TORONTO, July 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government has demonstrated once again that it can, in fact, negotiate with other organizations. First, it was able to strike a deal with the NDP to pass the budget and avoid an election. And today, it reached a new labour agreement with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association.
It's disappointing that the McGuinty government accepted a pay freeze for teachers, yet soundly rejected an offer from Ontario's doctors of a two year pay freeze. In fact, the government rejected an offer that would have meant an average 2.5-percent reduction in physician incomes saving the province and additional $250 million dollars annually.
Ontario's doctors led the charge in helping to find savings in the health care system, finding more than $300 million in savings before this round of negotiations even began. We have committed to continuing this important work. But we cannot stand-by while the government plows ahead with its plan to unilaterally to cut $1 billion in health programs and services, which is going to hurt patient care and access.
We are urging the McGuinty government to come back to the negotiating table with Ontario's doctors with the help of a third-party conciliator. The assistance of a Conciliator has been used successfully in other provinces, and is recommended in the Canada Health Act to resolve disputes. It's time that we reach an agreement that strengthens our health care system and protects patient care.
Dr. Doug Weir
Ontario Medical Association
For further information: