Everyone agrees: the tentative 2016 PSA (Physician Services Agreement) has been one of the most contentious in recent history. Unsettling circumstances surrounding negotiations suggest subversion of due process and transparency. All that aside, members are being tasked with reviewing and understanding the ins and outs of a 4-year contract that will have far-reaching implications over physician funding and healthcare reform.
To compound the stress, physicians are facing unreasonably tight deadlines: 2 weeks to analyze the contract; 1 week to vote in a province-wide member referendum (4 days of which are used up in a holiday long weekend); 1 day for OMA Council members to meet, debate the contract and vote to ratify it or not.
Hundreds of physicians are away on personal commitments; thousands of physicians are busy with work commitments. Many have not had a chance to even read, let alone understand, the PSA.
All communication by the OMA has aggressively endorsed the proposed contract. They have not provided any material analyzing the downsides of the contract. They have not provided any analyses to assess the long-term impact of the proposed contract. Members as such are asked to vote yes or no to a 6-page contract that is devoid of necessary detail.
The OMA can address this situation. The OMA can give members a chance to make an informed decision about the proposed contract. In fact, there is a legal way to make sure that all voting is deferred until membership gets a chance to ask questions at a general members' meeting.
Section 15-2 of the OMA bylaws clearly state that if 5 percent of members sign a petition requesting a general member meeting, the OMA Board has to respond. All Council activities are suspended until such a meeting is held. So in effect, the member referendum and the Council vote will be delayed until members have had a chance to discuss the proposed PSA, debate the pros and cons, and have their questions answered.
One such meeting was held in the 1980s at Maple Leaf Gardens, so this is not an unreasonable ask. As an OMA member, this is your right.
Sign the petition below and be among the thousands of physicians who are asking the OMA for a chance to make an informed vote.
To the Directors of Ontario Medical Association (the “Association”):
The undersigned (the “Petitioners”) hereby petition the Directors of the Association to call a meeting of the Association’s members (the “Members”) pursuant to subsection 15:2:1 of By-Law #1 of the Association as ratified by the Association’s Council on May 1, 2016.
The purpose of the meeting is to consider the following matters:
At the meeting, the Members will propose:
I am signing the above Petition dated March 30, 2017, addressed to the OMA Board of Directors, calling for a general meeting of the members of the Association and hereby authorize the affixing of my signature to the Petition.