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No Agreement in Nurses, EMMC Contract Negotiations 

Catherine Pegram

Nurses and administrators at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor will head back to the bargaining table after contract negotiations ended today without an agreement. Earlier this week, a group of nurses, joined by members of the Maine State Nurses Association, picketed in front of the hospital. They say they’re concerned staffing levels are causing patient care to suffer. Vanessa Sylvester, with the Association, says during negotiations today they asked EMMC to follow minimum safe staffing guarantees, modeled after the medical center’s own staffing plans. A statement from the hospital says staff levels are monitored on a daily basis and they continue to be safe and appropriate. Sylvester says both sides are scheduled to pick up negotiations again next Tuesday and Wednesday. The nurses are also planning for two more pickets on the 22nd and 24th of the month.