Kinew promises end to mandatory overtime for nurses

Tim Salzen & Megan Benedictson, CTV News Winnipeg
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2019 9:52AM CST

NDP leader Wab Kinew said cuts to health care are causing hospitals to use forced overtime as a regular staffing strategy, and if his party was elected to form government, it would put an end to the practice. 

In a news release Wednesday, Kinew promised to legislate an end mandatory overtime for Manitoba nurses, blaming the Pallister government for what he called “rushed and reckless health cuts.”

Kinew said an NDP government would fill the gaps by hiring and training more nurses.

The NDP said nurses at St. Boniface Hospital began tracking incidence of mandatory overtime in 2017 and that their figures saw a jump in such incidents, from a monthly average of 27.3 in 2017 to 157.2 in 2018.

The party said the government does not make such numbers public.

Kinew said nurses are telling him the situation has never been worse.

“Patient care is suffering.  Nurses are at the front lines of care and we should listen to them and treat them with the respect they deserve,” Kinew said.