In response to the upcoming vote on a union at Maine Medical Center:

I’ve worked as a nurse for 48 years in various systems, including as a new supervisor in a hospital where nurses had been fighting for better working conditions and pay commensurate with other hospitals in their area. Nothing happened for them until they voted in the union.

Changes were almost immediate: Conditions improved with staffing and scheduling, and they received two significant pay increases in six-month increments. The significant change they received was support in disciplinary situations. They had representation with a union representative who went with them.

We have seen nurses on the front lines risking their lives in this pandemic. Shouldn’t we want what is best for them?

Words are nice, but recognition and respect for what they do and give was the No. 1 request of nurses who were surveyed – it was not more money. I have often said there is not enough money in the world to pay me for what I’ve done if my heart wasn’t in it.

As a supervisor, my pay was increased as well, even though I was not part of the union. Also, I was supported in working out problems and difficult issues with the staff by the union representative.

I hope they vote for the union. They need someone who has their back and will represent them to keep them working and help their morale.

I was sad when I read the letter noting that attending anti-union meetings would take MMC nurses away from patient care.

Barbara Johnson, BSN
Old Orchard Beach

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