Here's what is happening with mandatory overtime for nurses in Maine.
Tuesday, June 5, 2001
"Negotiators fine-tune bill to let nurses refuse overtime"
AUGUSTA — A bill to prevent hospitals from forcing nurses to work mandatory overtime has made it through the Legislature, but it was unclear Monday whether it will ever take effect.
Supporters were hoping to find middle ground with Gov. Angus King, who is skeptical of the measure that was sent to him but has since been recalled from his desk. Negotiations between supporters and King are under way.
The bill was passed amid a shortage of nurses at hospitals across the country, which has caused job actions and the formation of nurses' unions. Nurses have gone on strike in Youngstown, Ohio, and threatened to strike at several Minneapolis hospitals last week.
Supporters of the bill say hospitals have been compensating for a shortage of nurses by scheduling them to work overtime regularly and penalizing those who refuse overtime. But King says the bill could prevent the adequate staffing of Maine hospitals. He also has reservations about the state's stepping in to make such rules.
King has said the bill is too vague and has suggested that its backers add more specific guidelines on when nurses would be able to decline to work overtime.
From the Press Herald www.portland.com