Birmingham Cuts Workweek To Save Energy Costs

Birmingham, Ala., is the latest city to go to a four-day week to deal with higher fuel prices. City employees there will now work fewer days, but will have 10-hour shifts.

This summer, government employees in Utah will stay home on Fridays, and lawmakers in states including Arkansas, New Mexico and Idaho are considering doing it, too. But will the new schedule actually result in savings?

Chris Hartzell, chief of operations for the city of Birmingham, is helping to implement the new plan.

"While it's a four-day week for employees, the city will still be in operation five days a week," he says. "We're just breaking the shifts up between Fridays and Mondays because we want to allow the citizens that have to do business with the city to still have access to the city."

Hartzell says the plan will benefit workers and the city, which has seen its fuel costs increase by 50 percent.

Regarding questions about the potential savings, Hartzell says he thinks efficiency and morale will improve, contributing to "better city government."

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