PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Unionized nurses from The Aroostook Medical Center this week approved a tentative contract agreement, which the hospital’s board of trustees will consider ratifying on Feb. 7.
The 150 nurses represented by the Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United had been working under the old contract, which they voted to extend when it expired in October 2012 while they negotiated a new one.
A federal mediator had been called in to help with the negotiations and a tentative agreement was reached on Jan. 24 with the MSNA/NNU members at TAMC voting on Wednesday to move it forward, Vanessa Sylvester, a spokeswoman for the union, said Thursday. Sylvester provided no information about the vote or details about the new contract.
Hospital officials said this week that if the TAMC board votes to ratify the contract, it will be effective for three years and will provide a general increase each year. The hospital also provided no details.
Thomas Umphrey, TAMC vice president for employee services, said that the hospital was glad to have reached the tentative agreement.
“The entire TAMC team comes together each and every day to deliver high quality health care services that are vitally important to The County, and the extent of which are not typically found in rural areas of our size,” he said. “This has never been more evident than in recent weeks with the outstanding response of team members across our organization to the widespread influenza epidemic. Our nurses, physicians and staff across the organization demonstrate this commitment to excellence, which is evident in the numerous awards we have received of late from independent organizations for patient safety, high quality care and commitment to our patients and the community.”
The hospital is Aroostook County’s leading provider of health care services and the area’s largest employer.