May 30, 2020

13° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?


Advertise With Us

St. B staff engagement slammed: report

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>"There’s a disconnect," Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson said of the disparity between managers’ and nurses’ engagement.


"There’s a disconnect," Manitoba Nurses Union president Darlene Jackson said of the disparity between managers’ and nurses’ engagement.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/6/2019 (341 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Employee engagement plummeted at St. Boniface Hospital after the province began consolidating ER services, a new report obtained by the Winnipeg Free Press shows.

The hospital’s engagement score on the 2018 survey was 36 per cent — down from 59 per cent in 2016 after years of steady climbing. Between surveys, the province launched a multi-phase revamp of health care, including consolidating emergency departments from six to three.

Engagement levels reported in the document are consistently worse than across the WRHA (50 per cent engagement) and Canadian averages (64 per cent), and lower than previous years at St. Boniface, going back to 2006.

Manitoba Nurses Union members reported the highest job dissatisfaction at only 24 per cent engaged.

"Nurses have been very vocal about what’s been happening in health care and about the stresses they’re undergoing," said MNU president Darlene Jackson.

"These results reflect what we’ve been hearing from staff since the changes began."

Middle managers remained quite engaged (61 per cent) but professionals, specialists and technicians (30 per cent) had the lowest engagement levels. Front-line workers were just below the hospital-wide average at 35 per cent.

"There’s a disconnect," Jackson said of the disparity between managers’ and nurses’ engagement.

"Nurses are working flat out, the workload is crushing… And it’s like managers and the employers aren’t getting this."

The survey was conducted one year after 1,000 of the 1,700 nurses at St. Boniface received notices that their jobs had been deleted and they would have to re-apply.

One recently retired St. Boniface nurse, who asked not to be named, said the hospital used to be a wonderful, sought-after place to work.

Now, she said, "I can’t believe it’s the same place I worked at for so many years."

Employees responded positively to items like "my job is a good fit for my abilities and experience" (76 per cent positive), "my colleagues share best practice and job knowledge" (71 per cent positive) and "my coworkers respect my thoughts and feelings" (70 per cent positive).

"Nurses are in the profession for a reason, they love their job, they love providing patient care, they’re doing what they love," Jackson said. "I do know that the workload is increasing, voluntary and forced, which does have an impact on the ability to provide care… for a nurse, that’s a really big deal."

Staff largely disagreed with items like "my performance has a significant impact on my pay" (63 per cent negative) and "as a result of the changes made, our organization is a better organization than it was 12 months ago" (61 per cent negative).

To make the hospital a better place to work, people asked for more staff, less mandated overtime, improved security, doing away with shift work or returning to the old rotation. "Listen to front-line staff," some responded, others: "Amount of change too much, too fast."

The retired nurse said that’s still what nurses want. But she’s not sure if people feel safe to come forward.

"They’ve made it a place of total fear ... nobody will speak out," she said, applauding emergency room physician Paul Doucet for speaking out last week.

"I don't think many of the nurses are going to answer that new survey, because it's bizarre," she added, referencing an all-staff survey open until the end of June that asks staff about the hospital's strengths and their sources of pride.

The survey notes that it can take three years for employee engagement to recover after a major organizational change.

St. Boniface Hospital did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Twitter: @tessavanderhart


Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.


Updated on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 10:11 AM CDT: Adds PDF of report

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.


Advertise With Us