The city’s Chief of Talent and Culture, Claudia Correa, was at the City Council meeting this week with good news for residents and city employees. Revere is launching a pilot program to make city services more accessible to residents who work during the day and find it difficult to get to City Hall before closing time.
“We will be changing the hours of operation,” Correa told the council. “The proposal is to extend hours on Mondays and Wednesdays to 7 p.m. and closed on Fridays.”
City Hall will also start business earlier: at 8 a.m. rather than 8:15.
Correa said staff worked closely with union and department heads to gather ideas and information. They also relied on advice from human resources professionals and officials in nearby cities that have adopted alternative hours. Correa said she was surprised to learn that Revere is the only city in the area that doesn’t offer alternative hours to residents to access city services.
The pilot program will run from May 1 to the last week in September. Correa said the change in hours will not impact inspectors, code enforcement officers, health inspectors and the public works department. There will also be someone picking up 311 calls on Fridays.
The facilities team, which tends to work on Saturdays when offices and buildings are empty, welcomed the possibility of getting their work done on Fridays and having the weekend off. And that will save the city the expense of overtime, said Correa. The city will also save on utilities by shutting down on Fridays, she added.
Overall, the response from employees and department heads has been positive, Correa told the council.
“We are having trouble hiring and retaining employees,” she said. Although a primary goal is to make services more accessible to residents, offering a four-day work week is a welcomed benefit for employees struggling to find a work/life balance.
City councillors wanted assurances that no employees would have their hours cut and no one who is unable to work the extended shifts will be penalized. Correa said it will be up to department heads to work out a rotating schedule for the night shifts. Department heads will also be responsible for making sure employees have adequate breaks or downtime on the extended days.
“Be mindful this is a pilot and we will be collecting data,” said Correa.