Why are they a must?
Heavy workloads compromise the ability of nurses to deliver safe, quality patient care. Over 60 per cent of MNU members cite workload and its consequences - long hours, burnout, stress and more - as the most important issue nurses face. That's why workload is one of MNU’s highest priorities - and why it's so important that we're able to provide evidence of workload issues to the employer as we continue to advocate for improvements throughout the system.
What are Workload Staffing Reports?
Workload Staffing Reports (WSRs) are a joint union/management problem-solving tool for documenting and addressing unresolved workload and staffing concerns.
WSRs give nurses the opportunity to make recommendations on how to improve a situation, while, from a legal perspective, provides documentation that the nurse has drawn management’s attention to an unsafe, or potentially unsafe, situation.
What is the process for reporting a concern?
After a long, difficult shift, filling out a form can be the last thing an exhausted nurse wants to do. However, it's important for nurses to report every incident when they feel their ability to provide safe patient care is being jeopardized by heavy workload and/or staffing concerns.
The following steps outline the general process for reporting a concern (for specific instructions please see Resources section below):
- Nurse discusses issue at unit/ward/program level.
- If unresolved, nurse discusses concern with manager.
- If unresolved, nurse completes a WSR.
- Manager has 14 days to respond to WSR.
- WSR is discussed (individually or collectively) at Nursing Advisory Committee meeting.
Nurses should never be afraid to file a WSR as it is a problem-solving tool outlined in the MNU Collective Agreement (Article 11). If you still have concerns, talk to your MNU unit/local/worksite representative.
Online and Paper WSRs
Depending on where member’s work, WSRs are completed in one of two ways: using a paper-based form, or through MNU’s new online WSR system.
The paper-based form has been available for many years and is available to fill out at all member workplaces.
As of September 30, 2020, MNU is launching a new online WSR system throughout the WRHA, with a few exceptions noted below.* This follows successful pilot launches at nine WRHA locals earlier in 2020.
The new digital system is designed to streamline the reporting process, allowing members to complete reports online, automatically email appropriate parties, and login to check the status of their reports and easily view manager responses.
We encourage members working in the WRHA to switch to the online system and take advantage of these new convenient features. However, paper forms will continue to be available in all workplaces.
MNU is working towards extending the online platform to other regions and will advise members of further rollout plans as they develop.
For specific instructions on completing either paper or online WSRs, please refer to the Resources section below.
* St. Norbert Lodge (Local 53) continues to use paper-based forms at this time. Members should note that workplaces that fall under Shared Health are not included in this launch. Lastly, MNU members that were previously represented by different unions prior to the union representation votes in August 2019 (including Deer Lodge Worksite 157, and some locations within Nurse Practitioners Worksite 141 and Primary Care Nurses Worksite 142) will not have access to the new online system until an agreement can be reached to use the MNU-specific WSRs.
- Fact Sheet: Includes basic information and background on paper WSR use. (PDF 57KB)
- Process Chart: Illustrates the paper WSR form process involving members, union representatives, and employer. (PDF 304KB)
- PowerPoint Tutorial: MNU's PowerPoint tutorial of paper WSRs. (PPTX 6.6MB)
VIDEO: Improving Care with Workload Staffing Reports
- Fact Sheet: Includes basic information and background on online WSR use. (PDF 92KB)
- Process Chart: Illustrates the online WSR form process involving members, union representatives, and employer. (PDF 103KB)
- Nurse Instructions: Instructions for nurses inputting online WSRs. (PDF 152KB)
- PowerPoint Tutorial: MNU's PowerPoint tutorial of online WSRs. (PPTX 6.7MB)