weather icon Mostly Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Hours reduced 5 percent for most Clark County employees

Updated June 16, 2020 - 6:07 pm

Most Clark County employees have agreed to cut their hours by 5 percent, a temporary concession that the county says will save roughly $33 million over the next year as it reckons with the financial blowback stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

County documents show that the savings will be reached by scaling back to a 38-hour workweek, which is expected to lead to most county offices closing on Fridays like city governments in Southern Nevada. A public hearing on new office hours is set for July 7.

Additionally, members of the firefighters’ union have agreed to forgo holiday pay during six holidays that will allow the county to keep an additional $1.75 million.

The cost savings, which the county commission approved Tuesday, come as a result of the county recently striking one-year labor deals with Service Employees International Union 1107 and International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1908, according to county documents.

Cooperative spirit

“Frankly with all the contracts there’s been a cooperative spirit at the bargaining table,” Commissioner Jim Gibson said.

At a time when first responders are either celebrated or maligned, he added, they continue to work while trying to contribute to improving the county’s financial situation.

The concessions affect 5,718 employees represented by the SEIU and 746 represented by the firefighters union. Another 1,384 management and non-management employees not represented by a union, including workers at the Water Reclamation District, will also be affected by the new reduced workweek.

In total, more than 7,800 employees of the 10,000-plus working for the county government are expected to switch to the new scheduling beginning July 25, according to the county.

“In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, SEIU Local 1107’s top priority in contract negotiations was to secure an agreement that addresses the significant budget impact of COVID-19, sustains valuable public services and preserves jobs for more than 5,000 SEIU-represented county workers,” union President Brenda Marzan said in a statement.

Monthly meetings

Marzan noted that the agreement also establishes a labor-management committee to meet monthly to review the county’s financial health.

Commissioner Tick Segerblom said he hoped the county would eventually be able to make up to employees the 5 percent of compensation they will lose over the next year.

The employee concessions come a month after the county adopted a balanced $1.28 billion general fund budget, which erased a $284 million deficit for the coming fiscal year caused by sharp revenue declines during the statewide shutdown.

In adopting the spending plan, commissioners relied on one-time funding sources, cuts to contributions in public safety and health agencies, and concessions from employee groups. But a deficit of nearly $150 million awaits county lawmakers in the fiscal year starting in July 2021 without a strong economic recovery, Chief Financial Officer Jessica Colvin has said.

Meanwhile, affected employees will work four days a week, 9½ hours a day, with a 30-minute unpaid lunch and guaranteed three consecutive days off, county documents show.

Some employees, primarily with the Department of Aviation, may work 40-hour and 36-hour workweeks in a pay period to reach 76 hours, according to the documents.

The county said that the following offices will continue to operate five days a week, and some on the weekend, despite the rollback: The Department of Family Services, Juvenile Justice Services, Animal Control, code enforcement, the recorder’s office and building inspections.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.