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Work-hour-reduction bill will not affect current gov’t employees, says Igisomar

SENATOR Sixto K. Igisomar has introduced a measure to shorten the work hours of nonessential government employees from 40 to 30 a week, but he said the salaries of current government employees will not be reduced.

He said salary adjustments will affect newly hired employees starting in fiscal year 2019 — if the bill becomes law.

In an interview, Igisomar said he has no idea yet how many government employees will be affected by Senate Bill 20-85.

Sixto K. Igisomar

“The bill has not been designated yet to a committee, and we are still researching it. It was introduced so we can get feedback and more information.”

He said his goal is give the affected employees more time to attend to their families and children.

The bill will establish a 30-hour standard work-week and a 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. workday for non-essential government employees.

This may affect services such as business licensing and tax-and-fee payments, so Igisomar said his bill will also mandate the Departments of Finance and Commerce to establish online systems for filing documents and making payments.

Igisomar said his bill will help promote healthy families — employees can take care of their children’s needs and education from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. as well as their personal tasks or errands during the daytime.

He added that the six-hour work schedule will also encourage non-essential employees to work part-time doing something else they enjoy or to engage in subsistence farming or fishing after 3 p.m. during weekdays.

“I introduced this bill because this concept has been under discussion since I was still the secretary of Commerce. I believe this is the right time to introduce this policy so we can discuss it and get some feedback from the community to see if it’s acceptable — if we can improve or better it. It may also help address our workforce issues as the affected government employees will have the opportunity to work in the private sector as part-time employees,” the senator said.

“This policy, if enacted, will help reduce government utility costs and other operational expenditures such as office supplies and gas.”

According to the bill, flexible work schedules have been established in the United States and Europe to give employees more time to take care of their families and personal health during the daytime.

Flexible work schedules have resulted in happier, healthier and more productive employees, the bill adds.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/101241-work-hour-reduction-bill-will-not-affect-current-gov-t-employees-says-igisomar

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