UPDATE: Nurses Union Files Another Complaint Against Hospital 

For months, union nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and hospital management have not seen eye to eye on several issues. Now, another complaint has been brought into the discussion.Last November, union nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center held a one day strike saying they want better patient to nurse ratios.Representatives for the nurses union and the hospital still have not come to an agreement.”There were glimpses of maybe there was going to be some progress, but our major sticking points are still there. Our staffing issues are still there. The issue in regards to the medical center wanting to actually take away one of our insurance options is still there,” said Judy Brown, president of the nurses union at EMMC.Greg Howat, vice president of human relations at EMMC adds, “I think we made some progress, but we did not get to a final agreement.”Now, the nurses union has filed another complaint against EMMC saying management representatives at the hospital have been attempting to intimidate nurses who participate in activities to advocate for their patients. ” Nurses have been feeling that they have been threatened. They’ve been feeling that they are going to get more assignments that are just not appropriate. That even their schedules are going to be messed with and have been messed with,” said Brown.Lorrain Rodgerson, a registered nurse and vice president of patient care at the hospital, says nurses do file paperwork if they object to an assignment, but they also need to tell their supervisor if they have an issue. ” Nurses are responsible to their patients. They need to advocate for their patients and I expect them to. But I also expect them to have the professional responsibility to go up the chain of command to get that situation rectified so that our patients continue to receive the safe, quality care that they do,” said Rodgerson.Greg Howat, vice president of human resources at EMMC, says the complaints filed against the hospital are vague and not factual.”It’s fairly typical for unions to file these kinds of complaints in bargaining. It puts a little pressure on the employer. It makes us do some work. We have to talk to the National Labor Relations Board,” said Howat.Both sides head back to the bargaining table on January 31st with a mediator and say hopefully, some progress can be made.