Nurses Strike This Weekend 

The two sides have been negotiating since mid-August.And unionized nurses and the administration at Eastern Maine Medical Center are still no closer to agreeing on a new contract.They are officially at the point of no return. There will be replacement nurses working at Eastern Maine Medical Center this weekend.Governor Baldacci has stepped in to try to get the two sides back to the bargaining table to avoid the strike.The Governor’s Office said that Governor Baldacci spoke to Michelle Hood, the CEO of Eastern Maine Healthcare this morning, as well as the nurses this afternoon…Union nurses held a press conference this morning where some members of the community showed up to support their cause.The president and CEO of the Medical Center, Deborah Johnson, spoke out today saying that it’s too late now to avoid the 3-day work stoppage this weekend.She says they already have too much money invested in replacement nurses for this weekend. A prospect that is very concerning to union nurses.Chief Nursing Officer Lorraine Rodgerson says they will have adequate and fully trained replacements on this weekend.A federal mediator presiding over the negotiations told the two sides on Monday not to have any contact with each other until the next scheduled bargaining session Monday, November 22nd.Greg Howat who’s on the negotiating team for the medical center says he thinks it would be harmful for either side to meet until the 22nd.Replacement nurses will go through an orientation on Friday night and are expected on the job on Saturday.Officials at the medical center say they’re already preparing for the possibility of more strikes and work stoppages to come in the future.