Calais Regional Hospital employees will strike to demand their CEO’s firing
Employees at Calais Regional Hospital (CRH) delivered a notice last Friday to their employer that they will strike for two days, from Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, announced Maine State Nurses Association.
This notice follows a nearly unanimous strike authorization vote last week. A ten-day notice is required by law for employees at healthcare facilities before they strike.
The main issue in this strike is the poor leadership of hospital CEO Rod Boula and employees’ belief that his contract should be terminated and he should be replaced.
The employees recently delivered a “Petition of No Confidence” against CEO Boula, demanding his termination by the CRH Board of Directors. After listing a number of concerns that the employees have with Rod Boula, including the hospital’s irresponsible spending practices, dangerous working conditions, poor employee morale, and employees’ unpaid insurance bills (some of which have gone to debt collection). In their petition, the employees state:
“We have concluded that one person is responsible for these problems in our hospital, our workplace and in our community. As the CEO, Rod Boula is the one who has ultimately made the decisions that have put us in this current situation, despite him blaming many other people and circumstances for his own failure at his job.”
After a Covid-19 outbreak in the hospital over the past couple of weeks, the employees are even more concerned for their health and safety, and that of their patients.
“The hospital did not strictly enforce universal masking until we raised concerns about the outbreak,” said Megan LaPlant, a CRH medical laboratory scientist. “Despite our requests to make Covid screening more accessible to employees, management never fully informed staff of how they could get tested themselves. Some employees were even reprimanded by management for getting screened after they had been exposed to someone with the virus. While we are doing everything we can to keep our patients safe, it is the job of management to keep us and our coworkers safe. They have not done a good job of that.”
CRH employees have now taken their concerns directly to the hospital’s board of directors, which has the power to terminate CEO Boula’s contract.
“The future of our hospital is in the hands of the board of directors,” said Alison Monaghan, a registered nurse at CRH. “They have a real opportunity, right now, to do the right thing and save our hospital. We’re glad that some of them are willing to listen to us. We will continue to reach out to them so they can understand exactly what is going on at Calais Regional Hospital.”
The strike will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 and end at 6:59 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.
Maine State Nurses Association represents nearly 50 nurses and staff at Calais Regional Hospital.