Nurses strike in Presque Isle over wages, safe staffing levels

Nurses strike in Presque Isle over wages, safe staffing levels

Nurses at The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle began a two-day strike this morning to highlight what they say is a refusal by hospital management to address key issues throughout the facility, including safe patient handling and the recruitment and retention of experienced nurses.

“We have done everything possible to avoid this situation, but the needs of our patients cannot wait,” said bargaining team member Lori McPherson, RN. “Safe patient staffing and nurse retention are top priorities for the nurses in contract negotiations with TAMC.”

TAMC nurses have been working without a contract since it expired on July 7 and say they have now come to loggerheads with management over wages and staffing levels.

“If this was just about putting a little more money in our pockets, we could have signed our new contract already.  We want to know that TAMC will recruit and retain the committed nurses our community needs,” said bargaining team member Liane Koch, RN.

The nurses cited a A 2014 study published by Nursing Standard, showing that seven additional lives could be saved for every one hundred Intensive Care Unit patients with improved nurse-to-patient ratios.

“TAMC nurses have always placed our patients first and will continue to do so, even as we strike,” said Chelsea Holmes, RN. “We thank the community for their support and understanding.”

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