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Need help wording an email - refusing to be moved to different department

(45 Posts)
mammabear31 Thu 15-Oct-15 08:47:28


Please can you help me word an email to my GM? I work in the NHS and have been in my role for approx 4 months. It's an admin role and I am the only support in my department. Yesterday my line manager informed me that I had been "nominated" by a project manager in another department to go and work there temporarily for 6 weeks, to help them with a project that has failed miserably. It has presented to my manager as "we need 1 person per department to come and help this one on a temp basis, please nominate asap and we will get started". My manager has been incredibly supportive and told them in no uncertain terms that I cannot be released. They have come back and said, tough, we need someone, suck it up.
I am planning on emailing the GM this morning to say, in no uncertain terms, that I won't be taking on this role and am staying put. However I am quite worked up/angry/upset about this and I want my email to be assertive and to the point, and to emphasise how disgusted I am with the situation while being professional. I have written the below so far, please can anyone advise?

Thank you!!


I understand there is a need for support within the * team on a temporary basis, for which A has nominated me. While I am incredibly grateful to A for her kind words, I am very concerned. I have had many discussions with B regarding this, and I believe she has put forward her concerns to you too. I have only been in my current role for 4 months, and as I�m sure you can appreciate it has been a long road to get to the point where the department are fully supported administratively. To then take the 1 and only support in the building away from the team would have an incredibly negative effect on the service delivered to our patients, as well as increasing the workload of the clinical staff unnecessarily. It would also have a negative effect on me, personally. I have had a sleepless night worrying about how to word this email, how to tell you that I am extremely unhappy with the way this has played out. I am upset not only that this decision has been presented as non-negotiable, but that it was decided without consulting me first.

There are many other A&C workers in the directorate that I am sure would jump at the chance to move into a temporary role, but unfortunately I am not one of them. I am happy working where I am, as I said above I have just become settled and the service is running smoothly for the first time since my predecessor left in March, and I think it�s incredibly unfair that it was run with that I would be taking on the role, without consulting or discussing the role with me first.

To that end, I�m afraid that my answer is no, I am not able to take up this position. Maybe in the future if I am consulted in advance or given an option, I would reconsider. But at present, I have just got settled into this role and it would be detrimental to all concerned if I was then removed for 6 weeks.

JeffsanArsehole Thu 15-Oct-15 08:50:07

What makes you think you have a choice?(not a snarky question, genuine)

I totally get where you're coming from and it sounds awful. flowers

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 15-Oct-15 08:50:38

Check your contract. In many places it's not up to the individual to decide which department they work on and if you've only been there 4 months you don't want to be rocking the boat.

ginmakesitallok Thu 15-Oct-15 08:53:11

To be honest, it's only for 6 weeks- I'd go. The impact of your move on your current department is not your responsibility, and no one is indispensable. It's your managers job to make any argument to keep you.

Mammabear31 Thu 15-Oct-15 08:55:49

I've been with the trust for 5 years, but in this department/directorate for 4 months.

I would have thought I would have had a choice as I am a fucking person, not a pawn to play in their shitty management game. (that's directed at them; not you Jeff!). My contract is for my role, in my department, on a permanant basis.

Im just so pissed off that they seem to think they can get away with this.

ginmakesitallok Thu 15-Oct-15 08:58:47

Yes of course you are a person, but you are employed to do a job for the trust. And in their view your skills could be better used somewhere else for 6 weeks. Flexibility is a valuable skill in the nhs.

Mammabear31 Thu 15-Oct-15 09:05:25

Wow. I really didn't think I was being unreasonable here. I've worked in my previous role for 5 years and never come across anything like this before, for myself or my colleagues. I fucking hate this, I love working where I do. The department they want me to go to is somewhere I have never, ever wanted to work! I'm so fucking pissed off and upset.

I know it's only 6 weeks but it's going to feel like 6 months.

Gorja Thu 15-Oct-15 09:07:09

I work for the NHS and whilst I employed to do x job in y unit there is a clause that I am employed by the trust and can be moved to suit the trust needs.

Might be worth double checking you contract.

PoppyBlossom Thu 15-Oct-15 09:07:47

I think you can put across that you don't want to go and ask if the is any other candidates, but your contract will say something about smooth running of the trust and being used in whatever way best operates.

WeAllHaveWings Thu 15-Oct-15 09:12:36

I would think your manager will have already discussed the issues with you taking up this role so don't know what value there is you repeating them.

I guess you have a choice whether you go or not, but maybe ask your manager what the consequences will be if you say you are not doing it before deciding. If you decide you are not doing it tell your manager to communicate your decision and that you are open to discussing with the GM face to face if required.

I think sending the email directly to the GM is inappropriate.

AgentProvocateur Thu 15-Oct-15 09:12:53

It's pretty standard that you can get moved to where a resource is needed - I've spent the last few weeks in Manchester, only coming home to Glasgow at weekends. Your contract will worded so that there's flexibility in terms of role, location and hours.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 15-Oct-15 09:17:37

I don't think you have the right to refuse. Check your contract, but I'd be surprised.

If you are going to email, that's far, far too emotional. You need to remove all references to sleepless nights and it being unfair. And the entire last paragraph. It's horrendously unprofessional at the moment, you're throwing your toys out of the pram.

I was going to write an email for you, asking for this to be reconsidered, but I think it'll make you look terrible however you do it. The department running smoothly for the first time since your predecessor left in March isn't something that you want to draw attention to, whatever the background is there, it sounds terrible. Your personal desire not to go is understandable on a personal level, but on a corporate level it looks stubborn and unco-operative. And the point that the department will lose it's only support person is null and void because the department is going to lose someone for 6 weeks, and it does make sense for that to be the support person, from a management perspective.

