Roster nightmares #BlogJune

It is somehow now my job to organise the rosters for our library team, including casual library assistants. This is something I have been avoiding doing as I had a very bad experience trying to do this for two weeks while my manager was on leave at my previous job.

Setting the regular roster for our team wasn’t too bad, as it was mostly copying the old one into a new shared calendar, and a couple of adjustments. No tears were shed over that one. I will review over the upcoming term break to see if anything needs to be moved for next term.

The casuals are another issue altogether! We need to have at least two staff in the building at all times, and as we are open from 8am-8pm this means we have one librarian and one casual on the 4-8pm shift.

By definition, the casuals can’t work regular days or too many days, etc. as this is against HR rules/contract law or something. This means if we have a casual who can only work Tuesdays, I can’t let them only work Tuesdays or it becomes a permanent part-time role.


Then comes the last minute txt/emails from casuals not able to make shifts, or just not turning up with no notice!

Luckily I have a new casual who is usually happy to come in at late notice, and doesn’t live too far away. However my new problem is how many hours they are working and whether HR are about to tell me off about that too.

But what else can I do?

We can’t have the librarian working on their own because it is not safe, but faculty staff will not like us closing early due to lack of staff.

I have actually had nightmares about the rosters, one vivid one being neither the librarian nor the casual coming in on a Saturday morning, and for some random reason I was down in Christchurch so I was unable to come in to help. Weird. Hope it doesn’t happen in real life.



6 thoughts on “Roster nightmares #BlogJune

  1. Ruth Baxter says:

    Rostering software. Buy some. It’s usually cost effective if you count how many hours are spent on this over 3 months. Or you can build most of these rules into a simple excel spreadsheet with if then arguments if you have any excel experts. My old excel roster sheet had a column on on side that counted up the names and listed total no of shifts for each person so I could quickly see if anyone was over the hours cap


  2. Ruth Baxter says:

    Do you have enough casuals? If so give them a IM or something else where they can advertise when they want to swap a shift and get them to manage this themselves. If they don’t manage it cut them off your list.
    If you don’t have enough casuals this gets very hard …


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