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June 27, 2018

Manitoba Nurses Union: Mandatory overtime crisis continues at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – A mandatory overtime crisis has continued at St. Boniface Hospital, as reported incidences in 2018 have now more than doubled 2017 levels, with 40 instances reported this past weekend alone, MNU President Sandi Mowat announced today.

“Nurses at St. Boniface are extremely concerned. Many have reached a point of physical and mental exhaustion,” said Mowat. “They’re doing the best they can, but many nurses are so tired they’re worried about jeopardizing patient care.”

MNU first publicly reported the mandatory OT crisis on March 21, 2018. At the time, MNU had received 328 incidences of mandatory OT since January 1, 2018 – the equivalent of all reported mandatory OT incidences in the 2017 calendar year. As of June 25, mandatory OT had climbed to 799 incidences – more than double the amount reported for all 2017.

Incidences are voluntarily reported to MNU, which indicates the actual number of mandatory OT incidences may be substantially higher. Voluntary OT is not reflected in this data, meaning all OT incidences are also much higher than reported.

“The Minister of Health and WRHA told us three months ago that the spike in mandatory overtime was primarily due to the flu,” added Mowat. “Even at the time we knew that wasn’t the case. Now flu season has long past and the issue has only gotten worse. For the safety of both our patients and nurses, we’re calling on the government to stop with the excuses and take immediate action to rectify this situation.”
Research has shown that overtime not only increases health care costs, but increases burnout, sick time, and stress leave amongst staff. Absences in turn produce greater need for overtime, jeopardizing safe patient care.

MNU represents over 12,000 nurses of all designations from across Manitoba.


Media Contact: Matt Austman 204-795-8446

2018-06-27_MNU press-release_Mandatory OT Crisis Continues at St. Boniface Hospital