An enthusiastic Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved flex-time and telecommuting policies that will diminish the time county employees spend on the road and commuting to work.
The policies call for:
• Allowing some employees under some circumstances — to be determined by department heads — to work from home by telecommuting.
• Creating alternate work schedules, such as working 80 hours over nine days instead of 10, or having a work week with four days of 10 hours each rather than five days of eight hours each.
Employees working at home will be giving up some privacy by making their at-home work quarters subject to visitation by their bosses.
Telecommuters also must be available by phone or computer to guard against people taking advantage of the system.
Kimm Daniels, general manager of the San Luis Obispo County Employees Association, said she supported the concept but warned that the county should keep an eye on it to make sure department heads are not playing favorites when they choose which of their subordinates will be allowed to telecommute.
Daniels said she didn’t want it to be a “reward-punishment system ... for the chosen few.”
Two-thirds of the county government’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by employees commuting to and from work, according to a recent study cited by Assistant County Administrative Officer Dan Buckshi. The county has 2,450 workers.
The alternate work schedule and telecommute policies are designed to help the county comply with the state Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also called AB 32.
AB 32 requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels — a 25 percent drop — by 2020, and to 80 percent of 1990 levels by 2050.
Supervisor Jim Patterson, while lauding the new plan, added that it is not the only tool available for county workers to fight pollution. He said employees can take the bus, car pool and van pool or use the Rideshare system to find other employees who have the same commute.