energy saving device. Again lowering energy savings..........

A joke, want to reduce energy usage tax parking spaces at $1,000/space/year. This will increase daily parking rates, and encourage people to use public transit. If $1,000 doesn't work, then make it $2,000........

Right there, a revenue source for the city, an increase in public transit use (and revenue), an incentive to parking lot property owners to develop their properties to another use and reducing energy consumption (gasoline). The best of all worlds.

MsMe
Sep 26, 2008, 12:37 AM
Also, I don't think for a minute that those with a day off would not drive their cars, at least as far as their commute. More than likely they'd drive more kilometres.

I totally agree with you on that. How many are going to take advantage of the day off and go places. I bet most would.

MsMe
Sep 26, 2008, 1:14 AM
I got a notice in my electricity bill today about them changing the meters to energy savings. With me I don't think it's going to be a big difference since I live alone and I try and keep almost all lights off. And I don't do a lot of cooking. And I don't use my dryer very much.

Does anyone have one of these already? If so have you noticed much difference?

SteelTown
Sep 26, 2008, 11:20 AM
City backtracks on four-day work week

September 25, 2008
By Emma Reilly
The Hamilton Spectator

Less than three weeks after rejecting Councillor Sam Merulla's plan to look into four-day work weeks for city employees, council voted last night to go ahead with the study.

All it took was a few name changes, Merulla said.

Instead of "four-day work week," Merulla used "variable work schedule." Working from home, another option Merulla proposed that was initially rejected, was re-branded as "telecommuting."

"I just repackaged it and renamed it," Merulla said.

Merulla argued that four-day work weeks would save on energy costs and reduce commuting.

The motion was initially rejected 8-6 on Sept. 9. Last night, it passed 13-3.

The study should get underway in the near future, Merulla said. He hopes to see it implemented sometime the spring of 2009.