Nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center (“EMMC”) went on strike November 22, 2010 because they and EMMC have not reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The nurses’ union and hospital management cannot reach agreement on the issue of staffing levels. The nurses believe that EMMC has dangerously cut back on staffing levels, putting patients’ safety at risk.
“They cut back the total number of nurses, then they cut back the hours,” said nurse Bobbi Coombs, who has worked at EMMC for 23 years. “It is getting harder and harder to provide the care we want to give.”
While these nurses have chosen collective action to oppose what they believe are threats to patient safety, other nurses oppose threats to patient safety on their own. If you are a nurse and your employer retaliates against you because you expressed concerns about patient safety, either through collective action or on your own, you should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn about your rights.