Kalamazoo Job Sharing Plan Helps Employment, Maintains Health Benefits
I hate to use the formerly fashionable term "thinking outside the box" but the economic crisis brought on by the global Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic has forced many employers to look at alternatives, as the attempt to not add to the unemployment rate that is now over 20% in the state of Michigan.
While the most obvious example of this out of the box thinking is having employees working from home, this is really more a safety related decision rather than an economic one. Although, an argument could be made that once some form of recovery begins, there may be an economic benefit is downsizing actual physical locations and keeping workers in the home offices.
But here's where the really good news is. Job sharing. The City of Kalamazoo says they began job sharing plan on Monday (and it is slated, at this time, to go until July 24th) as a means to avoiding job cuts, and with unemployment benefits supplementing the loss of income, this sets up essentially as a win-win situation, because everyone keeps their health benefits. This work-share arraignment involves about a quarter (the City says 165, total) of the city's workers. The city workers who are a part of this effort, and that covers most of the city's departments, are cutting their work week about in half. The only departments not affected are public safety (cops and firefighters) and water and wastewater services. With what seems like a never ending occurrence of water main breaks and sewage overflows with the city limits, and with the increase attentions to the quality of drinking water in Michigan, this seems to make the most sense.