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Calais hospital averts nurses strike, labor agreement reached

The two sides said they reached an agreement on issues involving health insurance and paid time off during negotiations.
Credit: Google Maps

CALAIS, Maine — Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) has avoided an apparent strike as the hospital and the Maine State Nurses Association have reached an agreement.

Hospital employees called for a two-day strike next week, the Maine State Nurses Association announced Tuesday, but according to the Portland Press Herald, the two sides reached an agreement on issues involving health insurance and paid time off during negotiations. The proposed agreement, set to last two years, still needs to be ratified by the bargaining unit. 

A strike was approved last week by a nearly unanimous authorization vote, prompting the 10-day notice required by law for health care employees before a strike. The Nurses Association says nearly 50 nurses and staff members will strike from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20.

Employees had demanded the firing of hospital CEO Rod Boula, whose “poor leadership” is the root of the hospital’s problems. Employees recently delivered a “Petition of No Confidence” against Boula, demanding his termination and listing employees’ concerns, including “the hospital’s irresponsible spending practices, dangerous working conditions, poor employee morale, and employees’ unpaid insurance bills (some of which have gone to debt collection).” 

Read the Petition of No Confidence here: 

I am pleased the negotiations have ended and look forward to continuing as a unified team to care for our patients and community through the pandemic and beyond,” Boula told the Portland Press Herald. “I appreciate the efforts of all in finding a solution we can all support. In a sign of good will, the union has agreed to withdraw the strike notice.”

RELATED: Calais hospital employees call for 2-day strike, demand CEO’s firing