Government says agreement in principle reached with Doctors Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia government says agreement in principle reached with 3,500 doctors. Joe Raedle / File / Getty Images

An agreement in principle has been reached between the Nova Scotia government and 2,850 voting members of Doctors Nova Scotia.

The doctors have been operating under an expired contract since March 2015, and negotiations have been ongoing for about a year.

Doctors Nova Scotia says more details need to be confirmed before it will officially become a tentative agreement and then the information on the deal will be sent out to its members across the province.

READ MORE: Liberals could push doctors out of province: Doctors Nova Scotia

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“We’re pleased to have reached this agreement in principle,” Doctors Nova Scotia spokesperson Barbara Johnson said.

The agreement is for a four year period.

No details of the tentative deal will be released until the decision is ratified by members. A vote on the deal is scheduled for late June.

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Johnson said to the best of the organization’s knowledge, a tentative deal has never been rejected by membership.

Premier Stephen McNeil said he’s “grateful and thankful to reach a tentative agreement,” with the doctors. He said the deal is within the government’s fiscal plan but wouldn’t elaborate further on what that means for any increases in billing rates for doctors.

In December, the Liberals pushed through wage legislation for all public sector workers that if enforced would impose a two-year wage freeze followed by a one per cent raise in the third year, 1.5 per cent at the start and 0.5 per cent at the end of the fourth year. The doctors association was exempt from the wage pattern in the bill but lost its right to arbitration.

If the agreement in principle is approved it will be retroactive to April 1, 2015.

– With files from The Canadian Press.

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