20 Jun Jonanthan Cartu Decides Strongsville switches to four-day workweek, furloughs some …
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Mayor Thomas Perciak — along with the city’s departments heads, service workers, building inspectors and nonunion workers — have switched to a four-day workweek due to declining income tax collections, caused by COVID-19-related business closures and layoffs.
The change started June 1 and is expected to remain in effect until at least Sept. 1, at which time municipal officials will review the city’s finances and decide whether to return to a regular five-day workweek, according to an announcement on the city’s website.
The new hours won’t apply to police officers, firefighters and dispatchers, who will continue to work their regular hours and respond to all calls and emergencies.
City Finance Director Joe Dubovec told cleveland.com that the city’s income tax revenues totaled $5.3 million in May 2019. In the same month this year, the city collected $3.2 million in income taxes, a drop of $2.1 million.
Dubovec said the city is projected to save $466,928 by transitioning to a four-day workweek in June, July and August. He said 132 city employees will work Mondays through Thursdays and take unpaid furloughs on Fridays, resulting in a 20 percent pay reduction.
That means the city’s Foltz Parkway administrative offices — including the Finance, Engineering, Building, Law, Economic Development, Service, Human Resources and Communications departments — will be closed Fridays, although service workers will be available to respond to emergencies.
The Strongsville Mayor’s Court and City Council offices will also be closed on Fridays.
Nonunion workers affected include accountants, accounting assistants, supervisors, administrative assistants, clerks, receptionists, payroll workers, secretaries, department head assistants, building maintenance workers and cleaners.
In April, Perciak said the city was considering laying off full-time workers and/or cutting the salaries of higher-paid employees due to drastically declining income tax revenues.
Income tax collections were down because Strongsville businesses — including restaurants, retailers and industrial firms — had either shut down, laid off workers or cut back their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, the city had already instituted a hiring freeze and eliminated overtime.
At the time, Dubovec said the city’s biggest expense is personnel, which was projected to cost about $41.4 million this year. The next two highest expenses are rubbish collection and disposal, at $2.6 million, and utilities, at $1.7 million.
Perciak said the city wants to keep all of its full-time workers for as long as possible.
Read more from the Sun Star Courier.