Press Release

Northern Light AR Gould nurses ratify new contract with strong measures to improve patient safety, RN retention

Four nurses with raisded fists hold signs in support of safe staffing ratios

Registered nurses at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle, Maine, voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new four-year contract on July 6, winning protections to improve patient safety and nurse retention, announced Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (MSNA/NNOC) today.

“This strong contract is a victory for patients and for union nurses,” said Lori McPherson, RN in the recovery unit and a member of the bargaining team at AR Gould Hospital. “We are proud that we fought for an agreement that includes provisions for safe staffing, which is essential for safe patient care and for recruiting and retaining nurses.”

Highlights of the contract include:

  • Health and safety provisions to ensure nurses and healthcare professionals have the resources and staffing needed in order to provide the highest level of patient care
  • Comprehensive language to create a safer work environment for nurses, including improved language to enhance workplace violence protections
  • No contract takeaways
  • Economic gains to help retain and recruit experienced nurses. The contract contains annual increases in pay, including a minimum of 8.6 percent upon ratification, 2.5 percent across-the-board increase in March 2024, 3 percent across-the-board increase in March 2025, 3.5 percent across-the-board increase in March 2026, plus step increases each year and an increased annual top-of-scale bonus. 

The new pact covers the period July 6, 2023, to July 5, 2027.

“Our union nurses stood up,” said Morgan Flewelling, RN in the labor, delivery, and nursery unit and a member of the bargaining team. “We were clear in our demands and achieved what is needed to retain and recruit experienced nurses and provide the best patient care possible.”

Maine State Nurses Association represents more than 150 nurses at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital.

MSNA, the union for nurses in Maine, is affiliated with the National Nurses Organizing Committee and National Nurses United, the largest and fastest-growing labor union of registered nurses in the United States with nearly 225,000 members nationwide.