Staff transport issues: are employers doing enough for us?

5
130

drive-fast-sxc-clix_I don’t know if you read this article in the Lamp, but there was an article featured about employees driving home extremely fatigued after a long shift or a night shift and driving fatigued to work in the mornings. There was a question whether employers should find a way to get their employees to and from work.

In Australia, our employers expect us to get to and from work on our own accord. Legally, we are covered on the way to and from work provided we drive direct should we get into an accident and get injured. [NB: since 2012 there has been no coverage in NSW. You must belong to your union to get hourney accident insurance coverage.] But, is this enough?

In Israel (I’m not sure if they do this anywhere else in the world), companies (most companies that is) pick up their employees in the morning via a bus or mini bus and drop them home in the evening. Not only that they also feed their staff, if not for free then at a ridiculously small amount of money. The companies offer a hot breakfast or a cereal and toast breakfast, lunch and for those that work late dinner. This is the way they make sure productivity stays at its peak. This also stops people from arriving late in the mornings due to “traffic” etc. The rate of accidents related to tiredness due to work has fallen substantially, where as accidents from fatigue are on the rise here in Australia.

I know that at one of the facilities that belong to our provider had an issue with casual staff being unable to get to work on weekends due to the public transportation timetable (or lack of it) and their agency usage was through the roof. Trying to fix this issue the Director of Nursing spoke with the staff and encouraged a car pool on those days and the facility would pay for the petrol usage on the weekend if they came to work. But is that fair? For one person to have to use their personal car to pick up 3 other staff from all over the place and drive them all into work and then after a long shift at work to have to drive them all home? And then are they covered if they have an accident as they are not driving directly home?

Just imagine if we didn’t have to worry about driving to work, fighting the traffic, finding a park or paying for parking, or having to drive home from work when we are really tired after a long hard shift. Then whilst we are at work and it is time for a meal break we are able be fed a nice array of healthy salads and different breads, or a hot meal all at the cost of the employer or at a really cheap price? That would be good for nurses’ waist lines wouldn’t it? Instead of the junk we often grab because it is cheap and easy.

How do you feel about it? What do you think? Should our employers be responsible getting us to and from work? And as an added bonus feed us? Or should we be responsible getting ourselves to and from work?

Photo source: clix (via sxc.hu)

5 COMMENTS

  1. What the ?? Sorry lady…I just think this is a pipe dream…. My pay is only slightly more than my 24 year old son’s who packs supermarket shelves….between 0700 and 1800 hours…..no one’s life in his hands and not having to clean up ***** , cry with relatives and take orders from everyone in the joint !. I just want a proper job, decent pay and a teeny modicum of respect. If I don’t get bitten or sworn at …BONUS! I’m not asking for a free ride. If you are tired at the end of your shift ( and this is not restricted to Nursing! ) then get yourself to bed. I’m not asking for a free meal…if I want something healthy to eat…then I make it and take it…simple !

  2. Corinne wrote:
    Sorry lady…I just think this is a pipe dream…. My pay is only slightly more than my 24 year old son’s who packs supermarket shelves….between 0700 and 1800 hours…..no one’s life in his hands and not having to clean up ***** , cry with relatives and take orders from everyone in the joint !. I just want a proper job, decent pay and a teeny modicum of respect. If I don’t get bitten or sworn at …BONUS! I’m not asking for a free ride. If you are tired at the end of your shift ( and this is not restricted to Nursing! ) then get yourself to bed. I’m not asking for a free meal…if I want something healthy to eat…then I make it and take it…simple !

    hear, hear…

  3. FREE PICK-UP? Western Area Health already has a blown budget, so the thought of them picking staff up is definitely a ‘pipe dream’ as mentioned. Better to supply housing for staff in the hospital for free in one of the dozens of ’empty wards’ – so will cost them minimal. I would love to have a 4-bed bay as my ‘pad’ so I can install my computer, and set up my library. Then I can live there 5 days, and go home on the ‘off days’. My wife would love it! – and I can do 5 double-shifts a week, as would save 18-20 hours a week that I currently spend on the road ( 100km each way).
    I would also save the $8 per day for parking that we nurses ( agency) get ripped off for, and that the hospital won’t address. The NSWNA union reps at the hospital also are too afraid to bring this rip-off fee to the attention of their union, as probably afraid of the hospital authorities. Need some REAL union reps! Multiply $6 (car parke fee till last year) by 6 (= weekly cost) and then by 10 years (that I have worked there) and you’ll see it’s more than $89.95!

  4. Exactly Bernhard,
    Just imagine if the agency you worked for provided you with transportation? I actually know of a samll nursing agency that if you have no way to get to a job and you want to do the shift the owner will pick you up and drop you off, or pay for your cab. Why can’t providers buy a bus, and pay the salary for 2-3 bus drivers and provide transportation. I am just playing the devils advocate here with this artilce, just to stir the pot, but the more I think about it the more I think…… well why not? It is about time we nurses got a perk with our job like everyone else.

  5. I honestly believe transport would never be covered in my workplace. But some days I’m surprised we don’t end up with staff brought back by ambulance. Surely we can do more to build a culture of looking after staff & staff accepting help.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here