Nurses at Maine Medical Center voted overwhelmingly to retain their union after two days of voting concluded Thursday night.

The nursing staff voted 1,108-387 in favor of keeping the Maine State Nurses Association and National Nurses United as their collective bargaining representative, according to a statement from Maine Medical Center. The election results will need to be certified by the National Labor Relations Board, which tallied the votes.

“For the past year, we have bargained in good faith with the union,” Devin Carr, Maine Medical Center’s chief nursing officer, said in a statement issued late Thursday evening. “Although Maine Medical Center has always believed that a direct relationship with our nursing team is the best possible way to achieve our shared goals, we respect our nurses and their choice to have union representation.”

A petition of more than 500 nurses, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, set the wheels in motion for the two-day election that if successful would have decertified the union. The petition was circulated by Maine Med nurse Davin Brooks and presented to the NLRB in June, according to a news release by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Union leaders say they are excited to affirm support for the union and get back to the bargaining table.

“We have been winning important improvements at the bargaining table over the past year,” Jonica Frank, an RN in the operating room and a member of the union’s bargaining team, said in a statement. “Nurses across the hospital are excited about everything we have won so far.”


“We have already negotiated historic improvements in pay, in working conditions, and on patient safety issues,” Frank said. “A ‘no’ vote in this election would have meant that all these things could be taken away from us. Once again in this election, we have spoken. And we are not going back!”

The election was held in person at multiple Maine Medical Center locations Wednesday and Thursday.

This week’s election occurred more than a year after the Maine Med nurses voted 1,001-750 to form a union in April 2021. That vote meant that registered nurses at Maine Medical Center, the Scarborough Surgery Center and MMC’s Brighton Campus in Portland agreed to be represented by the Maine State Nurses Association and National Nurses United.

This week’s vote favored the pro-union nurses 74 percent to 26 percent, a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

Negotiations between Maine Med management and union representatives began in August 2021, but the sides have not yet agreed to a contract.

Nurses expect to finish bargaining their first contract with Maine Med in the next several weeks.


“We are on a winning streak!” said Lucy Dawson, an RN in the emergency department and a member of the union bargaining team. “We have now won two elections. Our historic first contract is next. We are going to keep building our union and its power to benefit to our patients, our community, nurses at Maine Med and across the state of Maine.”

Last month, Todd Ricker, lead labor representative with the Maine State Nurses Association, said in an interview that the two sides were on the cusp of a three-year agreement.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, criticized the nurses’ union last month. Mix’s organization has led efforts to banish unions at hospitals across the nation.

“No health care worker should be subject to the monopoly control of a union that they don’t believe serves their interests,” Mix said.

Mary Kate O’Sullivan, an RN from the medical-surgical unit and also a bargaining team member, explained some of the forces at play in this election.

“The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a right-wing, out-of-state organization that goes around trying to get workers to decertify their unions,” O’Sullivan said. “They thought because we were a new union, they could manipulate Maine Med nurses and overturn our 2021 election. But we just showed them the door. The so-called ‘Right to Work Foundation’ is not welcome at Maine Med, and it’s not welcome in Maine.”

This story was updated Friday, Aug. 19 to correct the spelling of Davin Brooks’ name.

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