Tuesday 3 December 1991

Ontario Medical Association Dues Act, 1991, Bill 135


Chair: Caplan, Elinor (Oriole L)

Vice-Chair: Sola, John (Mississauga East L)

Fawcett, Joan M. (Northumberland L)

Haeck, Christel (St. Catharines-Brock NDP)

Hope, Randy R. (Chatham-Kent NDP)

Malkowski, Gary (York East NDP)

Martin, Tony (Sault Ste Marie NDP)

Owens, Stephen (Scarborough Centre NDP)

Sullivan, Barbara (Halton Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre NDP)

Wilson, Jim (Simcoe West PC)

Witmer, Elizabeth (Waterloo North PC)

Substitution: Cunningham, Dianne (London North PC) for Mrs Witmer

Clerk: Mellor, Lynn

Staff: Spakowski, Mark, Legislative Counsel, Ministry of the Attorney General

The committee met at 1541 in room 151.


Resuming consideration of Bill 135, An Act to provide for the Payment of Physicians' Dues and Other Amounts to the Ontario Medical Association / Projet de loi 135, Loi prévoyant le paiement des cotisations des médecins et d'autres montants à l'Ontario Medical Association.

The Chair: I see a quorum. We are dealing today with clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 135. We had agreed we would have a subcommittee meeting at the start of this day's work, but I think in light of the fact of attendance we might want to do that at the end of clause-by-clause consideration, if that is acceptable.

Mr Hope: I take it nobody is listening to you, Elinor.

The Chair: That is normal. I am quite used to that, but it is all in Hansard and on the record, so when I tell you what I think everyone has agreed to, a consensus, who is to argue since nobody paid any attention, right, Mr Hope? So we will agree to do that. All agreed? That is fine.

We will begin now with clause-by-clause consideration of Bill 135, An Act to provide for the Payment of Physicians' Dues and Other Amounts to the Ontario Medical Association. We had our presentations yesterday and we are now prepared to begin clause-by-clause consideration.

Section 1:

The Chair: We have notice of one amendment to section 1.

Mr J. Wilson moves that section 1 of the bill be amended by adding the following subsection:

"(3) This act does not apply to physicians who are represented by a bargaining unit, whether certified under the Labour Relations Act or not, that represents faculty at an Ontario university unless the bargaining unit and the Ontario Medical Association agree that this act shall apply to those physicians."

Mr J. Wilson: I have reviewed the letters of today submitted by both the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and the Ontario Medical Association, and we still believe the amendment is appropriate. Our amendment was developed through consultation with OCUFA, which represents in excess of 12,000 people, because we felt and it had come to our attention that the OMA had not consulted the faculty association in coming up with Bill 135 in consultation with the government.

We believe Bill 135 removes the right of bargaining from the legally constituted faculty bargaining units at each of the five Ontario medical schools, and I reiterate the fact that on this point OCUFA was a witness before the committee yesterday and indicated to all the committee members that they were not consulted on this matter. OCUFA maintains that it is an illegal raid of faculty bargaining units, and that fact is disputed by the OMA, to be fair to them.

Prior to the agreement to obtain bargaining rights and representation rights for positions in the university sector, the OMA had to serve notice to bargain, and that was brought out in OCUFA's brief yesterday. Following this, the employing agency of a member of the unit being claimed could challenge the OMA to demonstrate that it represents those physicians. Where the OMA demonstrates it has more than 50% membership in the unit, it could bargain on matters affecting compensation and other matters agreed to by the parties. In the case of absence of an agreement, they have the right to go to mediation and arbitration.

We believe the negotiation of jurisdictional issues and membership fees and issues should be local in nature due to the wide variation of circumstances at each of the medical schools at the universities. We are not asking that the OMA should be replaced in its role of negotiating fees for service of faculty members, but we are asking that the traditional role faculty associations have had in the past continue, and faculty associations have traditionally represented faculty on all academic and policy issues in academe.

Mr Owens: I do not think it is any surprise to the members of the third party as well as the official opposition, but our party will not be supporting the amendment put forward by the third party.

On the face of the amendment it looks entirely reasonable, and I think we heard yesterday that there seems to be an issue where one says there was no consultation and the other says there was consultation. I cannot believe there was no consultation taking place between the two groups. As a matter of fact, I think there was agreement. There were discussions up until even shortly before these hearings began around the issue of how the two groups can continue to coexist and how they will continue to coexist, as they have in the past.

