A union representing about 20 home care and hospice nurses whose labor contract expired last fall called on their employer Wednesday to drop demands that they give up paid vacation time as part of contract negotiations.
A number of elected officials in the Bangor area joined the nurses’ union in asking Northern Light Health to abandon requests that they said could result in Northern Light Homecare and Hospice nurses losing up to 10 vacation days each year.
The elected officials, including seven Bangor-area Democratic legislators and four members of the Bangor City Council, made the request in a letter sent to Northern Light on Wednesday.
“Demanding that nurses give up so much of their paid time off in the midst of this pandemic is, in our opinion, counterproductive to our efforts to protect these frontline workers and their families,” the letter said.
The nurses’ most recent labor contract with the health care organization expired last fall, Northern Light Chief Human Resources Officer Paul Bolin said Wednesday. The Maine State Nurses Association represents the nurses.
Elizabeth Rolfe, a vice president of nursing for Northern Light Homecare and Hospice, said in a statement that Bolin read that she and other officials respect the collective bargaining process and do not speak about negotiations with the media.
“We’ve been bargaining in good faith and will continue to do so,” Rolfe said.