Press Release

As Gov. LePage Threatens to Bring Wisconsin’s Nightmare to Maine, State’s Nurses Say No!

For Immediate Release
February 28, 2011

“If the voice of the Maine State Nurses Association is silenced, who will advocate for our patients?”

Sounding the alarm bell  on anti-union legislation supported by Gov. LePage that is chillingly similar to the infamous legislation in Wisconsin, registered nurses from across Maine will gather this Wednesday, March 2 to protest.  The RNs, from the Maine State Nurses Association, will highlight the real dangers such legislation poses to every patient in the state and demand politicians recognize and respect the very same rights to collectively bargain and associate that are under attack in Wisconsin.  LePage has so far published LD788, the first of multiple bills expected on the topic.

WHAT: Nurses Protest Gov. LePage’s Anti-union Legislation
WHEN: March 2nd , 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: Statehouse West Steps, Augusta, Maine

The nurses earlier that morning will testify at the Health and Human Services Committee in Augusta on behalf of two bills that they believe are vital to improve and protect the quality of care that Maine patients receive: one to ensure that patients can be lifted safely within hospitals, and another to address the growing epidemic of violence that nurses, hospital workers, and patients face.

Gov. LePage this week drew national attention for his promise to follow Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin example in dealing with Maine’s workers, even saying, “It has gotten ugly in Wisconsin and it looks like the spectacle is headed here.”  Gov. LePage’s threat to bust out of existence the unions representing Maine’s workers, has turned the legislative briefing into a gathering focused on defending the very ability of nurses to collectively join together and make their voices heard in the political arena and at Maine’s statehouse, including on life-saving healthcare policy issues.

“Paul LePage, like Scott Walker, was elected by only 38 per cent of voters and with the generosity of corporate special interests.  Now he’s going after some of the only working people in Maine, unionized nurses, who can stand up to big-business lobbyists.  It’s unconscionable,” said Catherine Harper, an RN at Mt. Desert Island Hospital.  “I join together with other nurses in the Maine State Nurses Association so we can make an impact in Augusta on patient care and patient safety issues.  Who will advocate for my patients if Paul LePage, and his big-money backers silence us?  Maine patients and their families will be worse off if the voices of nurses are silenced.”