MaineHealth staff call for management ouster at home health arm

Registered nurses and clinicians with MaineHealth Care at Home in Portland, Maine, are calling for the removal of the home health services agency's management team.

MaineHealth Care at Home is an affiliate of MaineHealth and provides comprehensive home health, hospice and population health services in Southern and MidCoast Maine. Of its 70 employees, 65 pediatric nurses and clinicians, including physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers are calling for the removal of the current management team, according to the Portland Press Herald

According to a National Nurses United news release, MHCAH management "unjustly terminated" two longtime nurses who worked in the home health agency's pediatric department and suspended four other clinicians a few weeks earlier. The nurses are represented by Maine State Nurses Association, an NNU affiliate.

Earlier this year, two departments making up about 10 percent of the agency's workforce resigned along with an unspecified number of clinicians in the York office of MHCAH who exited either due to resignation or termination, according to the union. 

"The loss of these colleagues has severely impacted patient care and our ability to accept new patients," employees' petition of no confidence delivered to MHCAH management July 10 said. "Before these valued colleagues left, several of them voiced their serious concerns to this management team and with human resources. However, they did not feel as though their concerns were taken seriously. They felt it was in their best interest to leave the organization entirely."

In the petition, clinicians call on MaineHealth "to live up to the values it espouses and hold these managers accountable for the damage they have done to our staff and to MHCAH." The petition also calls for MaineHealth to immediately reinstate the clinicians who were terminated by MHCAH management and compensate suspended staff for any losses incurred due to their suspensions.

"The petition is the direct result of disciplinary action taken against a group of union members, including the termination for just cause of two nurses, one of whom was the union's chief steward," a MaineHealth spokesperson told Becker's. "This is the union's way of expressing dissatisfaction with that decision." 

The system spokesperson said the employee terminations are going through the grievance process within their contracts.

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