I think in terms of the letters both groups have set before us here today, the OMA is undertaking a specific area of negotiations and OCUFA has clearly a different community of interest. I think they were quite clear yesterday in setting out what their interest is, and it is my understanding that their interest is clearly around issues of tenure and academic excellence.

I do not believe the OMA is uninterested in these areas, but in terms of what the OMA's role is in this process, it has set it out quite clearly under point 1 of its letter, "(a) fee-for-service negotiations; (b) the CMPA benefits" -- which are the Canadian Medical Protective Association benefits, the insurance program physicians must participate in -- "(c) alternative funding arrangements; (d) JMC; (e) health policy."

The OMA has, I believe, demonstrated good faith, and it has clearly stated its intention, as I say, to continue discussions with organizations like OCUFA because, again, there are issues OCUFA is interested in carrying out that, while the OMA perhaps is interested, it is not currently equipped to do.

I think some of the other concerns that were brought up yesterday were interesting concerns. The issue of underserviced areas in the north is clearly an issue that all three parties have struggled with in order to provide efficacious health care to northern Ontario, but I do not feel it is related to the bill.

I guess in closing, Madam Chair -- you are looking at me with that look that tells me I should close.

The Chair: "Efficacious" is a very good word, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: That is right. I was also going to say that unlike the member for the third party, I believe in speaking extemporaneously rather than using prepared remarks.

The Chair: Now, now, do not provoke.

Mr J. Wilson: Your parliamentary assistant --

The Chair: No, order. I am sorry I interjected with praise on the term "efficacious." Please continue.

Mr J. Wilson: I would like to speak extemporaneously for just a few minutes here, Madam Chair. I would be happy to. I thought I would show restraint and stick to my notes for a change.

The Chair: Order. Mr Wilson, if you wish to speak I will put you on the speaker's list.

Mr Owens: The praise, as I say, is well taken and I will certainly undertake to use that on my next election leaflet. But in closing, as I stated at the outset, the government will not be supporting the motion put forward by the third party for the reasons I have set out.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Owens. Mr Wilson, if you insist.

Mr J. Wilson: I will show restraint and speak to the committee without notes. I do note in the OMA letter that they very much feel that extending the Rand formula to physicians and faculty members at the medical schools in no way constitutes a raid on members of those bargaining units.

I guess where I have problems in understanding that it would not constitute a raid is the fact that when you extend the Rand formula to those people, those physicians will now have to pay substantial OMA dues. Their membership in the faculty association is voluntary, as is the fee paid for that membership. OCUFA is very concerned that now that those physicians will absolutely have to pay OMA dues, whether they are practising outside the university or not -- and you will note in OCUFA's letter that not all physicians earn the majority of their money through fee-for-service billings, that some physicians in the province who are members of the faculties at universities receive a large portion of their income through their teaching and activities and research at the universities -- they will have to pay a substantial, very high OMA due. OCUFA is very worried that because they have to do that as a result of this bill, they will no longer be voluntary members of the faculty associations and will not pay those fees. They see that as a raid on the faculty association.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wilson, for your extemporaneous remarks. Mrs Cunningham?

Mrs Cunningham: I have a question, Madam Chairman, if that is appropriate.

The Chair: A question only of the parliamentary assistant.

Mrs Cunningham: That is fine. That is exactly whom I will be asking it of. Since there are faculty associations who have physician members who receive none of their income due to the OMA's efforts who will now be paying OMA dues, I would ask this question: Was OCUFA represented at the bargaining table during the deliberations of this agreement?

Mr Wessenger: I am afraid I do not understand the question.

Mrs Cunningham: I am just responding to what Mr Owens said. He found it hard to believe the groups had not been represented at the bargaining table.

Mr Owens: I said "consulted", not "represented."

The Chair: Mr Owens, I will put you down and you can have the floor, but you cannot interject.

Mr Owens: I want to make sure --

The Chair: If you want to put on the record whatever, it is acceptable and I am happy to put you down.

Mrs Cunningham: If Mr Owens did say "consulted," then I would still let my question stand. It is not my understanding that when you have people in any bargaining unit who have nothing to gain from that unit, in fact they would not be represented at the table in some way. But my question is very clear: Was OCUFA represented at the table during the collective bargaining of the OMA agreement?


Mr Wessenger: My understanding was that the bargaining was between the Ontario Medical Association and the government of Ontario and no other body.

