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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Olympia

Governor considering four-day work week for state employees…

Following Utah's decision to save an estimated $3 million by switching to a four-day work week for state workers, Gov. Chris Gregoire said in an e-mail to employees this afternoon that she's considering the same thing.

Gregoire recently asked state workers to send their money-saving ideas to her. More than 300 did, suggesting things like encouraging more teleconferences or improving state purchasing policies.

"However, the most popular idea was implementing a ten-hour workday four days a week," the governor said.

Staffers are looking into each idea. A decision on the four-day week is likely within coming weeks.

The text of the e-mail is below.

Dear fellow state employee:

In my last e-mail to you, I asked you all to give me suggestions on creative ways to save money, cut fuels costs and help us meet our service obligations in these challenging economic times. I asked for ideas on how to avoid trips - even across town - and still get your very important jobs done. In fact, I asked you to be as creative in increasing savings as you are with your own family budgets. And if you came up with ideas that can be applied across state government, I wanted to hear from you.

I knew I could count on you and was pleased to receive over 300 responses. Some of the ideas included improving the state’s buying policies, encouraging more mass transit, vanpool use and teleconferencing, and eliminating cell phones and Blackberries. However, the most popular idea was implementing a ten-hour workday four days a week.

I have asked my senior staff and cabinet directors to investigate the feasibility and cost saving possibilities of each idea. Some of your ideas were very specific to your agency or division, and I have asked agency directors to look into those.

I also want to let you know that the suggestion box is still open. As I said in my earlier message, "when all is said and done, it is each of you making thousands of decisions every single day who will determine how effective these steps will be."

You are a major part of one of the best state governments in our nation. I thank you for your service and look forward to more ideas for saving money and cutting fuel costs.

Once again thanks for your help.


Short takes and breaking news from the Washington Legislature and the state capital.