Rather frustrated with work management

  1. I work what is called a "Flex" schedule. This means that I give 5 days per week that I can be called in to work. I don't know in advance what days I will work, and I can be called in up to two hours before the shift starts. I'm only guaranteed half time hours (3 shifts per 2 weeks) so I potentially might not work at all one week, but I still have to clear my schedule for those 5 days, just in case. (I am the only day shift employee in this position. There are two Flex staff on nights.)

    HR policy states that the holiday requirement for Flex staff is the same as a regular employee. This means that we are assigned holidays, do not have to be available on other holidays, and don't have to specifically request the holiday off.

    At Christmas time, I had to work Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and New Years Day because I was still relatively new to the position and didn't know the full policy or how to assert myself.

    According to our schedule, I was available to work on Easter. So this time, I wanted to be sure everyone was on the same page. So I called HR and spoke to a nurse recruiter to clarify exactly what the commitment was. Then I emailed my manager on Monday with a copy of the policy and asked her to change the schedule. She never replied to the email. So I called. She never returned the call.

    Today I called the unit to see if the schedule has been changed. It had not. I also found out that there was a call out for Easter so I will definitely be called in if the schedule has not been changed. I called my manager again and left another message.

    I'll also mention that my manager is leaving soon- a decision that was not exactly her own- so I'm not sure how much she really cares at the moment. I just don't want to be railroaded into working another holiday (I've had plans for a month).

    Any advice from my been-there-done-that All Nurses friends?
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   nurse2033
    Your schedule sucks. This kind of scheduling is the employer taking advantage of the employee. I had a schedule I didn't like so I eventually quit. I did try to change it to accomodate those of us who didn't like it, at considerable effort, but they didn't show the slightest sign that they cared, so I moved on. You could A) suggest changes, posed in a way that would show a benefit to them somehow, B) inform them that you can't continue to work this schedule and if you can't come to some agreement on changes you will be leaving, C) find another job and move on. You might try to find out how often this happens; person leaves because of schedule, and point out that it is costing them money to constantly fill a rotating position, good luck.
  4. by   Double-Helix
    Thanks. I agree, the schedule does suck. My manager has been promising to get me a full time position as soon as one opens (for about the past 6 months), but is really making no moves toward that. Now that she is leaving, I don't know what will happen. My more immediate concern is the holiday issue and the fact that she won't return communication, on any level.

    I can't leave right now, because I'm pregnant (Yay!) and due in September. So due to FMLA/PTO, I need to stay where I am. I have considered transferring within the system, but I love where I work (just hate the schedule) and I'd like to hold off leaving, if possible. Definitely, after I have the baby, I'll have to change jobs if I don't have a different schedule. Daycare would be impossible. I'm hoping that with a new manager, there will be more opportunity for me to move into a full time position.
  5. by   BostonTerrierLoverRN
    Yes, this has happened SO MUCH, even after Contracts are signed!!! Last time it was a Tyler, TX hospital NM that didn't want to pay for a 48 hr contract guaranteed hours, but let me know up front she was going to schedule me for 4 days per week (12s). It was a 36 hour a week commitment. I had been working 60 hour weeks for 4 months, and I wanted a break, and to get sometime with my spouse.

    I told her calmly that I had chosen this assignment because of the less hours, and I would only be able to provide the "contracted 36," and she was, . . You guessed it, Infuriated!!!

    It made for a long awkward assignment (just for her, everyone else was great). This attitude of arrogance has to be quelched real quick. Once you give in and work their "unfair" schedules, they take you for granted.

    If you are covered by policy and procedure, then pursue it. It's already Friday, so hurry!! Go to the next person in the chain of command, and address EVERYTHING that has happened, the phone calls, emails she wouldn't return, and that you are NOT coming in on Easter- and you wanted them to be aware.

    This is soooooooo unfair, and it happens all the time. If we continue to bow to these arrogant jerks, what is the good in a contract or understanding? Happy Easter!
  6. by   morte
    I have never worked a place were easter was a holiday.....If it fell on your w/e, you worked.
  7. by   OCNRN63
    I agree to go up the chain of command. If you do get railroaded into working Easter, I would send a letter to your DON/CNO and give her the documentation, note the phone calls not returned, etc. It may not help right now, since your manager is leaving, but it may help in the future.

    That's a killer schedule. I don't know how you survived it.
  8. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I am SO blessed to live and work in Canada. That sort of exploitative behaviour would never happen here. Our labour laws and collective agreements prohibit it. We have defined hours of work, for example no more than 5x12 hour or 7x8 hour shifts in a row, no more than 7x12 or 10x8 shifts in two weeks, a minimum number of hours off between shifts, no more than 3 weekends in a row, a minimum of half the statutory holidays off and so on. The practical application of allo f this is flexible though, so if I needed to have a couple of shifts off and I traded with someone else, I could end up working 6x12s or more than half the stats. But that would be voluntary, not mandatory.

    I'm working today, which is the statutory holiday for Easter here. Sunday is just a regular day. (I'm working right through the weekend.) I never have Easter plans so I'm cool with being here and making an extra $270 for my time.
  9. by   ckh23
    Use your chain of command. Do you have a staffing office or a nursing supervisor that handles call outs and getting coverage? I would start with them and basically tell them you are not coming in on Easter because of said policy. I know you're in a tough spot with this, but at least you can give them some time to get the shift covered.
  10. by   BacktoBasics
    i absolutely would not go above you manager’s head at this moment. every place i’ve worked (both in and out of healthcare) easter is not considered a holiday. you need to clarify this first. secondly, if it is a holiday, how do you know it’s not a holiday you’re supposed to work? at my hospital, we do every other holiday. for example sake, say your holiday to work last year was christmas. you were roped into working new years too (not your holiday but like you said, you didn’t know how to be assertive), therefore easter would be your holiday.
    i would not go above her head because you don’t know what’s going. you don’t know if she’s out sick, or checking the policy with hr. if you really want easter off, then call out; but don’t expect everything to be fine if you do.
    if it comes back that you were not supposed to work easter and you did, tell you manager you want your next scheduled holiday off (which will probably be memorial day or the 4th of july).
  11. by   beeker
    I'd probably bide your time until the baby comes, then split to a position elsewhere in the hospital. It might also be worth setting up a meeting with the new manager when they get there and express your need for a regular position. Your schedule is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. I am surprised you managed to do it this long. Obviously since working all the other holidays, it does not appear that you are a complainer.
  12. by   Merlyn
    What is a holiday? I remember we had them when I wasn't a nurse but they disappear sometime ago.
    Who did you **** off to get a schedule like that? It's insane.
  13. by   LindseyRN86
    Hi Ashley! If you haven't heard from your manager by now contact her boss and get this figured out. I hope you do because it is really a downer when you were excited for the plans you made in advance and then they may not happen. Hope all goes wells and gets figured out. Happy Easter!
  14. by   CrufflerJJ
    From your post, it's obvious to me that you are not feeling well, and need to "call in" on Easter so that you might recover. To do otherwise might not be safe for your patients.

    Right? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink...say no more.