Union Nurses Gather Outside EMMC on Day One of Lock-Out 

In their latest effort to show support for their fellow nurses, union nurses from Eastern Maine Medical Center, along with members of the community gathered Saturday morning outside the hospital as the night shift left work.Saturday marked the first day of a two day lock-out at Eastern Maine Medical Center.Replacement nurses are patrolling the halls of the hospital.” Tears on the way here, there were tears on the way of people leaving. Knowing yesterday when I left I was leaving my patients in the care of people that do this for a living. Fly in and then fly out and they have no interest in this community other than that.”Union nurses say it’s disrespectful to them to be asked to leave their patients.” We have a patient task force that we have compiled. Over 70 nurses in different specialties that will be here on the line on Monday.”Originally the union nurses planned to report to work, despite the lock-out. Hospital administration informed them they could not do this and would be arrested if they tried.But upped security just in case.” We respect our nurses and respect their opinions at this time. We would certainly hope that we wouldn’t have any issues and we didn’t.”Hospital administration says the replacement nurses are highly qualified and the patients are not at risk.” The agency nurses came in and were eager to work. They jumped right in and started providing excellent patient care.”They say they hope to resolve this issue.” We’ll do our best to come to an agreement with them. We go back to the bargaining table on November 29th with the federal mediator and we’ll continue to try to work through the issues that we have.”The union nurses plan to picket outside the hospital on Monday.The replacement nurses are scheduled to be at the hospital until Monday.