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City of El Paso returns to five-day workweek

The El Paso City Council is switching back to a five-day workweek.

The change will affect about 300 employees who now work ten hour shifts Monday through Thursday. Reps. Claudia Ordaz and Alexsandra Annello voted against the item.

The new Monday-Friday work schedule will start in 2018.

“We’ll certainly be more user friendly for the City of El Paso who want to come down on a Friday to a particular city department which has historically not been open. The bulk of us work five days a week. I think we ought to be open five days,” Margo said.

The change to a four-day workweek occurred when the city occupied the downtown building that was torn down to make way for the ballpark.

“It was a sieve when it came to utility costs and they had to do something to stop the bleeding. And so to stop the bleeding, on what I would call a temporary basis, they went to four days a week. That was the sole reason. That building was in such poor condition that the utility costs were unbelievable,” Margo said.

City offices are now spread out in four downtown buildings. The return to a five day work week is expected to affect about six percent of the city’s workforce.

Only a single employee appeared before Council to speak against the change, arguing a four day work schedule allowed him to spend more time with his family.

A representative with the El Paso Downtown Management District also addressed Council, telling city representatives and the mayor returning to a five day schedule will be helpful to downtown business owners who cater, in part, to city employees.

City Rep. Michiel Noe thinks the change will be good for the city’s reputation. “The vast majority of citizens I have talked to almost take offense to the fact that we work four days a week down here. And their taxes are paying for that. And they really see that as we are taking of it. They see that , that’s the perception,” Noe said.

“We know that the City of El Paso doesn’t pay well in comparison to other entities, and although the city is undergoing a compesation analysis that we will be reviewing in the Spring, I feel like this conversation would be better had next fiscal year,” said City Representative Claudia Ordaz.

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