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By A ‘Huge’ 57% Margin, Registered Nurses At Maine’s Largest Hospital ‘Vote To Form First Ever’ Union With The Maine State Nurses Association/NNU

Published Sunday, May 2, 2021
by Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United
By A ‘Huge’ 57% Margin, Registered Nurses At Maine’s Largest Hospital ‘Vote To Form First Ever’ Union With The Maine State Nurses Association/NNU

(PORTLAND, MAINE) - By a huge 57% margin, Registered Nurses (RNs) at Maine’s largest hospital, the Maine Medical Center (MMC), are joining the Maine State Nurses Association (MSNA)/National Nurses United (NNU).

The Maine Med RNs voted 1,001-to-750 in a Mail Ballot Election counted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to form their first ever Union.

MSNA will now represent 2,000 RNs at Maine Med, the Scarborough Surgery Center and the MMC Brighton Campus in Portland.

“It’s a new day for Nurses and patients across Maine,” MSNA President Cokie Giles, an RN herself, said. “I am thrilled for my colleagues at Maine Med and for their resolve to win a collective voice for their patients and their community.  And I look forward to working with you for a future of high-quality patient care for all Maine residents.”

Giles, who is also a Vice President of NNU, called on Maine Med’s administration to “respect the democratic vote of the RNs and begin working with them to negotiate its first Collective Bargaining Agreement that would be in the best interests of the hospital, the Nurses and the community.”

“This is a dream come true, to bring us the unified strength we need to improve patient care conditions and workplace standards at Maine Med,” Maine Med Mother Baby RN Jackie Fournier said.

NNU Executive Director and RN Bonnie Castillo said: “Your courage to stand up and speak out for your patients and community in the face of the most serious threat to your own health and safety amid the worst global pandemic in a century has inspired Nurses across the country.  We could not be more impressed with your accomplishment.”

The RNs cited growing concerns about inadequate staffing, mandatory scheduling that requires Nurses to rotate between working days and nights that they say leads to burnout and fatigue, lack of meal and break relief, assignments to work in units for which they do not have clinical experience and proper orientation, and other workplace improvements and standards.

Noting how Nurses lost another attempt to form a Union two decades ago, Float Pool RN Julia Koger said that, since then: “We’ve fallen behind on staffing, working conditions and other benefits.  This has only contributed to worsening retention.  Meanwhile, Nurses at Union Hospitals have been able to protect what they have and bargain for improvements.  Nurses and patients at Maine Med deserve nothing less than that same right to bargain collectively.”

With the huge organizing win at Maine Medical Center coming on the heels of the organizing victory for 1,800 Nurses in North Carolina in September, and other recent Union organizing wins, NNU has reinforced its role as one of the fastest growing Unions in the U.S.

Overall, NNU represents more than 170,000 RNs from coast to coast.

To Read This Organizing Labor News Story In Its Entirety, Go To: www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/maine-medical-nurses-vote-to-form-first-union

 

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