November 21, 2018
This weekend many of you will be voting in the historic referendum to join the Ontario Specialists Association (OSA), a voluntary membership organisation (no Randing) that is dedicated to negotiating on behalf of Ontario specialists.Ontario’s new government is committed to respecting our democratic rights to choose our representation. This is an unprecedented opportunity.
There has been a great deal of rumour surrounding the vote - much of this has been fueled by the OMA. Section Chairs have been hindered in their efforts to communicate directly with their members. The OMA's own Representation Rights Agreement also makes it impossible for the Government to have any formal talks until after the referendum vote. Even with the handcuffs placed on government, they have signalled they will respect our choice in this vote.
If you are a specialist and dissatisfied about how the OMA has addressed your specialty’s needs over many years, this is your opportunity to be represented by a specialist organisation that will make a difference. It is time for a change. Specialists and their patients deserve better. A strong vote will send a message that will be heard at Queen’s Park.
The Representation Rights Agreement protects the OMA's hegemony over doctors in Ontario and undermines what any reasonable person would believe is central to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly the freedom of association. In order for the Ontario Government to begin formal talks with the OSA, we must clearly state our desire for separate representation in the form of a referendum.
The Government's position about recognising the OSA is outlined in the attached Medical Post article. The Government official cannot be named due to risk of violating the Representation Rights Agreements which binds you to the OMA.
This position is clearly stated by the Government official.
“Physicians should have the full right to determine who represents them,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak on the record. “Until the vote happens, we’re not going to have any conversations that are outside the existing legal framework, but if the vote shows a large section of them are unhappy with the OMA we’re prepared to begin having that conversation.”
The vote to join the OSA will run from Sunday, November 25th through to Tuesday, November 27th. Please check your various email filters for your electronic ballot and vote YES to the OSA!
This is an historic opportunity to finally improve the way we are represented and more importantly the way we are able to treat the people of Ontario. If you have notreceived an email from Simply Voting (the independent company holding the referendum voting for the OSA) by early Sunday morning, send an email with your name, your specialty and personal email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org We will be in contact shortly.
Remember, whether you are or are not a specialist member of the OMA, you are entitled to vote in the OSA referendum. Make your vote count!
David Jacobs M.D.
Chair, OSA Board