Mrs Cunningham: I consider the seriousness of the discussions yesterday. Since they were saying they were not represented, somebody could have answered the question. I think it is a simple question.

The Chair: And your question is?

Mrs Cunningham: Well, I do not like the answer. I asked a specific question. I asked if they were represented.

Mr Wessenger: I think it should be pointed out --

The Chair: No, just a minute. To be fair, you are entitled to ask your question. Mr Wessenger, on behalf of the government, answered your question. It is not any point of order before this committee whether you like the answer or not, but the answer was given.

Mrs Cunningham: Maybe he would like to have another chance. It looked like he did.

Mr Wessenger: The only thing I would like to say is that 80% of them are members of the Ontario Medical Association. Those figures were given. In effect, 80% of the persons teaching in the medical faculties in the universities are members of the Ontario Medical Association. I think it is fair to say there was representation in that manner, not OCUFA specifically.

Mrs Cunningham: I think Mr Wessenger understood my question and has just answered it -- "not OCUFA specifically." That is a fair response. That is part of the concern. In looking at both of the letters, from OCUFA and the OMA, in the future one ought to take a look at the makeup of the bargaining unit if there are divergent interests, at least in this regard.

Specifically, that is why we had the matter referred to the committee. We felt, given the concerns of the faculty associations, that the government had not clearly understood why they felt they were left out. That is why we asked that this bill be referred, for that specific reason. We did not want to get into any other issues. In fairness, since it is a very large concern on behalf of a lot of individuals who did not feel they were properly represented, I think that in the future the government ought to take a look at that in conjunction with the Ontario Medical Association. I do not think it is good in this province to have those kinds of hard feelings with people within bargaining units.

The leadership has to come from someplace and it should be coming from this government. My colleague Mr Wilson has certainly put on the record the reasons we have put forward our amendment. I am not certain that in his response Mr Owens understood why we wanted that amendment put forth. I do not think it is good enough to say that there was appropriate consultation. What we should talking about, and he is as aware as I am of the makeup of collective bargaining teams, is that some members said they did not feel they were consulted and, more important, not represented.

We should be listening clearly to that and taking some direction back to one of the partners in these negotiations. Since this divergent point of view has come forth and people feel this is not a fair agreement, where in fact they have not been properly represented and where their fees will be deducted, although in fact they do not bill through the OMA, I think that is serious business and the government should consider it for future negotiations.

Mr Owens: Just to begin by correcting the record, Mrs Cunningham, the member for the third party has suggested that I had indicated that OCUFA and other parties were represented. In fact, I said "consulted." In terms of not understanding why the third party has put forward its amendment I think is not realistic. I understand why the amendment is there. Coming from a labour organization and participating in collective bargaining, I think I have a fairly intimate knowledge of how bargaining works. I can tell you that we were not able to please each and every one of the 1,100 members we had the pleasure of serving, and we strove to match communities of interest as best as possible. I understand that there are people who probably feel that the process was not fair or that they were not represented appropriately.

I think the message has been made quite clear through the joint management committee and through the promise, made here by the OMA yesterday, that the consultations will continue with OCUFA. This is not the end of a relationship. I have faith that will be carried forward. If for some reason it is not carried forward, then I would invite OCUFA to write to me or the minister to indicate that the relationship is not being carried out in good faith. I believe both parties have a duty to carry out the agreement in good faith.

The reason we are here is that we have a piece of legislation flowing from the agreement. Again, I have no reason to believe that parties were not consulted throughout the process. We have an individual here from the ministry who was involved in that process. If I am wrong, I invite that person from the ministry to correct me.

Mr Hope: Just quickly, looking at all the submissions today and also the amendment that is being put forward by the Conservative Party, one of the problems you get into under master bargaining of collective agreements, and one of the problems that is being faced here, is an association that is not identified as a true bargaining agent. Yes, you may be a spokesperson on behalf of a group of individuals, but no certification of that nature is a proven jurisdictional right.

Coming from the auto sector, when I look at this and read the comments put forward, one of the comments that you get under master bargaining is that you can still have workplace bargaining units that enhance programs and enhance benefits for their members. What I see in the amendment that is being put forward deletes that so-called global bargaining aspect. What I see in the government bill, and what I am reading also from the OMA, is still the enhancement. There will be a relationship on the workplace or faculty members' bargaining rights as to expand programs.

Unfortunately, as one who has experienced it, I know you can never please everybody through the collective bargaining process. But one of the very important ingredients of it is to have additional workplace representatives, which means you can enhance programs.