You really can't kick off about not being informed, either. It would have been nice if they'd discussed this with you, but it also adds a huge amount to the process to ask everyone who is being considered. If they know that they are going to take a person from each department to essentially work a different job for 6 weeks, there's a high chance not many people will be happy, and it's best just to choose the best people and let them get on with it.

You could email and ask if there is anyone on your team who could take your place, but you'd be infinitely better off keeping your head down and doing the work for 6 weeks. Legally, you are likely to be contractually obliged too anyway, and kicking up a fuss is going to make you look like hard work and unwilling to help out. You risk seriously marking your card.

That said, I sympathise. 6 weeks isn't too long (at least it's not 6 months!) even if it goes slowly, and perhaps it'll be good experience. It's going to happen, so you're probably better off accepting that and trying to put on a brave face about it, at least at work.

atticusclaw2 Thu 15-Oct-15 09:18:53

I'm an employment lawyer. It is highly unlikely that your contract specifies that you can only work in a particular department and that you cannot be moved. If it does, then it is a very badly drafted contract.

If the role is interchangeable then you are likely to have to move. You will simply have no choice. You work for a business and you perform the work according to the needs of the business.

If the role itself is different (rather than just the department) then your legal position will be different.

I would be very loathe to kick up a fuss about this. It will do your career no good whatsoever.

Mammabear31 Thu 15-Oct-15 09:28:07

Okay. Thank you for all your advice. I honestly think its total shit; but believe it or not I am being professional at work and have saved the "inappropriateness" for here. I haven't said anything in my email to anyone other than my husband at home last night. I appreciate I am being a bit of a drama queen but this has totally shocked me coming out of the blue from nowhere. The role is totally different to the one I am doing currently.

My manager recommended I email the GM with my concerns, but I will rethink that now.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 15-Oct-15 09:34:15

I would certainly rethink it. You've only been there 4 months. Believe me as a fellow nhs worker the managers won't give a shit what an admin person thinks about this. They won't give a shit about you feeling unsettled.

Go for six weeks, work hard, smile, keep your head down.

You never know when the next lot of redundancies will be announced, when some depts merge, when there's a reshuffle and that bloke who you were thinking of emailing becomes your new permanent line manager. Don't piss people off as it will be remembered for years.

lougle Thu 15-Oct-15 09:34:44

You can't say no. You can say 'I don't want to' and 'I don't like this' all you want, but at the end of the day they can move you.

I'd suggest you get on with it - it will show your value to the Trust.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 15-Oct-15 09:37:17

I do sympathise. As a band six ive been moved from one role to another with no notice and no consultation. My contract actually had a specific title and I was moved away from that job role and into another. My job was given to someone else without an interview! I'm still angry but ive had to suck it up.

I tried verbally telling the Band 8 that I didn't think it was fair and was told "don't care what you think, it's happening, clear your desk now".

Hey ho, they still pay me. I just turn up and do what I'm told now.

Mumtorobbie Thu 15-Oct-15 09:43:18

OP please don't send the email. It's annoying but its only six weeks.

One thing I've learnt about the NHS is people do not have short memories and you will be labeled as inflexible and obstructive if you don't do as you have been asked.

It's really.not worth it for a six week secondment.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 15-Oct-15 09:46:12

I would forget your email, it's not really your place to argue about resources, this is your managers job. It's also a great opportunity for you to gain some additional skills that will look great on your CV. It's only for 6 weeks, at the end of the day how your existing department copes without you is not your problem, it's your managers. Try and open your mind to how positive this opportunity is, no one likes change but sometimes we just have to roll with it.All the contracts I have signed, included a clause stating that staff could be required to work for another department, so I don't think you have any option but to give it a try.

flowery Thu 15-Oct-15 09:49:36

If your manager has already argued to keep you, they are certainly not going to change their mind based on further discussion with you. The other way round, possibly, but you definitely won't have more sway than someone more senior than you,

It's 6 weeks of your life and being cooperative might pay dividends later. Let it go, take what you can get from a bad situation (making contacts, experience of a different department, whatever it is), and don't let it cause you such stress and upset. For the sake of 6 weeks, life's too short to allow it to make such an impact on you.

AmandaTanen Thu 15-Oct-15 10:04:52

In my nhs admin post I was not allocated a work location and my contract stated I could be asked to work elsewhere, I would not email them, yes it could be a hassle but it could also look good on your cv that you are flexible .

Mammabear31 Thu 15-Oct-15 10:11:14

Okay okay, I get it. I'm not going to email. Thank you for your advice. I've just arranged a meeting with the project lead to discuss what the role entails, when they want me to start and where I will be based.

Hornydilemma Thu 15-Oct-15 10:19:07

If you really want to turn this into a positive, put as much support as possible in place in the area you are leaving, and check in with the people in the area and your current manager a few times while you are in the other role.

ginmakesitallok Thu 15-Oct-15 10:37:28

And count yourself lucky, we're going through yet another restructuring, none of us have any idea what we're going to be doing in 6 months time. My pragmatic approach is that as long as they keep paying me I'll pretty much do anything.

Chippednailvarnish Thu 15-Oct-15 10:39:51

Your email is over emotional, you need to make factual points on why you think it is a bad idea, not whine about sleepless nights.

Personally I think you are making a huge mistake by refusing to go.

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