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RED BANK SCRAPS FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK

boro-hall-hoursAfter a year of shortened weeks that yielded only about $5,000 in energy savings, borough hall will revert to a Monday-through-Friday schedule next month. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Layoffs and furloughs are looming, but Red Bank government employees are getting their regular weekends back.

The borough council formally recognized its year-long experiment with a four-day workweek hasn’t really been the energy-saver it was cracked up to be, and is resuming the regular schedule for workers at 90 Monmouth Street.

The normal workweek will run from 9a to 5p, Monday through Friday, instead of 8a to 6p, Monday through Thursday.

It takes effect June 1 — a Tuesday — meaning employees can soak in a workweek-long Memorial Day weekend at the end of this month before getting back to the 9-to-5.

But it comes at a time that officials are pressing the town government’s two collective bargaining units — the Policeman’s Benevolent Association and Communications Workers of America — for concessions that will enable furloughs. Otherwise, there will be layoffs, they say.

When officials moved for a truncated week last year, they estimated that it would save the borough about $3,000 a month in air-conditioning costs in the summer, plus whatever utility costs would come with shutting down the four-story building for an extra day.

Either estimates were way off or it was one mild summer. There’s been a total savings of between $5,000 and $7,500 over the last year, said Councilman Michael DuPont.

“It was a good experiment,” he said, but, “it was an experiment that didn’t save as much as we would have liked it to.”

The small amount of savings, he said, “wasn’t sufficient to outweigh the shortcomings of not being able to be open on Friday.”

So no more pulling on a locked door or having an “oh, yeah” moment on Fridays at borough hall. The crew will all be there, which is what DuPont said is better for the borough.

“We felt that we need to serve the public a little better,” he said.

Still, if the PBA and CWA don’t amend their contracts with the town to allow for economy-driven furloughs, taxpayers could find fewer borough employees in the building.

From today’s Asbury Park Press:

“We’ve received no formal answer to our request to the unions,” Mayor Pasquale “Pat” Menna said Monday night. “Everyone got lay off notices in their last check. If there are no furloughs, lay-offs start June 1.”

Department heads will decide who goes and stays, Menna said.

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