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Northern Light Home Care and Hospice nurses speak out for a fair contract

Union reps want the company to withdraw the concessionary labor contract demands that ultimately reduce the amount of paid time off that nurses accrue each year.

BANGOR, Maine — A group of Northern Light Home Care and Hospice nurses who are not happy with their labor contract offer made that known in Bangor Wednesday.

Members of the Maine State Nurses Association and local elected leaders delivered a letter to Northern Light administrators at the Healthcare Mall on Union St.

Union reps said they want the company to withdraw the concessionary labor contract demands that ultimately reduce the amount of paid time off that nurses accrue each year.

“I would like management to make a realistic compromise with us. We’re nurses during a pandemic,” Mariah Carrier, a Northern Light Health & Hospice nurse, said. “The nation everywhere is short on nurses and we can’t recruit new nurses if we don’t have anything good to offer them. We just want to care for the patients in our community and if management doesn’t want to give us the time off that we deserve to earn, it makes it very difficult to do that.”

Another nurse at the event was Donna Stanley-Kelly. She said, “I’ve been a registered nurse for 35-years so, I speak from experience when I share. Nurses are at their best when they are well-rested. The fact that Northern Light wants us to have less time off going forward is unacceptable to us and most importantly the lack of rest may potentially be detrimental to our patients.”

The workers have been working without a contract for six months.

Beth Rolfe, Chief Nursing Officer Northern Light Home Care & Hospice said, “We respect the collective bargaining process and do not discuss negotiations in the media. We have been bargaining in good faith and will continue to do so. We remain optimistic that these negotiations will be resolved on terms acceptable to both parties.”