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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Turner implements shorter workweek at office

State Sen. Shirley Turner, D-Mercer, is moving to have her legislative offices in Ewing Township switch over to a four-day workweek, in the interests of saving money in reduced energy and transportation costs.

Sen. Turner said earlier this week that her staffers had agreed to switch from what amounts to a basic 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule to a 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule Monday through Thursday.

The plan eliminates the need for an extra day of work, an extra of heating or air conditioning, and an extra day gasoline costs related to the commutes of all the office's workers.

“The goal is to help my hard-working staff deal with the crisis in gas prices by providing them with a 20 percent reduction in commuting to and from the office,” said Sen. Turner, D-Mercer, in a statement. “The extended hours also will help working people if they need services from the office in both the early morning or early evening hours.”

She said the new work schedule represents a pilot program for the office. Sen. Turner's office will stick to the new schedule through Labor Day, and then reevaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the program before possibly instituting it permanently.

Sen. Turner did not elaborate in a release about whether she intended to expand the program to other areas of the state government, if successful, through legislation in the State Senate.

Many companies and governmental entities are entertaining similar scheduling changes due to the skyrocketing costs of transportation and heating and air conditioning, although fuel prices seem to have leveled out and have actually fallen for a week or two.

But homeowners face a daunting situation this winter, as fuel oil costs have gone up dramatically. Heating homes with fuel oil represents a costly activity for many cash-strapped homeowners, especially in states with colder winters.

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