Mandatory overtime has reached crisis levels at St. Boniface Hospital, according to the Manitoba Nurses’ Union.

The union says this is a cause for concern as these extra hours could jeopardize the nurses’ ability to deliver safe care to patients.

There have been 328 reports of mandatory overtime so far this year, which is the same number reported in all of 2017. But the actual number could be higher since incidents are reported to the union voluntarily.

“In December we saw a huge spike in activity across the system, but it certainly impacted St. Boniface Hospital with a significant number of admissions to hospital, which caused us to go into and remain in over-capacity — in an over-capacity situation,” said Lori Lamont of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

The staff started a new scheduling model in January, which created some vacancies.

12 new nurses have been hired and there are more to come.