Press Release

Registered Nurses to Hold Media Availability Saturday as EMMC Bars Their Return to Patient Care

For Immediate Release
November 19, 2010

EMMC Locks Out RNs, Spends More than $1 Million  on Strikebreaking, Refuses to Address Patient Safety Concerns Motivating RNs

In their latest effort to advocate for patients and patient safety, registered nurses from Eastern Maine Medical Center will hold a media availability Saturday as they protest the beginning of a lock-out that the medical center has announced to intimidate nurses and dissuade them from their advocacy and the one-day strike called for Monday.  The nurses will announce the formation of a Patient Protection Task Force comprised of nurses to step in as needed during the lock-out and strike.

“The decision by EMMC to lock us out is completely consistent with their behavior throughout this process.  Our concerns over the safe staffing of nurses to patients remain ignored.  We had hoped to be able to negotiate an agreement over these two days, but management has decided to go on the offensive against nurses, instead, and that opportunity has been lost,” said Judy Brown, RN.

WHAT: Nurses Protest as EMMC Locks Them Out of Patient Care
WHERE: In front of EMMC
WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 20, 6:30 a.m.

Nurses released the following letter to EMMC announcing the formation of the patient protection task force during the lock-out and following strike:

November 19, 2010

Debra Carey Johnson, President/CEO
Greg Howat, VP of Human Resources and Education

MSNA Bargaining Team, Coralie Giles RN, Diane Alexander RN, Judy Brown RN, Connie Brown RN, Jen Kadel RN

MSNA/NNOC has organized a Patient Protection Task Force from striking and locked out RNs from EMMC.  During the strike, at the discretion of the Task Force, and upon request from EMMC, picketing RNs will enter the facility to give emergency care after the strike begins.  The Task Force will make a professional assessment of each situation and will, if it deems necessary, assign an RN to the patient(s).

Due to the fact that the hospital has locked out RNs two days before the strike, the Task Force will have to be contacted through the picket line Captain.  We have designated several picket Captains and RNs to be the Task Force contact during lock-out should an emergency arise.  There are over 70 nurses who have volunteered to participate in the Patient Protection Task Force representing specialties throughout the hospital.

This dispute is about guaranteeing the delivery of safe and appropriate care at EMMC which will have a lasting impact on patients throughout the region.  It is because this issue is so important to our patients and our practice that nurses at EMMC are fighting so hard for safe staffing.
If you have any questions or would like the contact information for designated Task Force picket captains, please call Vanessa Sylvester at 207-441-6762

Governor John Baldacci
Brenda Harvey, Commissioner, DHHS