The faculty association says that some can receive from 5% to 85%. There is a receivable there, and it may be not to the benefit most people would like. In order to share the fruit of the tree, you must pay a small portion. But you can still have the enhancement of workplace organizations that will enhance the collective bargaining process and cover the areas not covered by the OMA.

So when I look at the amendment being put forward by the Conservative Party, I have a hard time understanding how, if you are not identified under the Labour Relations Act, you know where the jurisdictions are. The jurisdictions have to be clear. I believe identification and certification may be the appropriate steps to take. Then you would be able to clearly define each other's roles. But it is not there. With associations you have the significant problem of who the actual representative is, whether it be voluntary dues or not. It is still very hard to prove who has the right to be the collective spokesperson on behalf of the individuals.

I believe the OMA, because we have just gotten done dealing with the health professions regulations, which fall under that total umbrella, the OMA has the right to represent the total physicians of this nature under the collective bargaining process. Hopefully, after this legislation is passed, the organizations and other organizations that may not have had the opportunity to be here today will come together in co-operation to form, I guess, one house of labour and from there branch off to workplace representation or regional representation. I am very confident that the two will get together to resolve their differences in an open and honest fashion.


Mr Wessenger: I would like to respond to a few of the comments made. First of all, I think the problem is one that has been presented to us by the leadership of OCUFA and not really by the physicians who are in teaching. There has been no indication that any physician who is in a teaching position is dissatisfied with the OMA representatives.

Mr J. Wilson: That is untrue. They stated yesterday who they were representing.

The Chair: Order. Mr Wessenger is entitled to have the floor and I ask for your co-operation. You will have the opportunity to express your views when you have the floor.

Mr Wessenger: The other thing I would like to indicate is that OCUFA and OMA did consult formally after the master agreement was signed and have been consulting up until now to try to work out an agreement. Certainly it has been the indication of the OMA that it is prepared to co-operate with OCUFA, and we certainly hope it will co-operate with it.

Last, with respect to the doctors and health science centres, they were consulted and were a key constituency in approving and supporting the agreement with the OMA.

A comment was made with respect to the high level of fees. The OMA fees are variable, from the highest fees, which I believe are around $1,100, to much lower fees; for instance, $350 for those on a salary and down to zero for missionary doctors. They do have a variable fee structure which could take account of the situation of physicians in the teaching area.

Mrs Cunningham: I am glad I am going after Mr Wessenger, because I think his remarks are contradictory. First of all, OCUFA clearly represents members of faculty associations, many of whom are medical doctors and who teach in medical schools. It is that simple. They just do, so to say they do not does not make any sense.

Mr Hope: They do not.

Mr J. Wilson: No, the OMA is now moving in.

Mrs Cunningham: There seems to be some misunderstanding about this. I would like it clarified. I would like Mr Wessenger to clarify his first point.

Mr Wessenger: The indication I had from the OMA was that physicians are generally represented by their own associations in the medical school. The OMA indicated to us that it had no complaints from any physicians with respect to -- so I am basing on the representation made at the hearing and what the OMA said. I am taking their words. They indicated --

Mrs Cunningham: They had no complaints?

Mr Wessenger: They had no complaints from any of their physicians with respect --

Mrs Cunningham: I just wonder if I am the only one who is getting complaints. Is that not interesting? I cannot imagine the people who are phoning me and complaining about this legislation so that we bring this amendment forth have not also contacted the OMA. It does not make any sense, especially given the letter from OCUFA. It was sent to the Chair of the committee. Surely, if they have been having meetings and trying to get this thing worked out on their own, they have been complaining to the OMA. Is that not why they are having meetings? Because these faculty members are not happy, they are trying to come to some conclusion on their own, which I support, by the way. But do not say they have not complained to the OMA. That is what they are meeting about.

Mr Wessenger: Well --

The Chair: I suggest to you, Mr Wessenger, that Mrs Cunningham's questions are rhetorical. You do not have the floor; she does.

Mrs Cunningham: He does not have what?

The Chair: He does not have the floor; you do.

Mr Wessenger: Rhetorical questions, okay.

Mrs Cunningham: Yes, I suppose you are right on that. I cannot imagine people meeting over something they do not agree about and not having complained to each other. That is all, so I think that is simple. Then Mr Wessenger proceeded to say that they were consulted after the agreement had been signed. I will not ask a rhetorical question. I will ask, if that is the case, is that not why we are here?

