The usual work of the Special Requirements Team (SRT) on stations, covering projects and events, has largely been halted due to the pandemic. To better utilise the SRT, management now want to invoke a clause in their Framework which allows them to be deployed to cover long-term absences, such as sickness and maternity leave, on stations.
So far, so by the book. Conflict has arisen, however, because management want to do this by essentially loaning out individual SRT staff to local areas, moving them off their SRT roster and rest day pattern, and having them follow the roster pattern of the local absence they're covering. This would mean plans they'd made on the basis of their SRT rest day pattern could be trashed. In our jobs, it's hard enough to maintain any kind of regular social routines outside of work. Having fixed rest day patterns, that we know in advance, is one of the few bits of stable work/life balance we've got.
Union reps have proposed an alternative way of doing things, which would involve using multiple SRT staff to cover local absences rather than a single person covering all duties, so SRT staff could retain their fixed-link rosters and rest day patterns. Management have so far been resistant, claiming this would be too much of an administrative headache.
Reps are right to stick to their guns. The proposal being administratively difficult doesn't make it impossible. Protecting work/life balance is essential.