MNU President Darlene Jackson Responds to Funding Announcement for NICU Baseline Staffing

Publish date: Thursday, November 08, 2018

Politics & Government

Regional Health Authorities

Workload staffing

“Although we welcome the commitment to fund baseline staffing requirements for NICU at St. Boniface Hospital, this is hardly cause for celebration. The Pallister government has known for months that the nurses have been working short staffed in NICU and other units/programs throughout the hospital. Mandatory overtime has been increasing rapidly since the implementation of Phase I, and has worsened chronic staffing shortages within the Woman & Child program of which NICU is a part. As of October 31, nurses have reported 1792 incidents of mandatory overtime in 2018, compared to 328 for the entire 2017 calendar year. In Woman & Child, nurses reported 198 incidents in 2017, but have already reported 1076 incidents of mandatory overtime in 2018.
 
This announcement validates what nurses have been saying all along, despite repeated denials from this government. Instead of immediately responding to nurses’ concerns, the government and WRHA delayed funding as nurses racked up record amounts of mandatory overtime, putting their own and patient safety at risk. Unfortunately, following several months of delays, it will now take several more months before hired nurses are adequately trained and ready to work in highly specialized units such as NICU.
 
We will be monitoring this situation closely, and continue to push this government to adequately fund our front-line services and address the worsening nursing shortage in the WRHA.”

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