Nicaraguan government reduces workday, increases workday

(posted Jan. 7, 6:25 p.m.)- In a strange scheduling snafu, the Sandinista government this week announced it was cutting back government work hours to part-time, then 24 hours later announced it is returning to a normal 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday. 

Without warning or explanation, the Sandinistas announced on Monday that “the government of reconciliation and national unity is returning to a workday of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., for all government institutions.” By ending the work day at lunchtime, the Sandinista government said it wanted to cut back on its operating costs, similar to the half-day work schedule implemented during the energy crisis of 2007, when the country couldn’t keep the power on long enough to make a bag of microwave popcorn. 

The government finally switched to a full workday last April, following citizen complaints that the half-time government was only half-efficient. “With the return to normal working hours of 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, the institutions of the Sandinista government are guaranteeing better attention to Nicaraguan citizens,” the Sandinista media reported at the time. 

The opposite statement was made on Tuesday, following the government’s announcement of a return to a reduced workday schedule. COSEP, the country’s largest business chamber, protested that the Sandinistas’ part-time government was not helping Nicaragua meet its goals of becoming more competitive. 

Apparently, the government heard the complaint before breaking for lunch. On Tuesday afternoon, the Sandinistas announced a reversal of its earlier decision, instructing government workers that they will now be expected to report to work on Wednesday for a normal 8-5 workday. 

“The objective of our government is to serve the people with happiness, pride and an elevated vocation to service, which is unique to our model of being Christian, Socialist and in-Solidarity,” the government’s second workday adjustment of the week reads. 

At press time there was no indication whether workday hours would be reversed again before Thursday.

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