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What you need to know for 10/22/2017

Union urges four-day workweek to save Montgomery County money

Union urges four-day workweek to save Montgomery County money

CSEA Local 829 President Eddie Russo is lobbying for a four-day work week in hopes of averting layof

CSEA Local 829 President Eddie Russo is lobbying for a four-day work week in hopes of averting layoffs being considered by Montgomery County.

But there’s little information detailing any savings that could be realized if employees worked 40 hours over four days instead of five.

County officials met with union representatives Wednesday for the first time since it was suggested the county reduce its work force to 2005 levels to avoid a massive property tax increase. That would mean cutting the payroll from 397 to 344 employees.

“[Employees] are worried about this,” Russo said.

The 2005 employment suggestion is among the measures being considered by county supervisors as they gear up for development of the 2011 budget.

Officials have estimated the county has to come up with $10 million to balance the 2011 budget.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Vito Greco said he is hoping to avoid laying off employees, but the possibility will remain unless other means of saving money are found.

“I am looking at any possible scenario to get the budget where it’s supposed to be. My first commitment has to be towards the taxpayers,” he said.

One of those is an early retirement incentive to go before the county board for a vote later this month.

Greco said he supports the measure and hears positive feedback from other supervisors.

“Before I lay off an individual I want to look at the retirees. If the retirement incentive goes through, there could be as many as 30-plus [participants], there could be as little as 10. Thirty helps, 10 doesn’t,” Greco said.

Russo said one option that is not on the table is the idea of reopening contracts.

The CSEA state president has said the union will not entertain revisiting contracts that are already signed, so local units will not do so either, Russo said.

A four-day workweek, he said, could produce utility savings by closing down a building for a day. It could also save on fuel and wear and tear by not using trucks for one day a week, he said.

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