This morning the nurses union at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor announced plans to strike, as the clock ran down on their temporary contract with the hospital. While EMMC officials said they still hope to reach an agreement, the hospital is taking steps to hire replacement nurses during the strike, planned for July 13 and 14.
A main sticking point: staffing. The union wants EMMC to set nurse-patient staffing ratios to ensure better, safer care. But the hospital has resisted that move since at least 2010, when unionized nurses last walked the picket line and the hospital temporarily banned them from the property.
EMMC is not alone in staring down the barrel of a strike. Nursing strikes have also been threatened recently in New York, Massachusetts, California and Illinois.
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