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The town hall in Quispamsis. Image: Brad Perry

Quispamsis To Keep 4-Day Work Week

By Brad Perry Oct 5, 2022 | 1:00 PM

Municipal employees in Quispamsis will be able to keep their four-day work weeks going forward.

A six-month pilot project launched this spring has been made permanent, council heard Tuesday night.

Aaron Kennedy, acting chief administrative officer, said 99 per cent of employees surveyed want the compressed work week to continue.

“I hate to speak in absolutes, but I don’t have any indication that there was any negative impact on our residents or on our business owners in the town,” said Kennedy.

According to the survey referenced by Kennedy, the pilot project had a 95 per cent satisfaction rate from staff.

Nearly half said they felt an improvement in their mental and physical health; more time with family; improved productivity at work; more time for social activities, leisure time and chores; and providing increased service time for residents.

How it works

The compressed work week sees staff work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. four days per week. One team works Monday to Thursday and the other Tuesday to Friday, rotating shifts every four weeks.

Kennedy said that allows town hall and the qplex administration office to remain open five days a week. Both now open at 7:30 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. and stay open until 5 p.m. instead of 4:30 p.m.

He said while staff did not find a large uptake in the extended service hours during the pilot, those who did come early or later were able to receive services in a timely manner.

During the pilot, when a member of the town’s smaller departments was on vacation, Kennedy said others opted to forgo the compressed schedule to ensure sufficient coverage throughout the week.

“That shows our staff’s tremendous commitment and dedication to their work and the people they serve,” he said.

Kennedy also noted that two people hired this year cited the compressed work schedule as a selling point that attracted them to their positions.

Council supports pilot

Coun. Mike Biggar commended senior staff for their work on the pilot, noting it is not often that you see a satisfaction rate of 95 per cent.

“I really appreciate the concern for striking a balance between quality of life improvements but also services being offered effectively in the town,” said Biggar.

Coun. Noah Donovan said most people he saw commenting on social media were “extremely impressed” by the pilot project.

Deputy Mary Schryer added that she is glad to see a culture shift from the traditional 8-to-4 or 8-to-5 work day.

But she cautioned the town cannot lose sight of its delivery service for residents and customers.

“We have a high-quality delivery of service throughout the front-line staff, through our plowing, through our recreational departments. It’s superior, in my mind,” said Schryer.

Kennedy reiterated that, to his knowledge, there has been no negative impact as a result of the change.

“At the risk of being trite, if the people of Quispamsis didn’t know that we were doing this, they wouldn’t know that we were doing this,” he said.

Administrative staff who opted to keep the compressed work schedule will continue to work four, 10-hour shifts, and there is no change to the schedule for those who did not participate in the pilot.

Unionized staff in Public Works and Parks will return to a compressed work week schedule in the spring. Arena staff was previously on shift work and there is no change to their hours.


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