One solution to nurses' forced overtime may be found in some English-language hospitals

Nurses' unions yesterday went before the Labour Administrative Tribunal asking for a committee to come up with an action plan to solve the problem of forced overtime.

One of the solutions may lie in some English-language healthcare institutions.

The FIQ nurses' union says the problem of forced overtime is not so prevalent in some of the English healthcare sectors.

"In the English hospitals, the majority of them, the staffing, the nurses make their own schedules, so that makes a big difference," said spokesman Roberto Bomba.

"When they're planning their own schedules amongst themselves, they manage to staff more efficiently."

But that hasn't caught on in the French-language healthcare sector.

"It's definitely is a question of control and certainly some managers are not willing to give up this control," said Bomba.

"Sometimes you hear, Well, there's a shortage of money, we need more investment. No, you can manage your own scheduling without adding any funding."

It's not a blanket policy  - nurses at the Lakeshore General Hospital refused obligatory overtime last Monday to protest working conditions they say are causing burnout and worsening patient care.