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Summerland adopts 4-day week pilot project

Extended hours will be in place Tuesday to Friday, beginning July 2
Summerland municipal hall will provide counter service four days a week, from Tuesday to Friday, beginning July 2. The hours of operation will be extended. (Summerland Review file photo)

The municipality of Summerland will adjust its service hours beginning July 2.

The municipality will compress full-time hours into a four-day period, from Tuesday to Friday, for municipal hall. The trial will be 18 months and will apply to municipal hall staff.

During the four-day week, the hours of operation at municipal hall will be extended, beginning at 8:15 a.m. and extending until 5 p.m. Service will continue over the noon hour, as is in place at present.

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In a news release, the municipality said feedback from customers has been that extended hours would help accommodate their business and personal schedules. In response, the municipality and the union collaborated on the concept to see full- time hours compressed into a four-day period, providing a longer workday and extended service.

Some services will remain on a different schedule. Building inspections will continue five days a week, and corporate services will operate on a five-day schedule as well, but on an appointment-only basis on Mondays , when counter services are not operating.

Bylaw staff will continue to moderate their schedule according to season, providing service seven days a week at this time.

“The customer is our number one priority, and it is my hope that these extended hours make a real difference for our residents and the business community” said Graham Statt, chief administrative officer for the municipality.

“At the same time, this approach could really help our efforts to attract and retain staff in a very competitive labour market. Turnover affects service, and serving the customer well means keeping the staff we have and having the ability to attract qualified individuals for the positions we need to fill.”

Summerland joins other private and public sector organizations who are testing the concept of a four-day compressed work week for the benefit of staff and the public. Results of the trial will be reported back to council in the fall of 2024.

To accommodate this pilot, council meetings days will change from Mondays to Tuesdays, starting July 18.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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