Following is an update from the Owen Sound Family Health Organization:

"The physicians and team at the Owen Sound FHO continue to work towards ensuring quality and timely patient care is priority number one. We have been receiving compliments from our patients thanking us for improvements. An example would be "the system that my doctor is now using is so much easier, faster and patient accessible".

It is important to note that both the OSFHO's and the Union's negotiating committees agreed to the terms of a new collective agreement, which they unanimously recommended for acceptance. While the physicians accepted the recommendation and ratified the collective agreement, the employees did not accept the recommendation of the Union's own bargaining committee. The strike resulted. The OSFHO remains convinced that the agreement that was concluded between the committees was reasonable and that it represented the appropriate balance between improving terms of employment and allowing the OSFHO to maintain quality healthcare services. Notwithstanding that fact, the OSFHO later improved its offer which included increases to some employees of up to 5%. That is significantly in excess of both the CPI in Ontario and the average wage settlements that have been reported by the Ministry of Labour. There were certain tradeoffs required, including in respect of the pension plan (which currently has the OSFHO solely making contributions of up 6% of income). The OSFHO's revised offer was rejected. The Union's latest position still represents a wage increase which would average 10.7% in the first year alone. That increase does not account for the costs of the other improvements that the Union already achieved in collective bargaining and the incremental costs of the proposal.

Objectively, it is clear that Union's proposal generates costs that are dramatically above normative. The proposal has been advanced in an environment where the OSFHO's other costs of the delivery of healthcare have increased and its funding has decreased. In the OSFHO's view, the Union's proposal seems to be out of alignment with financial realities."

source: media release, OSFHO


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