UPDATED: Maine Medical Center Responds to Nurses Unionization Effort With Threat of Different Patient Health Care Possible

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Jeff Sanders, President of MMC, is Opposed to the Unionization of Nurses There.

Maine Medical Center, (MMC) in response to the recent (January) filing of a union petition, released the following statement this afternoon according to a press release issued by Clay Holtzman, of the Communications Department at MMC.

“VALUES:  They make MMC a special place to work and receive care.  Patient centered. Respect.  Integrity.  Excellence.  Ownership and innovation. Our care team knows these Values because they defined them, including members of our world – class nursing team.”

“As our nursing colleagues consider unionization, MMC has a message for you.  We care for all of  you and we will always share  your Values, because they are our values.  MMC supports and respects your right to educate yourself about the pros and cons of this issue, so that you make the best-informed decision when you vote.”

“It has been a challenging year and we have all learned important issues.  Here’s one:  Our organization can always find new ways to better support our nurses.  And under the outstanding leadership of our chief nursing officer, Devon Carr, RN, we will continue to do just that.”

“But, during the pandemic when it mattered most, we believe we put our Values into action for the benefit of our nurses.  No job cuts.  No pay cuts.  No reduction in benefits.  Market-based wage increases awarded to start 2021.  Appropriate supplies of PPE.  Vaccinations for care team members.”

“We do not believe we would work better together through a third-party that does not share our Values.  We strongly urge our nurse colleagues to vote NO on union representation, so that, together, we can protect our Values and continue building a better future for our nurses, our care team, our patients and our community according to the Holtzman press release.”

The statement was in response to the news that Registered Nurses at MMC have begun a legal process with the ultimate goal of unionizing according to an article in “The Bangor Daily News” late last month.  The same “BDN” article said that vote will take place next month and be counted by April 29.  MMC President Jeff Sanders is opposed to the effort because he doesn’t want to add a “third-party” to the mix that doesn’t share his values.

In several memos to MMC staff, they were warned that consequences of unionization could be instituted that could “fundamentally change how we provide care.  Today, we deploy a highly collaborative and … professional, team-based care model.  That could shift toward an approach that is defined by a contract, and not what is always in the best interest of the patient.”  Doctors at MMC are contract  employees.  Staff was also warned of “important considerations if a union is formed….. providers can expect an abrupt culture shift from collaborative to adversarial.”

Interestingly, the “Republican Press Herald” has not covered the nurses possible unionization as other print media have.  Both institutions, the “Republican Press Herald” and MMC are male managed institutions.  Perhaps the RPP was given unlimited coverage of the vaccination clinic at The Downs, Scarborough and related matters in exchange for the papers’ silence on the nurses unionization.  Mhn.com was given no access to The Downs vaccination clinic and only got scraps and pieces because of the kindness of the owners of the property in Scarborough – purely accidental.

MMC is taking an especially aggressive position in trying to be sure that nurses  don’t vote for a union there.  Nurses were “required” to attend an anti-union training session according to a memo by Devon Carr, RN., last month.  MMC is working with Reliant Labor Consultants, experts in fighting unions.

The Maine State Nurses Association represents more than 2,000 nurses across health facilities in the state.

Mhn.com invites any one who supports the unionization effort at MMC, to respond herein by emailing:  ca10cken@aol.com.  Confidentality  respected.