HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some lawmakers said a four-day work week may not be such a bad idea, and now there is a proposal to create a task force to explore this possibility.

Four days of work and three-day weekends could be the reality for many public workers. Senator Mike Gabbard said is in favor of the state evaluating the possible impacts.

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Gabbard said, “With the pandemic, what we’ve been going through the last couple of years flexibility in terms of work schedules, telecommuting, etc. I think it’s a good time. It’s a good time to have this conversation.”

Those in favor of a four-day work week said this could save commute time and gas money. The Hawaii Government Employees Association Executive Director Randy Perreira said this could also make the public sector a more attractive place to work.

Perreira said, “I think the failure of government to look at this more seriously would result in a decreased ability to attract and retain capable people.”

Perreira said ideally this would involve four-10 hour work-days and staggered schedules to continue public services.

Perreira said, “It actually would enhance the ability of the state or county government to provide service through longer hours.”

All this would be explored through a task force with members that include the director of labor and industrial relations, director of human resources and development, and director of health and others.

For now, DLIR Director Anne Perreira-Eustaquio submitted testimony in opposition.

“The DLIR strongly opposes this resolution as it would require an immense amount of time and resources to effectuate,” Perreira-Eustaquio said. “Especially in considering the report, findings and recommendations, proposed legislation and recommended amount of funding would be due on December 1, 2022.”

Lawmakers and union leaders said this would not be a fit for all public workers, but Sen. Gabbard said it is worth exploring changes to the status quo.

“It is a concurrent resolution,” Gabbard said. “So that means it’s the Senate and a House, concurring, but it’s not a law, which means it’s not forcing anyone to do anything. It’s simply saying ‘let’s have this conversation, a serious conversation about this issue.'”

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The bill was deferred by members of the Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts on Monday.