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NLCA wants independent arbitrator involved in WorkplaceNL contract dispute

The organization representing chiropractors in the province, in a contract dispute since 2015, says WorkplaceNL has been bargaining in bad faith.

Now the Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association (NLCA) is getting an independent arbitrator involved to help resolve the disagreement.

According to a news release from the NLCA, most chiropractors treating injured workers in the province are now working without a negotiated contract.

“Our members have been doing their best to maintain care for injured workers outside of a contract but it has been a challenge,” said Dr. Darrell Wade, the NLCA’s executive director, in a news release.

“Many of our members are not getting paid for services that they are providing, there are unacceptable delays in approval for treatment and injured workers are suffering. ”

Wade said he was optimistic when WorkplaceNL contacted him on Aug. 29 with the news that a new contract offer was forthcoming. But he says when the NLCA responded two days later, the organization was told the opportunity had passed.

“I was shocked,” Wade said. “To be given less than 48 hours to review and respond to a significant document is one of the most blatant examples of bargaining in bad faith that I have experienced in my career. It really highlights why we are still outside of a contract after almost two years. “

The group says it is concerned that the WorkplaceNL board will vote to make changes to how chiropractic care is delivered for injured workers without consulting the NLCA.

“This is a direct breach of our contract and we are very concerned as to why a board that is functioning at only two-thirds capacity with numerous vacancies, particularly with respect to public, employee and injured worker representatives would even entertain such drastic unilateral changes.  The lack of transparency is very concerning to us and should be to government, injured workers and employers as well.”

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