Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Videos show disparities in Cleveland police response to kids in crisis, Pennsylvania receives federal funds to plug abandoned wells, and grants support 2020 fire recovery for Oregonians.


President Biden says he will meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on much-needed police and justice system reforms, unresolved legal challenges regarding gerrymandering could have implications for 2024 congressional elections, and a government watchdog reveals fraud and waste tied to pandemic relief aid programs.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Patients, Families Voice Support for Portland Nurses' Union Bid


Thursday, March 18, 2021   

PORTLAND, Maine -- Roughly 1,500 patients and families of Maine Medical Center, the state's largest hospital, have signed a letter in support of nurses there in their bid to form a union.

After nurses petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to join the Maine State Nurses Association in January, the hospital hired an out-of-state law firm known for fighting union efforts, Reliant Labor Solutions.

The union vote is scheduled for the end of this month.

Todd Chretien, a high school teacher from Portland who wrote the letter on behalf of Friends of Maine Med Nurses, said it's wrong for the hospital to stand in the way of nurses making their own decision.

"Those signatures stand not just for the individuals who signed them, but for their loved ones who've been in the hospital, for their friends, for their co-workers and for family members," Chretien explained. "So we really think this represents thousands and thousands of people."

This union bid comes on the heels of 2020, when 13,000 Mainers joined labor unions. Nearly 17% of workers were represented by unions, up 3% from the previous year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Rep. Mike Sylvester, D-Portland, said current labor laws make it difficult to enforce against instances of intimidation or attempts to sow fear and doubt among workers who may be inclined to vote for the union.

He urged hospital leadership not to spend patient money on union-busting tactics.

"If they just had questions about the legalities of the law, they could have hired any Maine attorney to do that," Sylvester asserted. "But they went out, and they hired one of the most expensive firms whose sole duty is to make sure that the nurses do not vote in a union."

Members of other local Portland unions, from firefighters to electrical workers, also joined to show their support, with the knowledge of what a difference collective bargaining can make towards safer working conditions and better standards of living.

get more stories like this via email

Around 44 million American families are carrying approximately $1.7 trillion in student debt. (Burlingham/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Millions of Americans with student loans are anxious to hear if the Supreme Court will uphold President Joe Biden's plan to offer up to $20,000 in stu…

Social Issues

The public has until February 13th to weigh in on new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce methane pollution at oil and gas…

Health and Wellness

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office has announced the launch of a new hotline for abortion-care providers and people seeking confidential lega…

A bill to relax restrictions under North Dakota's Anti-Corporate Farming Law saw its first committee hearing in the state Legislature this month. (Adobe Stock)


For the second time in nearly a decade, North Dakota is considering changes to a longstanding law that blocks corporate ownership of farms. With …


Racial disparities are apparent when it comes to rooftop solar installation, researchers have reported. In Minnesota, there are efforts to close …

According to Dr. Janet Lee, an ophthalmologist at Shepherd Eye Center, some of the most important risk factors include age, nearsightedness and a family history of glaucoma. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

As National Glaucoma Awareness Month comes to a close, one Nevada ophthalmologist wants to remind people to get their eyes and vision checked. Dr…

Social Issues

Southern Oregon continues to recover from the fires of 2020 and grants are helping residents in the region. The Almeda Fire in Jackson County …


New funds will help plug abandoned oil and gas wells in the Keystone State, and should boost the region's economy in the process. It is a big job…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021