Maine Med. asks nurses to attend training with anti-union consulting firm
PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - The struggle over whether nurses at Maine Medical Center will unionize is heating up.
Multiple nurses say hospital administrators are requiring them to attend training sessions with an anti-union consulting firm.
In an internal memo sent to nurses, obtained by our media partner, News 8, Chief Nursing Officer Devin Carr said, “As your employer, we are committed to respecting your rights by providing you with factual information about your legal rights. To do this, all MMC nurses will be required to attend training during which they will be educated on their individual rights to help them decide if they want a union to speak for them.”
In the memo, Carr goes on to say, “Nurses will have to step away from caring for their patients and staffing vaccine clinics and testing centers in order to attend this training. This is the kind of divisiveness a union brings to the workplace. However, we believe providing every nurse with information about their fundamental rights and what to expect during this process is in line with our organizational values.”
Maine Medical Center says nurses are being ‘asked’ to attend training sessions.
The hospital is working with the firm Reliant Labor Consultants, a company which, on their website, advertises services such as “avoiding a union” and “fighting a union.”
A spokesperson for Maine Medical Center said in a statement, “To assure that this training provides accurate information about the laws governing collective bargaining, MMC has engaged an outside employment expert, Reliant Labor Consultants, to provide this training. Such training is common when employees at an organization are contemplating bringing in a union.”
Earlier this month, National Nurses United and the Maine State Nurses Association filed a petition asking to be recognized as the union for nurses at Maine Med.
Both groups declined to comment on this latest development.
The hospital has repeatedly stated although they oppose unionization, they respect employees’ rights to consider forming one.
“MMC respects the right of our nurses under the law to decide on union representation, but believes that, especially in this time, a third-party organization will not further the interests of our nurses, our patients or our community,” said a hospital spokesperson.
A vote on unionization is expected in the coming weeks.
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