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Nurses Overtime Equals More Than 11,000 Full-Time Jobs

Author: Canadian Federation of Nurses

Published: 2011-06-19

Synopsis and Key Points:

Full time nurses top all other occupations in rates of illness and disability related absenteeism.

Main Digest

Overtime For Nurses in One Year Equals More Than 11,000 Full-Time Jobs.

Information from a new study shows that in 2010, registered nurses and nurse supervisors publicly employed in Canada's health care and social assistance sector, worked a total of 20,627,800 hours of overtime, equivalent to 11,400 full-time jobs.

On average, 14.5% of nurses worked unpaid overtime in 2010, up from 12.9% in 2008.

Nurses reporting unpaid overtime worked 4.4 extra hours per week. This is 0.5 hours higher, on average, than in 2008.

For every week in 2010, 19,200 public-sector health care nurses, on average, were absent due to illness or disability.

Full-time nurses top all other occupations in rates of illness and disability-related absenteeism.

Full-time nurses top all other occupations in rates of illness and disability-related absenteeism.

"We are not surprised by most of these figures, unfortunately," said Linda Silas, president of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions. "They replicate a pattern established in a similar study covering 1987 to 2008. What is alarming is that though the percentage of nurses working paid overtime has decreased, from 21.4% in 2008 to 17.3% in 2010, the percentage of nurses working unpaid overtime has increased. This represents a further squeezing of labor from a workforce which continues to face layoffs."

Other details from the study are found in "Quick Facts: Overtime and Absenteeism."

CFNU commissioned this update by Informetrica Ltd. to identify trends in overtime and absenteeism among nurses across Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) meeting at the Winnipeg Convention Center marks the 30th anniversary of the Federation. The CFNU is Canada's largest nurses' organization representing over 176,000 members.

The full agenda for the 15th Biennial Convention is available online:

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