Shorter hours still an issue

FLINT TWP. — The township office’s four-day work week continues to raise concerns since being narrowly approved 4-3 in early September.

In October, a township resident complained about the limited number of days the offices were open for him to pay his water bill in person.

Overtime pay raised the issue again at the board’s Nov. 21 meeting.

Trustee George Menoutes said he was disturbed by a report of double-time pay for clerical workers authorized to work on a holiday.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said those hours were authorized by township treasurer Sandra Wright to cover the workload in the sewer and water department. Two employees were off for bereavement and two for surgery so the two remaining employees needed to work overtime to get caught up.

“It was at the discretion of the treasurer to have those girls work on a holiday,” Miller, noting that overtime was similarly approved last year when the township office still had a five-day work schedule.

“You have to work overtime because you have to get work done and if it happens to be a holiday you have to pay double time,’’ Wright said.

Wright, Menoutes and trustee Frank Kasle voted against an agreement in September with the clerical union to continue the four-day work week that began as a summer schedule in June.

“I’ve never believed that you could do five days of work in four,’’ Menoutes said.

Kasle asked why township offices were closed the day before Veteran’s Day in observance of the holiday which fell on Friday, Nov. 11. He also noted that the township offices were closed on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in observance of that holiday and therefore open only two days that week.

Miller said the 2011 work schedule was approved by the board in Nov. 2010. Approved holidays did not change when the board approved the four-day summer schedule in May then in September agreed to extend it for the rest of the year.

Miller said the days Kasle questioned when the offices were closed was to honor approved holidays in the union contract for clerical workers.

“We have to get through the rest of this year,’’ she said. “The schedule for 2012 will come before the board in December.”

Concerns can be addressed then, she said.

Wright had noted in September that township offices are scheduled to be open a total of only five days – Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 27-28 — during the last two weeks of this year. That includes three days during the week of Dec. 18 and two days the week of Dec. 25. Because the offices are now closed on Fridays, it pushes the official observance of Christmas Eve back to Dec. 24 and New Year’s Eve observance back to Dec. 29.

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