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EMMC Nurses Announce Strike Date 

Nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor say the hospitals “last, best, and final” contract offer is not good enough. According to the Associated Press the nurses have planned a one-day strike for Monday, November 22. Union officials plan to notify hospital officials today.The three-year contract between the 850-nurses and the medical center expired September 30. The nurses have a number of complaints including, what they say, are unsafe staffing levels. Officials at the hospital say the nurses want mandated staffing levels that require the same number of nursing staff 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Last month Lorraine Rodgerson, Chief Nursing Officer at EMMC, says staffing levels haven’t changed since 2002. She says EMMC is philosophically opposed to mandated staffing ratios. Another sticking point the two sides are trying to iron out involves health care.The nurses will announce their plans to strike at 10:00 this morning at a news conference in Bangor. In a statement released by the Maine State Nurse Association registered nurse Judy Brown said: “Nurses are ethically, professionally, and legally obligated to advocate for our patients, and at EMMC that means we have no recourse but to strike in light of the patient safety lapses we see on a routine basis.”