Dear Colleagues,

As you might imagine, all of UHN management is pleased that we have been named a Canada-wide “Top 100 Employer” for the sixth year in a row. We think that one element o​f making UHN a great place to work is to try and improve staff wellness. We have made a big effort to enhance wellness - by offering fitness, nutrition education and a wellness centre are important examples of that commitment.

There is one area where we are not doing as well as we should - we are not meeting our Balanced Scorecard target of reducing overtime hours worked by our staff. We know from research and experience that asking our staff to work overtime has ​a negative impact on worklife balance. It increases subsequent sick time and reduces staff commitment to their employer. Our goal of improving the health and well being of our staff is why reduction in overtime is on the Balanced Scorecard and I want to let you know what we have done and are going to do to meet this important goal.

Most of our overtime is in our clinical areas. Over the past three years, we have made an organization-wide effort to improve our staffing and to fill vacancies on our clinical units. Recruitment of nurses for example, has increased substantially from under 90 hires a year in 2005 to nearly 350 new RNs recruited last year. Making UHN a preferred employer for nurses has taken a huge amount of effort by our managers and directors, Mary Ferguson-Pare’s and Emma Pavlov’s teams and we are extremely pleased with this success. We have also made an investment in a Nursing Resource Team. This team is comprised of early career nurses who are orientated to several clinical areas in the hospital and available to “fill-in” for overtime and sick-time needs on our units.
Despite these investments, our requests for staff to work overtime in our clinical areas keep increasing. It is really not fair to request our clinicians to routinely work beyond a standard work week and I have asked our VPs to work with their teams to substantially reduce this demand on our staff. I believe that we have hired the right clinicians to substantially reduce overtime and demonstrate our commitment to staff wellness and we are going to work hard to accomplish this goal.

Thanks for your help in making UHN a better place to work.

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