Should I say something or not?

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Should I ask them to put a note about expressing facilities in the staff manual?

Yes
7
58%
No - I'd be totally pissed if they said that they were available but I was sent to a fridgeless toilet
4
33%
No - other reason
1
8%
Potato
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 12

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Penguin
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Should I say something or not?

Post by Penguin » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:20 pm

This week (each year) I participate in a huge operation. A government authority runs this massive project for one week. (Saturday - Friday (may finish early) The people doing my job work 8 am - 5:30pm ish and there are about 600 people who do my job. There's a whole bunch of 'higher ups' andheaps of support personel who work well into the night.

Last year DD was 4 months so I was pumping. At the end of the operation they asked for feedback for the manual and I suggested that they put in the staff manual that there were expressing facilities available for bfing mothers. The lady I spoke with said it was a great idea and made a note of it, but there wasn't anything in this year's manual. I'm not sure if this is because they didn't want to put it in, or because it just got forgotten about.

I thought it would be a good idea to have a note in there 1) so that any new mothers knew that facilities were available/ sow the seed so that people don't need to think 'I need to wean because I'm doing this work in September' and 2) to normalise pumping and working. How great would it be if every staff manual listed all the need - to - knows: sign in procedures, carparking areas, lunch times, expressing room locations.

I was going to say something this year either in caseit just got forgotten or to find out why it wasn't included, but now I'm not sure.

The room that I expressed in last year was described by the venue to the Authority, and then from the Authority to me, as a 'Sick Bay'. In actual fact, it was a large disabled toilet with a massage table/bed and a first aid kit on the wall. I took my own cool bag and ice bricks (no fridge). On the first day (Saturday) we don't get down to the main hall until 2:30pm,before then we are in other rooms for training (the sick bay/toilet isn't available). Someone ended up finding me an unlocked storage rooms for two pumps that morning, and I sat at the table and pumped for another. Also, only half of the people are down in that hall (with the toilet/ sick bay) the others are in another hall in a different building - I'm not sure what rooms are available there, but there's purbably a spare store room available somewhere.

Anyway, perhaps saying that 'expressing facilities are available' is a bit too much. As in, if someone told you that expressing facilities were available but it was a toilet + table, no fridge, not available until 2:30/ in a totallyspearate building, would you be annoyed?

thoughts?
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foggylog
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Post by foggylog » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:45 pm

I'd be more inclined to ask them to put a little note saying a space for expressing can be made available chat to XYZ (either a particular person or whomever doing a particular job etc), so that mums know it's possible and that asking is welcome.
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Mummy Latte
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Post by Mummy Latte » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:30 pm

Good on you for trying to get expressing in the manual! Every little bit of exposure normalises breastfeeding so I'm glad you managed to work your way around the obstacles and want to share and encourage others.

I hate to be a downer, but as a former health and safety rep I wouldn't consider a toilet with a bed in it to be a suitable sick bay OR expressing facilities. I would actually question it from an OH&S perspective as I don't think first aid rooms should have toilets, even in temporary facilities as you describe. However, you indicate that other rooms are available, and the requirements for an expressing room according to Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces aren't very hard to meet. Paraphrasing a lot, the requirements are:

- Lockable room with adequate ventilation.
- Comfortable chair.
- Privacy (ie no clear glass panels or windows that people can look through)
- Powerpoint for electric pumps.
- Table or similar for breast pump.
- Access to washing-up facilities
- Access to fridge

Ideally the fridge and washing up facilities should be in the room, but if they're in a nearby kitchen it's OK. Even a storage room might be fine as long as it's ventilated, clean and not used for chemicals (eg. cleaning materials)

While you've probably got buckleys chance of getting BFW accreditation for one event one week of the year, it would be worth checking if the government authority has BFW accreditation. If they do they should be easily able to organise some temporary expressing facilities with help from their consultant. If not, you could just give them this list and see if they can allocate a room for this purpose. It might also be worth suggesting an alternative sick bay and more facilities as one repurposed disabled toilet wouldn't cut it amongst 600 people if several people were ill.

If they can come up with some arrangement for the future, I like foggylog's suggestion, which also helps the authority get some feedback on the demand for any facilities they do provide.

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Two's enough
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Post by Two's enough » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:35 pm

Can you do both, let them know you appreciated the support and it would be nice to have a note in the manual that there is support for expressing and some facilities available (play it down abit given the current limitations but still put it out there) and let the organisers know what the ideal is so they can plan ahead
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snowie
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Post by snowie » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:44 pm

Penguin, I think I know the job you are talking about, and what you describe does not surprise me. I was thinking about doing this job while I was on maternity leave with DD, but put it in the too hard basket.

Given that the workers who do this job are mostly employed by one of two major employers who have provisions in their EBs for breastfeeding mothers, my suggestion is to have a look at the Enterprise Bargaining document that your main employer has and make reference to this (send of copy of this section) when speaking to the employer of the one week job.

(If you don't work for one of the two big employers, I'm happy to search out the wording for my employer. Does all this make sense?)
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Penguin
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Re:

Post by Penguin » Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:13 pm

snowie wrote:Penguin, I think I know the job you are talking about, and what you describe does not surprise me. I was thinking about doing this job while I was on maternity leave with DD, but put it in the too hard basket.

Given that the workers who do this job are mostly employed by one of two major employers who have provisions in their EBs for breastfeeding mothers, my suggestion is to have a look at the Enterprise Bargaining document that your main employer has and make reference to this (send of copy of this section) when speaking to the employer of the one week job.

(If you don't work for one of the two big employers, I'm happy to search out the wording for my employer. Does all this make sense?)
I just searched for this thread after today's successes. (And no, I don't have any expressing entitlements from my employer beyond the general anti discrimination and OH&S stuff)
DD1 May 2011
Super baby Dec 2013
DD2 Feb 2015 Storked by Parla.
Proud storker: michansam's DS3, katsbi's DD3 and Gwen's mum's DS
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