An election that will determine the fate of the newly formed nurses’ union at Maine Medical Center will be held next month.

A petition containing the signatures of more than 500 nurses, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, has set an election for Aug. 17 and 18, according to a news release issued by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. The petition was circulated by MMC nurse Davin Brooks and presented to the NLRB last month.

The right to work foundation is describing the election as a “decertification election,” while a spokesman for the nurses union calls it a recertification election.

“Maine Medical Center nurses will soon vote in an election that could send Maine State Nurses Association (an affiliate of National Nurses United) union officials packing from the hospital,” the right to work foundation said in a news release.

Jacob Comello, the foundation’s national spokesman, said Brooks’ petition was filed as foundation attorneys help healthcare workers who are trying to decertify unions in Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Massachusetts

Next month’s election is happening about a year after representatives for the MMC nurses union, which was formed in April 2021 by a vote of 1,001 to 750, began negotiating a new contract with hospital management. Negotiations began Aug. 4, 2021.


Todd Ricker, the lead labor representative for the Maine State Nurses Association, which represents the nurses’ union, said the sides are on the cusp of reaching a new, three-year agreement. If an agreement is reached, it would be the first between MMC management and its nurses.

But the August election could upend those efforts.

“The strong majority of nurses at Maine Medical Center continue to support our union. We will win the upcoming election to re-certify our union,” said RN Emily Wilder, a member of the nurses bargaining team. “Soon after that, we hope to finish bargaining our historic first union contract. We look forward to continuing to represent all our nurse colleagues at Maine Medical Center.”

“The question in this election is if nurses want to continue using their collective voice to make things better at Maine Med, or hand all of the decision making power back to management,” Ricker said. “The strong majority of nurses wants to win this election, keep the union, and continue winning real improvements for their patients and themselves.”

Ricker said he is confident nurses will vote to keep the union. A petition that was circulated last summer was signed by about 1,200 nurses. Ricker said the petition demonstrated the union’s commitment to bargaining issues and principles the nurses support and care strongly about.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued a statement Thursday criticizing the nurses’ union.

“Maine Medical Center employees are more than reasonable in their desire to oust Maine State Nurses Association union officials, who came to power at the facility through a questionable mail-ballot vote and have failed to produce a contract in over a year,” Mix said. “No healthcare worker should be subject to the monopoly control of a union that they don’t believe serves their interests.”

Ricker said it has taken close to a year to negotiate a new contract because there were multiple issues to be worked out.

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