Reporting Safety Concerns In The Workplace

Today, President Jason MacLean had an opportunity to meet with members of the Local 101 Executive team to discuss issues our nursing members are experiencing in the workplace. We hear you loud and clear: many of you are working in unsafe environments as a result of short staffing by your employer and this government.

And since the NSHA and IWK have decided to change the way they interpret the overtime language in your collective agreement, staffing issues have only gotten worse.

We would like to reiterate that each of you as individuals have a choice. You have the right to refuse overtime where you do not believe you are being compensated properly, and are therefore free to refuse overtime shifts and to tell your manager that you don’t accept working these shifts because it isn’t worth it to you to work beyond your scheduled hours at straight time. Remember these hours are yours: if you choose to work, that’s extra time away from your family and friends.

We are doing our best to convince the employer to reverse their position on this issue and revert to their past interpretation of the overtime language in your collective agreement. We believe that both employers are feeling the pressure that many of you are exerting by choosing to refuse overtime shifts.

Since President MacLean raised this issue with Minister of Labour Relations Mark Furey and the Minister of Health and Wellness Randy Delorey a few weeks ago, NSGEU representatives have met with the NSHA to discuss the issue. During this meeting, we made it very clear that all health care workers are feeling undervalued by their employer, and that the OT changes are making things worse.

We are asking you to help us by documenting what is happening in your workplace.

The process is straightforward:

  • We now use the Clinical Care Capacity Sheets (click here) instead of the Quality Care Sheets for reporting workplace situations.
  • We are also going to do our best to ensure these forms are posted on all units.
  • These forms are important to use in the events of workload, staffing and safety issues. In addition, if short staffing is the issue, please mention if there was someone available to work OT, but they would have been deemed straight time due to the new interpretation of the language of the employer and therefore, they refused the shift.
  • You have 72 hours from the incident to fill out the form, and only one form per shift is necessary, but all nurses on the shift should sign it.
  • Fill out the form, fax it to the union and leave the original with your manager. The fax number and guidelines can be found at the bottom of the form.
  • These Clinical Care Capacity Sheets do not replace SIMM or SAFE Reporting. They should be used in conjunction with these two other protocols.

If you have further questions or concerns about this matter, please contact us. Keep an eye on your email for further updates from us on this important issue.

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