Maine Medical Center Nurses Holding Unionization Vote

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine nurses are scheduled to hold a union vote for the first time in 20 years.

If the vote at Maine Medical Center passes, the number of unionized Maine nurses would nearly double, adding nearly 1,900 nurses.

The Maine State Nurses Association, the state arm of National Nurses United, currently represents about 2,000 nurses. Ballots will be sent out on March 29 and counted a month later.

The last time Maine nurses attempted to unionize was in 2000 when affiliation with Service Employees International Union was rejected.

Grey Marcoux, 36, a nurse who works on Maine Med’s geriatric psychiatry unit, said nurses want more influence in areas such as staffing levels and scheduling.

“We nurses are organizing to have a strong and real voice in patient care at the hospital,” Marcoux said.

However, Norine Seymour, 49, a nurse who does not support for the union drive, said other nurses at Maine Medical think unionizing isn't necessary.

“We don't need a third party in there speaking for us when we can all speak for ourselves,” she said.