NLMA says change in gov't leadership provides 'window of opportunity' to settle contract

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Daniel MacEachern
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Dr. Patrick O'Shea, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, speaks to reporters after a board meeting Saturday afternoon. Photo by Gary Hebbard

The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association said a change in government leadership has provided a window of opportunity to settle contract negotiations.

Dr. Patrick O’Shea said Saturday afternoon, following a meeting with the association’s board of directors, that talks with Finance Minister Tom Marshall and Health Minister Jerome Kennedy on Friday were cordial.

“It was very good to open the lines of communication,” said O’Shea, who added that Saturday’s board meeting confirmed the association’s desire for contract negotiations to go to binding arbitration. “We have very strong consensus that we must have binding arbitration as a dispute-resolution mechanism, not just for this agreement but for all future agreements, and we cannot be in this position of this prolonged negotiation again.”

O’Shea said the association is willing to give up the right to strike if the government decides to move to binding arbitration.

However, the association is currently voting on the government’s recent contract offer — one that the board recommended its members reject — and O’Shea the NLMA will not enter into formal negotiations with the government until after the voting has finished. But the association president said it was clear in talks Friday that the resignation of former premier Danny Williams has provided a new mandate to get a deal done quickly.

“There’s a timely element here now. There’s a window of opportunity here now with the change in leadership,” he said.

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association

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Recent comments

  • QKSLVR
    December 04, 2010 - 19:47

    The NLMA has hoped all along that government will not investigate the comparative net income of this contract offer, relative to the other Atlantic provinces. A physician practicing in Nova Scotia would have to gross over $270,000.00 per year to NET what a physician in Newfoundland and Labrador keeps when earning $250,000.00 per year. The provincial marginal rates are higher in Nova Scotia. This is an NLMA smoke and mirrors ploy. For God's sake government. wake up. This is all a bargaining ploy.

  • ron
    December 04, 2010 - 18:06

    Don't give those friggers one cent more that what is on the table AND The one's that resigned must not be taken back.. let them find work elsewhere..

  • Brad Windsor
    December 04, 2010 - 16:54

    This proves that it was the sweet secret deal made between Dr. Gangoolie and Danny to boost the oncologists salaries above everyone else that caused all the issues. Danny could not stand to be around to give the rest of them parity. So let it (not) be known in the history books that it was the docs who forced Danny to quit early. He couldn't stand the pain of caving. Blame the doctors for squeezing out the best premier in history. They should be blamed for the eventual downfall of the province once the Libs squander the oil and take credit for the lower Churchill.