Letter to OMA President Requesting Clarification on Negotiations & Binding Arbitration

Read the full text of the letter below, or you can download PDF here.

January 31, 2017

Virginia Walley, MD, FRCPC
Ontario Medical Association
150 Bloor St. West, Suite 900
Toronto, Ontario
M5S 3C1

Dear Dr. Walley:

We are writing on behalf of our members on an urgent basis to ask you specifically whether or not the OMA or any agent of the OMA is holding discussions or exchanges of information that are related to a new round of negotiations, or are intended to lead to some form of negotiations or other changes that will impact Ontario physicians. We are requesting that you respond to this question immediately and similarly inform the entire OMA membership.

OMA members deserve the truth about this vitally important issue, unlike the false answer you provided last summer to Dr. Mark Prieditis, President of the Ontario Association of Radiologists and to Dr. Jim Swan, Chair of the OMA Section on Cardiology and President of the Ontario Association of Cardiology when they asked whether negotiations had resumed or were about to. You told them, in the company of OMA CEO Tom Magyarody, that no negotiation or discussions were occurring. That response was not accurate and led directly to the events of the summer culminating in the rejection of the tPSA and serious trust gap that now exists. It is critical that your answer be truthful this time and is factually accurate with OMA members.

At this past weekend’s meeting, a senior OMA Board director stated to Council members that the OMA is aware of a fee cut coming this April. It appeared that this was “inside” OMA information that the OMA Board member had and it begged the question why this was not widely shared with OMA Council members in attendance as part of the discussions regarding the non-confidence resolutions about the removal of the OMA Executive Committee. In addition, other comments were made by OMA Board members at Sunday’s Council meeting that discussions would occur with the MOH in April yet no reason was offered why they were so confident of that timing unless some secret information had been conveyed between the OMA and MOH. Why were some OMA Board members hastily trying to recruit doctors to be part of a new negotiating team? This suggests that not much has been learned from the 2016 negotiating team’s unrepresentative composition and its failed secretive approach.

Please elaborate in the fullest sense, what information does the OMA have with respect to MOH fee cuts affecting doctors and what plans or discussions relating to negotiation or like discussions with the Ministry or its agents are or may soon occur.

Doctors have asked the OMA what it has done to create a Binding Arbitration (BA) framework as the OMA has once again agreed to do since the August 14th rejection of the tPSA. We have heard nothing from the OMA about any actions being taken to create a Binding Arbitration framework agreement. It should have been sent to Section leaders for input so that a finalised document could be the basis of initiating a discussion with the Ontario government to secure BA as a mandatory perquisite for the resumption of any future round of negotiations. You will recall that a binding resolution was passed by over 90% of voting doctors at the August 14th general members’ meeting requiring the OMA not to engage in negotiations until such time as a proper Binding Arbitration agreement was in place. In addition, another binding resolution was passed at the same August 14th meeting requiring the OMA to consult with Section leaders about negotiations. As you also know, the OMA Executive and Board formally supported both of these motions. No such consultation has occurred to our knowledge.

Yours truly,

Coalition of Ontario Doctors

About Vote No

Coalition of Ontario Doctors
145 King St. W, Suite 2750
Toronto, Ontario M5H 1J8