April 19, 2018
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EMMC trustees unanimously approve new nurses contract

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Members of Eastern Maine Medical Center’s board of trustees on Wednesday approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement with the union representing the roughly 850 staff nurses who work there.

The contract provides nurses pay raises of 3 percent this year and 2 percent for each of the following two years as well as health benefit security language, hospital officials and nurses said in separate interviews last month.

The board’s unanimous vote to that end was the final step in a sometimes contentious negotiating process that began in March and included, among other things, assistance from a federal mediator and an informational picket outside the hospital.

The contract offer was accepted by 56 percent of the union members, according to a post on the Maine State Nurses Association’s Facebook page and on the union’s Twitter account.

EMMC nurses voted to approve the new contract on May 29.

The three-year agreement, which was the hospital’s “last, best, final offer” went before the trustees with the bargaining team’s recommendation for approval.

“This agreement is a result of compromise from both sides,” Greg Howat, vice president of human resources and EMMC’s chief negotiator, said late last month in a notice posted on the hospital’s website.

“With the help of a federal mediator, we’re pleased to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of our patients, employees and the communities we serve,” he said. “With a three-year contract in hand, we look forward to focusing our collective attention on innovations and improvements that continue to ensure our patients and their families receive the highest quality, compassionate care they’ve come to know and expect from EMMC.”

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