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Newburgh Heights is making the switch: a shorter 32-hour work week for its employees with no pay cut

Posted at 12:49 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 12:49:02-05

NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio — A lot of companies are making the switch to shorter work weeks and longer weekends, but we’ve never seen a local government make the move until now. Newburgh Heights just announced all of its employees will soon be working a 32-hour work week.

Mayor Trevor Elkins said the small village will be one of the first local governments to do this in the country.

The Newburgh Heights Council unanimously approved the decision.

Each department will set its own schedules and determine how to staff a 32-hour work week.

For example, some may work 5 days a week but 6 ½ hours each day. But emergency personnel, like police and firefighters, could work longer shifts over 3 days.

Elkins said he anticipates the change will create a better work-life balance for over 70 village employees. He also said he hopes it will help recruit new workers.

“Stress levels decrease, people have better home lives because they have more time to spend with their families, they use less sick time. When they are here, they're more productive, they're more focused on their work, there's fewer mental health days,” he said

The shorter week will also create a need for more staffing in some departments.

“The police department and in the safety forces, we will need to bring on additional staff. When we did the math, it looks like we will need to bring on about four full-time employees village-wide, two of those being police officers,” said Elkins.

The schedule shift will begin in February.