Times they are a changing, and Mt. SAC is not immune to these changes. The new Student Centered Funding Formula has created some confusion and quite a bit of concern about the amount of funding Mt. SAC will receive under this new formula. It is a work-related concern that can add more stress to classified professionals who are dedicated to improving the lives of our students and fellow classified.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently posted to their web site information about worker-related stress created from long hours, irregular work shifts, and fatigue. Very often these factors translate into your evaluations as performance deficiencies and, in some cases, illness and injury. When union stewards advise members to “work to the rule” and not to stay late to do work (especially uncompensated work or unauthorized overtime) and that you are entitled to a “fixed schedule,” this advice is centered on ensuring your good health and improved performance.
Irregular work hours disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm, which is your internal clock that regulates your wake/sleep cycle. Irregular work schedules (not necessarily the time itself but keeping that time regular) can disrupt this cycle, and this disruption can contribute to factors that lead to fatigue, poor health, and performance issues.
Statistics gathered by the Department of Labor show accident and injury rates are nearly twenty percent higher during evening shifts and thirty percent higher during night shifts when compared to day shifts. Working twelve hours per day is associated with a 37% increased risk of injury. Another study showed that extended shifts increase the risk of commuting accidents by 16%. The lesson here is not that longer shifts are bad but that you need to be aware of how you and your body react to long hours, irregular shifts, and fatigue and what you can do to alleviate these risks.
Visit the Department of Labor web site for more information and additional resources or contact the Employee Assistance Services for Education (EASE, which is covered by our health benefit plan, including SISC) to learn about additional assistance.