The Platteville Common Council has authorized a decrease in weekly hours for hourly employees. The approval came during the council's regular meeting on Dec. 13. The change was part of the new employee handbook that the council approved.
According to the handbook, effective Jan. 1, 2012, the non-exempt (hourly) employees standard work week will be 37 hours, Sunday through Saturday. The working hours of city employees may vary based on work assignments.
City hall employees will work Monday through Thursday from 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Street Department and Parks Department employees will work Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Friday from 7 a.m. to noon.
"The city is cutting back on services to reflect the reductions in state aid," said Larry Bierke, city manager. "We are expecting further service cuts; however, have not identified what other changes will be occurring."
Bierke noted city hall hours are being expanded Monday through Thursday and hourly employees will be given Friday off. As for salaried employees, Bierke said they will not be obligated to work on Fridays; however, that will be monitored throughout the year.
The decrease in hourly employee hours will result in a savings of $109,000 for the city.
With the changes enacted at the state level to collective bargaining rules, the revised city handbook now serves as the policy manual for both union and non-union city employees. Bierke tried to combine the previous handbook, the non-union handbook, the union handbook and proposed insurance changes into this current version.
Bierke explained that no benefits have been entirely eliminated; however, there are changes in the handbook that will affect the employees, depending on which classification they are. "It's a big deal for employees to see this new handbook," he said.
Another change highlighted in the new handbook, is the banking of sick time hours. That revision is not included in the current handbook; however, the council is expected to act on it during its first meeting in January.