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Maine Medical Center nurses vote to ratify first contract

Among other terms, the 3-year contract includes a 15% raise over 3 years, guarantees breaks and rotating shifts for registered nurses.

PORTLAND, Maine — Editor's note: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect date for the vote to unionize at Maine Medical Center.

More than a year after registered nurses at Maine Medical Center voted to unionize, members this week voted to ratify its first contract.

In a release, the union said the highlights of the three-year agreement include a 15 percent wage increase over the life of the contract (including 7 percent the first year); an end to mandatory rotating shifts; minimum orientation times for newly-graduated nurses; guaranteed breaks and meal times; establishment of procedures for "floating" nurses to different units; and two seats for nurses on the hospital's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

“We are overjoyed with how our coworkers have rallied around this contract,” cardiac ICU nurse Emily Wilder, a bargaining team member, said in a release. “We have made tremendous gains in patient safety protections and workplace improvements and have won raises that will really help us recruit and retain the nurses needed to care for our community. It’s no surprise that a commanding majority of Maine Med nurses voted to approve our first union agreement.”

The union last week announced a tentative contract agreement comes after a vote in Augusta to keep the nurses union. Nurses voted 1,108 to 387 on Aug. 17 and 18 to recertify the union at Maine Medical Center

The August vote was the second time MMC nurses weighed in on keeping the union contract, and support rose by 14 percent within the last year and a half. 

The Maine State Nurses Association, the union for nurses in Maine, represents 2,000 nurses at Maine Medical Center.

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