Nurses back at work at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after parties avert strike

Associated Press

Nurses who were on the verge of striking at Eastern Maine Medical Center are at work after their union ratified an agreement on a new three-year contract.

The deal averted a threatened two-day strike by the nurses that was planned to start Monday. Negotiators announced the deal on Wednesday and the union ratified it on Friday.

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A spokeswoman for Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United says the key piece of the contract is the hospital's pledge to hire 30 new registered nurses. The union had complained of a staffing shortage.

Deborah Carey Johnson, EMMC's president and chief executive, said last week that the agreement represented a compromise. The hospital argued during negotiations that it was not understaffed.