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WFNHP Supports Important Legislation to Ban the Dangerous Practice of Mandatory Overtime





For Immediate Release: February 27, 2008

Contact:  Stephanie Bloomingdale: 414-475-6065, ext. 20

Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals Supports Important Legislation to Ban the Dangerous Practice of Mandatory Overtime

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Legislation to advance the ban on mandatory overtime took a step forward today, when the Senate Labor Committee, chaired by Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), held a hearing on Senate Bill 512 to Ban Mandatory Overtime for Wisconsin's Healthcare Workers.

The Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals, which represents thousands of nurses and healthcare workers across the state of Wisconsin, supports this important bill to ban the practice of forced overtime.  Today nurses delivered passionate pleas and testimony about this dangerous practice which affects their patients and their profession.

Registered nurses in Wisconsin's acute care hospitals are frequently required to work beyond the end of their shift, while hopsital administration continues to under staff and use forced overtime to fill the holes.  By doing this, hospitals knowingly put nurses in a position where they are mentally and physically exhausted.  A practice that is unsafe for patients and is driving nurses out of the profession.

"There is a clear and undisputable connection between medical errors and fatigued nurses," said Candice Owley, president of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.  "A ban on mandatory overtime is imperative for the safety of patients in Wisconsin and those who care for them."

It's time we put an end to the dangerous practice of forced overtime, and make Wisconsin safe for patients.

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Wisconsin FNHP is a division of AFT Healthcare, which represents more than 65,000 nurses and other healthcare professionals.

A Union of Professionals