Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. Credit: Gabor Degre

The more than 850 registered nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center have reached a tentative 3-year contract agreement with the Bangor hospital, the Maine State Nurses Association announced Monday.

The agreement includes language that protects the role of the “charge nurse,” who is responsible for coordinating the nursing unit and mentoring other nurses, the association said. Last month, nurses rallied to demand the hospital no longer assign patients to nurses in that supervisory role, so that the charge nurse has time to serve as a resource to new nurses and respond to emergencies.

It wasn’t immediately clear what protections around the charge nurse were agreed upon in the proposed contract. The tentative agreement also bolsters salaries and benefits in accordance with inflation, and includes new language that factors a nurses’ skills into staffing assignments, the nurses union said.

The nurses, who have been in negotiations since May, will vote on the agreement Friday. If approved, it will stay in effect until September 2021.

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.