ELECTRIC CO-OP CUTS COSTS WITH NEW 10/4 WORK WEEK

November 15, 2008 12:00 am

By Valliant Corley

Pilot staff writer

The first few days of Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative 10-hour, four-day work schedule has "been hugely favorable," General Manager Roger Meader said at last week's town hall meeting in Brookings.

The co-op began workdays of 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the beginning of November. The four-day work week runs from Monday through Thursday, with a three-day weekend.

When the change was approved, Meader predicted the co-op would benefit from the cost-savings expected in the form of reduced fuel consumption, wear and tear on vehicles, employee travel, and the costs to operate the offices.

"With the way our service territory is spread out, we expect the longer work days to allow for greater productivity," Meader said.

He said it took the same amount of time to gather materials from the warehouse in the morning and travel to the job site. But once the crews are there, he predicted there would be more time to actually do the work, saving on travel time and fuel costs.

"In the December board meeting, we will look at the miles driven, gas, electrical usage, overtime for in-house people and overtime for work crews," he said. "We will be reporting to the board all the compliments and complaints. If it doesn't help us save money, three or four months out, we will probably reverse it."

He said if an outage occurs on Friday, it will now be overtime.

"The tree trimming crews that are contracted will stay at a five-day week," Meader said. "They travel on their own time."