MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Registered nurses at Millinocket Regional Hospital have voted to authorize their bargaining team to call a one-day strike if hospital management continues refusing to address patient safety concerns, union officials said in a release Wednesday.

The Maine State Nurses Association and the National Nurses Organizing Committee (MSNA/NNOC) statement also stated that no date had been set yet for the possible strike which, it says, Millinocket RNs hope can be avoided.

“Our place is at the bedside,” said registered nurse Monique Babineau. “We want our current and future patients to know that we are fighting for their safety, despite management’s retaliation against us for doing so. We will always go the extra mile to take care of our patients.”

Lisa Arsenault with Millinocket Regional Hospital said in a statement, "we are hopeful that we can reach a new agreement with the nurses at the next bargaining session on Aug. 17."

The union says a federal mediator attended the last negotiation session on July 17 where no agreement was reached. Nurses held an informational picket on July 31 to get the word out to the community about patient safety concerns, as they continue to stand strong together and advocate for hospital administration to address safe staffing issues.

MSNA says it represents over 2,000 bedside nurses throughout Maine.