OKDHS Workers Discuss 4 Day Work Week at Recruitment Lunch

OPEA has recommended the short work week with longer hours in lieu of the astronomical fuel prices, with food leading a close second. Many workers are in favor of the 4 day work week or a variation of it. “In my opinion, the four day work week will help us to serve our clients more efficiently, as we push for more of them to work, in order for them to be self sufficient. The early and late hours on a 10 hour shift will give them enough time to come to our offices to do their business as they work and use child care or get TANF benefits. It will also help our agencies to conserve energy and save on utility and other maintenance expenses, provided we shut down one day out of the week. It will help workers to save on energy and other workday expenses. But, the declaration has to come from the Governor or the Legislators,” said Long-Term Care Worker Thomas Kalayilparampil.

Most workers support the 4 day work week idea and some have input on a variation of the 10 hour day such as Child Welfare Supervisor Billy Day. “Over the past several weeks, I have been hearing about a plan for most state employees to have a 4 day work week. I recall having a similar type of work schedule when I worked in Greer/Harmon counties as a child welfare worker. Our schedule was to work 9 hours a day and then we would get every other Friday off. I worked this schedule for over a year and it really worked well for me. At the time, I was commuting about 52 miles round trip ever day. Having the two days off a month helped some on the gas and gave me a couple of three day weekends to relax and take care of personal business. I would definitely do it again. We had a rotation set up so that someone was always on duty taking care of the child welfare calls that came in. It was always something to look forward to as well, which really helped my morale and motivation on the job,” explained Day.

Other workers believe it is good for some workers, but have reservations about it in considering state workers who are single parents using day care facilities, as Aged Blind and Disabled Supervisor Kim Manning reasons, “I would like for the proposed 4 day work week to be optional for employees. I feel that for single parents, the 10 hour work days will cause a child care issue, when most day care facilities close between six and six thirty”.

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