More working hours for free
I am working with an NGO in Uganda; my contract tells me to work for 5 days (Monday- Friday) eight hours. No mention of working on weekends and overtime. However my manager has now made it a habit for everyone to work on weekends and past hours, without any motivation.
I do not want to pull ropes with my supervisors, and I cannot put in more working hours for free, this has complicated my life and it puts my job in danger. How can I go about it?
Why are they asking for additional hours to be worked? Is there a need to provide cover outside working hours? If that is the reason, can your working hours be adjusted so that you have some time off at least.
Is the problem seasonal? Or caused by a staff shortage that is being addressed?
You can ask those questions right away, and if the answers indicate a temporary problem, at least you may get some time off in repayment further down the line.
I guess you are not the only person with this problem. Find an ally if you can, or even several. But avoid appearing to be a troublemaker stirring up feelings amongst colleagues. It will help you later to know there is some solidarity there.
Document the hours that you work, and why. By which I mean who has asked you to, and for what reason.
When you have a couple of weeks diarised times, ask for a meeting with your supervisor and explain how many hours you are regularly working, and the impact this has on your family and life.
Decide whether you do this individually, or whether you invite colleagues to join you. But don’t let your supervisor feel “ambushed “.
What happens next depends on what your supervisor says or does. If they can’t or won’t handle the issue, and you want to take it further, advise them that you will be taking it past them, to their manager.
You are right when you say, “it puts my job in danger”. You need to think seriously about how far you are prepared to go with this course of action, as it may cost you your job.
If you can’t pay that price, you will have to try to negotiate a compromise, such as some time off in lieu of extra hours worked.
Good luck, I hope you get a resolution soon. If not, you may need you review the job market for other suitable positions.