Agreement reached with New Brunswick Medical Society (09/10/21)

NB 1618

Oct. 21, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Government of New Brunswick has signed a new agreement with the New Brunswick Medical Society, Health Minister Mary Schryer announced today.

The agreement includes annual wage increases of 3.75 per cent annually for four years, and a two-year wage freeze.

The contract will run retroactively from April 1, 2008, to March 31, 2012. The two-year wage freeze will come into effect on April 1, 2012. The same increases and wage freeze will apply to salaried physicians.

"I am extremely pleased that an agreement has been reached, and would like to thank those on both sides who worked diligently to negotiate a fair and competitive contract for our doctors," said Schryer.

In recognition of current fiscal realities, the 2009-10 provincial budget introduced a significant program of spending restraint, including a mandatory two-year wage freeze for all government employees.

The New Brunswick Medical Society joins the majority of collective bargaining groups in working with government, and accepting a two-year wage freeze to take effect at the end of their existing agreements.

"Even with a record-high health budget of $2.3 billion, priorities must be balanced in order to ensure the continued, long-term accessibility and sustainability of the public system," said Schryer. "At the same time, in order to continue recruiting and retaining we must be competitive in our compensation packages."

Schryer said that the government continues to implement new ways of improving access to the public health-care system, while at the same time increasing spending efficiencies.

From October 2006 to March 2009, 114 net new physicians and 143 net new nurses have been recruited to the province.

"Our doctors are an integral and valued part of New Brunswick's health-care system," said Schryer. "We are pleased to offer a competitive compensation package that will ensure we're able to continue to attract a variety of health-care professionals."


MEDIA CONTACT: Sonya Gilks, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-3506.