Jackson Co. supervisors approve shorter workweek for employees

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The usual nine to five schedule that many Jackson County employees have grown accustom to is about to change.

Planning Director Michele Coats said county leaders voted in favor of an alternative schedule. It offers workers in her department a four day workweek; basically longer hours, but fewer days.

"We will still be open five days a week. Different employees will rotate Fridays or Mondays, depending on what their schedules are," Coats explained.

Most mornings people are lined up outside the planning office. Coats hopes the proposed schedule will make it easier for them to get in and conduct business.

"The planning department plans to open at 7a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  And the way we have it set up now, there will be no lack of service."

Supervisor Melton Harris said the compressed workweek idea was discussed months ago as a way for the county to cut costs at the pump.

"Even though the price of gasoline today has dropped by $2.25, $2.30, we are still looking for it to inch its way back up," Harris said. "There are still pluses and we should continue to find ways to conserve."

Supervisor Harris points out that the county's legal team has to approve the alternative schedule. If the proposed workweek is approved, employees will have five months to try it out.

"If we find at anytime the county is suffering as a result, or the citizens are suffering as a result of it, we will not hesitate to move things back. This is an opportunity to see if this will work," he said.

Each county department has the option of participating in the compressed workweek. If approved, the new schedule will start in August and end in December. County leaders say they will then decide whether to make the schedule permanent.

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