Members will vote on a potential agreement

September 9, 2022

Dr. Vesta Michelle Warren, AMA President

Dear Members,

Your vote, your choice

Alberta physicians will vote on a potential ratification package that has been negotiated between the Alberta Medical Association and the ministry of Alberta Health.

Following a special meeting of the Representative Forum last night in which your physician leaders discussed the package details, it is now being provided to all AMA members today for review, with voting commencing September 13.

Please note: A joint statement was to have been issued today including the minister’s expression of support for this milestone. Due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, government is foregoing all public announcements for a period of time, but I wanted to register government’s commitment to the process so far by sharing the statement with members.

Turning to the package itself, you will see that there are improvements to fees that are in line with those achieved by other public sector groups in recent negotiations. We successfully negotiated programs and measures that improve the economic package, plus a financial reopener in year four. Equally important, this agreement restores fair and appropriate mechanisms to deal with physician compensation. We have not had this for the past two years. Finally, it re-establishes physicians as leaders in our rapidly changing health care system. Your patients need your voice to be heard, and your expertise is required to ensure that any changes made in the system have minimal unintended consequences. The Board of Directors strongly supports this potential ratification package, as overall it will give us a new beginning and provide stability moving forward.

Thank you for all your support, insight and engagement. You told us what really mattered to you in an agreement, and we used that direction to negotiate a package that will address existing issues and set us up for success going forward – including a positive and structured working relationship with government.

Logistics

All the information you need is available now on our member-only website where you will find explanatory documents, the legal documents and some Question and Answer materials that we have developed so far. We will be adding to the Q&A in the weeks ahead.

To ensure all details are in place and that you have had time to review the materials, voting will open at 6 a.m. Tuesday, September 13 and close Wednesday, September 28 at 4 p.m. We will be hosting three virtual member-only town halls (one on the evening before voting opens, and two more during the voting period). Members are invited to attend any of the town halls on the following dates:

  • September 12, 7 p.m.
  • September 15, 7 p.m.
  • September 19, 7 p.m.

Members can find registration links for the town halls on the following page (member login required).

I encourage you to join us. A recording of the presentation portion of the first town hall will be posted to the website for those unavailable to attend any of the three event dates.

I will write again soon. You can reach me any time in the following ways:

  • Communicate with me privately and directly by email if you would like a reply: president@albertadoctors.org.
  • Comment publicly on this President’s Letter (please be aware that comments are public, i.e., not members-only, even if you are logged in as a member).

Sincerely,

Vesta Michelle Warren, MD, CCFP, FCFP
President, Alberta Medical Association

P.S. Advocacy continues regarding the care deficit and issues facing physicians and the health care system. I will have more to share with you on that front next week.

1 comment

Commenting on this page is closed.

  • #1

    James Currie

    Physician

    3:25 PM on September 15, 2022

    I just discovered that as a retired physician I do not have a vote in the referendum on the proposed deal with the government.
    I suppose that is fair enough, as the deal no longer affects me--or does it?
    When the Government abrogated the previous deal, it trampled on our Charter rights. Physicians are not in a position to strike, and therefore, as in other professions in essential service jobs, we have a right to binding arbitration. The government cannot simply declare that it will not have that.
    EVERY Canadian should be up in arms that this iniquitous Kenney government will now walk away smelling of roses when the AMA lawsuit is dropped.
    It is a recipe for future heartache.

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