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Nurses at Maine Medical Center vote to keep their union

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An election to remove the Maine State Nurses Association (MSNA) from Maine Medical Center (MMC) ended in victory for the union.

Voting held August 17 and 18 resulted in 1,108 of the hospital’s registered nurses voting against decertifying the union while 387 nurses voted in favor of decertification. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees union elections, has not yet certified the election results.

Nurses at MMC voted 1,001 to 750 in May 2021 in favor of certifying MSNA, an affiliate of National Nurses United (NNU).

The vote to decertify the union was organized in part by Davin Brooks, a nurse at MMC, who submitted a petition with over 500 signatures to the NLRB. The board’s rules do not allow a vote to decertify a union within one year of it having been certified.

MSNA and MMC have been unable to finalize a contract, which contributed to the election to remove the union.

Following the vote, MSNA said it expects to finish bargaining a contract with MMC in the next few weeks.

A press release from the union stated MMC nurses are “excited to affirm their union support and get back to the bargaining table.”

Jonica Frank, an emergency room nurse and member of the union bargaining team said via the press release that the union has “been winning important improvements at the bargaining table over the past year.” Frank added that nurses at the hospital are “excited about everything we have won so far.”

“We have already negotiated historic improvements in pay, in working conditions, and on patient safety issues. A ‘no’ vote in this election would have meant that all these things could be taken away from us. Once again in this election, we have spoken. And we are not going back!” Frank added.

“The vote was disappointing, however we still believe firmly that the union is not good for the hospital,” said Amy Lee, a clinical nurse at MMC. “The union is already talking about striking,” she said.

About Katherine Revello

Katherine Revello is a reporter for The Maine Wire. She has degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Maine. Her writing has appeared in Reason, The Washington Examiner, and various other publications. Got news tips? Contact Katherine at krevello@mainepolicy.org.

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