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COUNTYWIDE : 4-Day Week OKd for Welfare Offices

In an attempt to reduce traffic during peak commuter hours, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors has agreed to temporarily adopt a four-day work schedule at offices that provide welfare payments and job training.

The supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to close five welfare offices in Ventura, Oxnard and Simi Valley every Monday and adopt a four-day, 10-hour workweek. Three job-training offices in Ventura and Simi Valley will also close on Mondays.

The welfare offices will now be open nine hours daily, but the job-training offices will still be open for eight hours.

Between 800 and 1,000 people are served daily in the eight offices.

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The four-day workweek will be in effect on a trial basis for a year, beginning Sept. 2.

County officials said the new schedule can be re-evaluated at the end of the year if the county gets too many complaints.

The new schedule was adopted to help the Public Social Services Agency comply with the county’s so-called Rule 210, which requires government agencies and large companies to reduce commuting and promote car-pooling.

Barbara Fitzgerald, chief deputy director of the agency, said the schedule will cut travel to and from the eight offices by up to 20%.

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She said the change should not cause too many inconveniences, because most of the foot traffic comes to those offices late in the day on Tuesdays through Fridays. She said a telephone number will be posted for emergencies on Mondays.

“We will probably have some complaints,” she said. “But once people get used to it, it will be business as normal.”


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