President's Letter: Update on the status of negotiations

President’s Letter: Update on the status of negotiations

Dear Colleagues:

On October 26, the NLMA called on government to make a meaningful improvement in its negotiations proposals before talks could resume. We advised the government that if it failed to do so, the NLMA would conduct a formal membership vote on November 4th to accept or reject the government’s offer. Yesterday afternoon, the NLMA received a letter from the provincial government providing a set of assurances regarding the NLMA’s priorities in negotiations. The Board of Directors has considered the matter and is of the view that they constitute a meaningful improvement.

These assurances are now part of the negotiating process. Therefore, I am not at liberty to provide specific details. However, I can tell members that the NLMA is being appropriately cautious as we return to the table. We now need to make “meaningful progress” against these assurances. Actions speak louder than words, so we also need to see an improved pace of negotiations in order to establish trust and goodwill.

In light of these developments, the NLMA will not proceed with a vote on the government’s previous proposals. The NLMA will recommence negotiations as soon as possible and keep members apprised of progress.

The unity of the membership, as exemplified in recent membership meetings, has played a key part in advancing the talks to this stage. We thank you for your support and participation.

A fair and competitive agreement is needed now to address our ongoing problems with recruitment and retention and improve access for patients. I will continue to update you as developments unfold.

Susan MacDonald