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EMMC Nurses Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

Nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center have secured a tentative contract with the hospital after a months-long effort.The proposed agreement includes protections that patients will be seen by nurses specifically trained for those patients' needs. It also secures the role of a "charge nurse" - the nurse in charge of a unit - and additional pay increases.

Todd Ricker, labor representative for the Maine State Nurses Association, says the negotiations were aimed, in part. at preventing future issues in the industry.

"If nurses aren't making a decent wage, if they don't have appropriate time off, they burn out and they leave the profession," Ricker says. "And I think that's one of the things we're seeing in our state.

Eastern Maine Medical Center officials were not immediately available for comment.

Ricker said he expects nurses to ratify the contract in a vote scheduled for Friday.