Negotiations concluded: tentative agreement package reached

April 23, 2018

Dr. Neil D.J. Cooper, AMA President

Hello Members:

I am writing today with good news that the Alberta Medical Association and Alberta Health have successfully concluded negotiations and a tentative agreement has been reached.

These discussions began last December and, as you have heard at various stages, were not without challenges. Both parties deserve credit for what has been achieved.

As usual, any new agreement requires ratification by both parties. For physicians, that means a vote. Therefore we will begin our usual process. The Board of Directors will consult with the Representative Forum at a special meeting to be held the evening of Thursday, May 3, from two linked videoconference sites (for delegates who can’t attend in person, there will also be the ability to join from other locations online). Based on the advice of the RF, the Board will decide if the tentative agreement package warrants being sent to the membership for a vote.

If we proceed to a vote, then all members will receive information about all aspects of the tentative agreement package. In that case, you will receive an email with a link to the AMA members-only webpage containing the ratification package. Voting will be conducted by electronic means.

As you know, I have been trying to increase our use of technology in order to enhance member communication. If the vote proceeds, we will arrange information sessions for members during the voting period. To enable more members to participate, we are planning to hold information sessions in Edmonton and Calgary with live streaming of the events for those who cannot attend in person. This will be a webinar-like format so you can watch the meeting online and post questions from wherever you happen to be. We will also provide video materials that you can review on the website if the other options don’t fit your schedule. We’ll compile comments and questions and post them on the website as well.

Building on the innovations of the 2016 Amending Agreement, the tentative agreement addresses budgetary concerns of the province while recognizing the contributions and stewardship of physicians so far. It provides stability for important programs and initiatives and enhances the ability of members to access representation by the AMA. It also paves the way for new initiatives that drive toward the high-performing health system that the Board has defined in our vision statement. Physician leadership and stewardship are fundamental to all these things.

Watch for more information coming soon. If you are an RF delegate, an invitation and link to registration for the May 3 special meeting will be sent to you shortly.

Your comments are always welcome. You can reach me in the usual three ways:

At your service,

Neil D.J. Cooper, MD, FRCPC, Dip. Sport Med.

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Alberta Medical Association Mission: Advocate for and support Alberta physicians. Strengthen their leadership in the provision of sustainable quality care.