Press Release

Nurses Hopeful that EMMC Will Address Patient Safety as Second Strike Vote is Set

For Immediate Release                                          
April 25, 2011                                                                   

Bangor, ME – Nurses represented by the Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses Unite (MSNA/NNU) has issued a second notice to EMMC over the weekend for a one day strike on Thursday, May 5th.  Nurses voted on April 12 to authorized a second strike if management would not move any closer to solving the safe staffing problems and other issues at the next bargaining session.  

“The last thing nurses at EMMC want is to go out on a second strike, but the Medical Center is leaving us no choice.  We have been very flexible in bargaining with ideas about how best to address the patient safety issue in the form of adequate staffing.  Unfortunately, management has not been willing to roll up their sleeves and get down to solving this issue. Instead they have been spending money and resources such ad paid advertisements to deny that there is even a problem.  That is not productive,”  said Judy Brown, RN.

It is not only the nurses that site quality problems at EMMC:

  • EMMC’s own patient satisfaction scores are down and there have been bed closures in the past month.
  • The Joint Commission, an organizing that provides accreditation for most  US hospitals  is not satisfied with documentation issues and is returning for another inspection.
  • In a report using CMS data regarding patient outcomes measured by survival and complications, almost one third of EMMC’s rating were ‘poor.’

“This is what the nurses want to see turned around.  EMMC is deliberately trying to deceive a and misguide the public about safe staffing at the Medical Center in an attempt to punish the nurses for speaking out about patient safety,” said Brown.

EMMC cites outdated report and data to back up its claims that it does not need to improve staffing at the hospitals. But recent national research affirms the need for the approach proposed by the RNs that safer staffing will save lives at EMMC.  In a prestigious report last year from the University of Pennsylvania, where they used actual staffing levels that are in place and compared them to hospitals that, like EMMC, may have staffing ratios, but do not follow them.  The study showed that there would be 14% less patient deaths on surgical floors with the staffing levels MSNA is proposing.  Safe staffing would also assure that nurses would have more time to spend with patients.

May 3 is the next bargaining date scheduled before the strike, however, the MSNA bargaining team is available at anytime.   It is the nurses’ hope that EMMC will want to address there issues to avoid another strike.