by Susan van de Ven on 3 May, 2023
Here’s an informative post by Cllr Tumi Hawkins: Four-Day Week Trial receives Intense Media Coverage – (tumihawkins.org.uk)
South Cambridgeshire District Council is the first UK local authority to trial the four-day week for its desk based staff. Following the success of the three-month trial, it is now considering extending the trial for a further year. In addition, it is considering introducing a three month trial of the four-day week to its Shared Waste Service staff. Not surprisingly this topic has garnered a lot of public interest and intense media coverage.
Local and main stream media have shown considerable interest in this four-day week trial results. Some have been fair in their reporting, and others (usual one) have been negative. These are some of the good ones.
Not surprisingly, the Conservative South Cambridgeshire MP has been spreading misinformation about the four-day week trial. This time, stooping so low as to personally attack a Senior officer who he knows does not have a right of public reply. And in the Daily Fail. But that is his way of operation. He seems to have convinced a well known if not well liked MP to speak out against the trial. What a dirty tricks campaign! Anyone would be forgiven for thinking there is an election on the horizon.
But this time, it is so bad that even his own party colleagues, the South Cambridgeshire Conservative Councillor group found it necessary to publicly distance themselves from his action. They consider the officer to be exceptional, and that the negative stuff he is spreading is not fair. Don’t believe me – listen to the recording of the Employment and Staffing Committee meeting that took place this afternoon. The pertinent section is from 21 minutes into the meeting.
People in positions of political power like the Members of Parliament have a particular duty and responsibility to serve their constituents positively, truthfully not use them as their own personal political tools. One would expect such people to investigate allegations properly, talk to those who are involved before twisting facts and spreading misinformation.
The fact is it is completely normal for local government staff to undertake post graduate qualifications as part of their professional development. These often involve workplace subjects or projects being part of a dissertation or thesis, which benefits Councils and local residents. We especially encourage and sponsor planners to do this too, which is of significant benefit to the Service as whole and our residents in particular. The Council is currently funding four staff members undertaking post graduate study. The particular staff under attack started her study in 2020 and is self funding, doing the work in her own time
As I stated in a previous post, the Council Leader was asked at a Local Government Association conference whether a four-day week could help solve some of the critical recruitment issues facing the sector and our Council. It was after that event that discussions about a trial at South Cambridgeshire District Council started, with a view to addressing the recruitment and retention issues. We are lucky that we had an officer who was already studying that topic and could share the benefit of the knowledge she had gained.
Below is a list of the media coverage with links where possible. Check them out yourself.
|26/04/2023||Cambridgeshire Live online||South Cambs bin collectors could start four day week trial in the summer||Link|
|26/04/2023||BBC Radio Cambridgeshire||Cllr Henry Batchelor interviewed on drive time programme about proposed 4 day week trial for Greater Cambridge Shared Waste crews||Approx 3’10” into show|
|26/04/2023||BBC Radio Cambridgeshire||PM bulletins: South Cambs bin crews could trial 4 day week||N/A|
|26/04/2023||Cambridge Independent online||Plan four-day week trial for bin collectors in Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire||Link|
|27/04/2023||Cambridge News print||Bin Workers to Trial 4 Day Week||P1 & 6|
|27/04/2023||Hi Hub online||Council proposes four-day-week trial for refuse collection||Link|
|27/04/2023||Productivity Podcast||Can We Make the 4 Day Week Work||Link|
|28/04/2023||Daily Mirror online||Council staff set to stay on four-day week after ‘historic’ trial – and extend to binmen||Link|
|29/04/2023||The Telegraph print||Binmen could switch to four-day week||P1 & P2|
|29/04/2023||MSN online||Binmen to work four-day week as public sector clocks off early||Link|
|29/04/2023||The Guardian online||‘An undeniable success’: first UK council trial of four-day week set to be extended||Link|
|29/04/2023||Cambs News online||South Cambridgeshire Council may extend 4-day week trial for a year||Link|
|29/04/2023||Evening Standard online||First ever council trial of four-day week hailed a success||Link|
|29/04/2023||Ely Standard online||First ever council trial of four-day week hailed a success||Link|
|30/04/2023||Car Dealer online||Apr 30: Four-day week trial ‘success’; Ban on finance deals cold calls; Power line concern; Bentley to raise the woof||Link|
|30/04/2023||Enfield Independent online||Four-day week trial in South Cambridgeshire hailed a success||Link|
|30/04/2023||Leigh Journal online||Four-day week trial in South Cambridgeshire hailed a success||Link|
|30/04/2023||Dunberaton and Vale of Leven Reporter online||Four-day week trial in South Cambridgeshire hailed a success||Link|
|30/04/2023||South Wales Guardian online||Four-day week trial in South Cambridgeshire hailed a success||Link|
|30/04/2023||Ikley Gazette online||Four-day week trial in South Cambridgeshire hailed a success||Link|
|01/05/2023||Cambridgeshire Live online||South Cambridgeshire council’s four day work week trial hailed a success||Link|
|01/05/2023||Business Matters Magazine online||Cambridgeshire council, UK’s first, to trial four-day week hailed a success||Link|
|01/05/2023||Lad Bible online||First UK council trial of four-day week set to be extended||Link|
|01/05/2023||The Spectator online||Opinion: What Jacob Rees-Mogg gets wrong about the four day week||Link|
|01/05/2023||The Mirror online||Four-day week will be norm for UK workers by 2030, most people believe||Link|
|01/05/2023||The Sun online||SHIRKERS’ CHARTER’ Majority of Brits will be working a four-day week by 2030, poll suggests||Link|
|02/05/2023||Politico online||London Playbook: Another big day for Sue Gray — Crunch NHS staff vote — The reshuffle that wasn’t||Link|
|02/05/2023||Cambridge News print||District council’s four-day week trial hailed a success||P6|
The usual negative culprits
|29/04/2023||Daily Mail online||Binmen could switch to four-day working week under plans being drawn up by Lib Dem council||Link|
|01/05/2023||Daily Mail online||The ‘charter for idlers’: Anger as Lib Dem-run local authority lets staff work four days a week for the same salary – just after announcing council tax rises||Link|
|01/05/2023||Daily Mail print||The ‘charter for idlers’: Anger as Lib Dem-run local authority lets staff work four days a week for the same salary – just after announcing council tax rises||P11|
|01/05/2023||Daily Mail online||EXCLUSIVE Boss of Lib-Dem run South Cambridgeshire council which was first to introduce a four-day week is secretly working on university thesis…on the effect of a four-day week||Link|
|01/05/2023||GB News online||Jacob Rees-Mogg weighs in on South Cambridgeshire Council’s four-day workweek trial||Link|