MNU Supports Restricting Mandatory Overtime for Nurses

Publish date: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Health care

MNU President

Politics & Government

​Manitoba's nurses are proud to support legislation aimed at restricting the use of mandatory overtime, MNU President Darlene Jackson announced today. 

"Mandatory overtime for nurses has been increasing in recent years due to unsustainable vacancies and increasing workload. This is unacceptable and is jeopardizing nurses' ability to provide safe patient care," said Jackson. "This legislation is aimed at ending the use of mandatory overtime as a routine staffing tool, and provides accountability mechanisms for employers and government to ensure safe staffing levels without forced overtime."

The Restricting Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Act is modeled after legislation passed in New York; 18 U.S. states have passed legislation restricting mandatory overtime for nurses citing benefits for patient and staff safety and reducing the need for costly overtime. This legislation has the potential to become the first of its kind in Canada, and greatly benefit ongoing nursing recruitment & retention efforts. It also provides for up to two years for government and employers to make progress on filling nurse vacancies before restrictions come into effect, and requires the Health Minister to report to the legislature on these efforts twice a year.

Mandatory overtime is a primary concern for nurses in programs and facilities across Manitoba, including long-term care and public health. Although employers do not readily disclose the amount of mandatory overtime occurring at each facility, MNU has received increasing reports from members.

At St. Boniface Hospital, nurses voluntarily report incidents of mandatory overtime to the union. In 2017, nurses reported 328 incidents of mandatory overtime, which increased to 1886 in 2018. Mandatory overtime remains far above 2017 levels -- before major health care changes were implemented -- with a reported 977 incidents reported in 2019 as of November 30.

"We applaud the Official Opposition for introducing this much needed legislation, and hope the other parties will lend their support," said Jackson. "The Premier and Health Minister have said they want to hear ideas from frontline workers that can improve patient care and build a more sustainable system. We share that objective, and therefore trust they will support this legislation."

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

Want to know more about Bill 205? Read MNU's FAQs on the legislation:

Join MNU's letter-writing campaign to support Bill 205:

The Restricting Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Act

Bill 205 | The Restricting Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Act



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