NSWHP Orange Laboratory shift and workflow changes proposal

  • Published March 23, 2023

NSWHP is proposing to change shift and workflow arrangements at the Orange laboratory.

Following on from the meeting on 21 February 2023, please see the attached further information provided by NSWHP for your review and feedback:

Management have also said the following:

  1. Management remind micro staff that this is not extra work - except for a few urgent specimens (exact numbers attached spreadsheet ‘received 4pm-8pm’ work per month – very few). This is a matter of shifting the times that some of the work is completed/verified and therefore having micro staff being available in the department for more hours. No-one is being asked to perform 2 jobs. The only change to rosters that is on the table for discussion is the change of one shift on the weekend to start later, not adding in extra shifts as there is not an overall real change in the workload.
  2. Management argues that the proposed trial on the weekend has a few more benefits including - a small step in relieving some of the mental pressure felt by the core lab when they need to cover urgent micro work on the weekends; a show of solidarity in the laboratory as a whole – with one section (micro) assisting another – this would show an effort is being made with teamwork. And the workload being spread out to cover more hours.
  3. Management accepts that while it is true that some work that is has historically been verified on the weekend mornings may take longer, this is offset by the work that would not normally be set up until later on the weekend, being set up the evening before – thus some results will actually be able to be verified earlier. This is in line with how other similarly sized micro labs work and is acceptable work practice. This has also been discussed with the Microbiology Supervising Pathologist with no objections raised.
  4. Management puts forward that the shifts would work as follows: the 8am shift would start reading and verifying plates and complete any urgent work, then would be joined at 11.30am by the afternoon shift person where the work will continue to be read/verified until complete. The later shift can then complete/set-up work as it arrives so there will be less for the morning shift to do when they start.
  5. Management says that scientific staff are as always expected to prioritise work accordingly so exact tasks at exact times are not needed in order to plan the shifts, just an overall understanding of the work and its priority which all current staff in micro have the experience to do as all who work on weekends also work solo night shifts where they also prioritise workloads.

If you have any feedback in relation to the attached documents or the views of management above, please email it to [E-Mail not displayed] with the subject line Proposed Micro shift change trial – Orange by 31 March 2023.

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