From: Jeff Pender <[log in to unmask]>
> ...best to talk about this in terms of percentage of shifts worked that are weekends, because some places count their weekends differently...
--> I'm not sure about this being the best way, but I will try...
> What percentage of your department's shifts each week are considered "weekend" shifts?
--> This is where it doesn't work out for us so easily. Our ED does not have a fixed number of shifts to fill each week, so there is no fixed denominator for the calculation. We have a minimum level of cover that we strive for on the various parts of various weekdays (which is not the same for every day), but on most weeks, when there are more of us "available" (i.e. not on any sort of leave), then we add more day shifts - a variable number each week.
> If a department considers Friday shifts to be "weekend" shifts...
--> I don't think we have a definition as such, but generally only one of us does the actual weekend shifts on Saturday & Sunday and that person also takes one of the 13:00-20:00 shifts on the Friday as well, but I think most people don't consider that a finish at 20:00 on a Friday impinges on the weekend, so that means we have two weekend shifts. But we also have 4 additional hours shifts on weekends (08:00-16:00 & 16:00-m'night on Sat & Sun), which are done by those who fancy some extra money (again, some don't wish to do any and others do more than average). As one does not have to do these extra shifts, then I will leave them out of the calculation - thus 2 weekend shifts.
We then have a minimum of five shifts of 09:00-17:00 and three of 13:00-20:00 each weekday (with an additional 13:00-20:00 on Mondays because of the extra workload), which makes 41 shifts to add to the two weekend shifts. So we do 2 weekend shifts out of 43 by your formula - 4-5%-ish.
But that does not tell you how often one of us has a weekend taken up by work... That's why I don't think it's the best way to compare... The way we look at it is that we are 15 posts, with each weekend being "covered" by one of us, so if you're one of those who does no additional hours shifts, then you work every 15th weekend. Personally, I tend to throw in a single 8-hour shift on a Saturday morning on occasion - about 5-6 such Saturdays a year, I guess. To my mind, doing nothing more than an 8-hour shift on a Saturday morning still counts as a weekend "off", but my colleagues who don't do any such additionals generally consider that it would disturb their weekend were they to do them (so they don't).
We are planning to go to 16 on the team soon and most of us are in favour of doing half a weekend every 8 weeks, but a few people would rather have a "nasty" weekend every 16 weeks than a nicer one every 8, so it's not yet decided... We'll probably settle on pairing up those who wish to do half weekends, to share their weekends, while leaving those who wish to do 1 in 16 to do just that...
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