Mr Wessenger: The OMA has been attempting to work out an agreement with OCUFA with respect to the situation concerning the faculty. I understand they want to reach an agreement and I understand they were close to reaching an agreement, but they broke up at the last moment. Certainly I hope they will reach an agreement.

Mrs Cunningham: So do I.

Mr Wessenger: I think that is the proper way it should proceed.

Mr J. Wilson: Well --

The Chair: Mr Wessenger has the floor.

Mr Wessenger: I have the floor. That is certainly the way that we see the matter should be dealt with and I am confident the OMA will work out an agreement.

Mrs Cunningham: That is why we have the amendment, clearly supporting what you have just said. "Unless the bargaining unit and the Ontario Medical Association agree that this act shall apply to those physicians" -- that is what we have said. They have certainly got lots of room to negotiate after this goes through. They can even negotiate how it will affect each faculty association. That is what we are trying to do today.

Madam Chairman, I would like to speak to my colleagues Mr Owens and Mr Hope.

The Chair: You can place your comments on the record; you cannot ask them questions.

Mrs Cunningham: I will not ask them questions. It makes me nervous to ask them questions some days.

Mr Owens: On a point of privilege, Madam Chairman: That was completely inappropriate.

Mrs Cunningham: Why? If you feel nervous, you can say it.

The Chair: Mr Owens, that is not a point of privilege. Thank you for the interjection. Mrs Cunningham has the floor.

Mrs Cunningham: If I feel nervous, I will say it. You can say the same thing to me.

The Chair: I will put you on the speakers' list if you wish to speak.

Mrs Cunningham: I cannot believe I am sitting here listening to people lecture us on what they know about collective bargaining. A lot of us are involved in collective bargaining. That is one of the reasons I am here right now. When you talk about the makeup of teams and who represents whom at the table, the bargaining agent or whatever you want to say, I can tell you right now that I have been involved in negotiations, if you want to talk about teachers' collective bargaining, where at the table psychologists are represented, teaching assistants are represented, teachers are represented, principals are represented and vice-principals are represented.

The only point I was making was that, this time at the bargaining table here with the OMA, perhaps it would be a good idea, since there is such dissatisfaction that the faculty members who have never paid dues and who in fact have never billed -- I want to make sure I get this right here. There are faculty association physician members who receive none of their income due to the OMA's efforts. Those people perhaps should be represented right at the table. That is the only point I am making.

If you want to go on, I have also negotiated with CUPE, by the way, on both sides of the table, given the long life I have led, where in fact executive assistants, secretaries, clerks and teaching assistants have all been represented at the CUPE negotiations. I have also negotiated with OPSEU where in fact child care workers, maintenance workers and kitchen staff have been represented. I could go on and on. That was the only thing I meant.

If you are going to represent somebody who gets nothing from paying the dues, he or she should have a voice. If they have not been consulted -- and the parliamentary assistant said to us that they were consulted after. He said that, I did not, because I had thought they were consulted before. But I am talking about represented. I do not want to be so presumptuous to say this is what OCUFA even wants. I am just raising it in response to some observations here. I am not even going to be so presumptuous to say that the OMA would want this; maybe it would. I do not know what the best makeup is, but somebody was left out and all I want is for the government to recognize that, and that is why we are here in this committee.

There are ongoing discussions and I hope some conclusion is reached that everybody can agree on. In the meantime, we have brought forth the amendment that OCUFA has asked us to bring forward because it thinks it would solve the problem. They obviously have not been able to solve it on their own. The government knows that OCUFA, especially these faculty members who receive none of their income due to the OMA's efforts, are being affected during the bargaining process. As people who have been part of the bargaining process, Mr Owens and Mr Hope can imagine how these people feel. You have to believe they must feel just awful, that all of a sudden somebody is going to ask them to pay dues and yet, as a matter of fact, they do not gain any benefit from it at all. As people who are part of the labour movement, they must have some sympathy for this.

I see Mr Hope shaking his head. I am glad Mr Owens is not, because in fact those are the people whose concerns we are bringing to this committee meeting today.


Mr Owens: I am shaking my head now.

Mrs Cunningham: That is fine, Mr Owens is shaking his head, just for the record. Some days you just wish you had never bothered. But there ought to be a little more understanding of a real problem here today. I do not mind that the government members are not going to support it; they get their marching orders. They were going to be new and different, but they are not new and different. So next time out, you guys can kiss your seats goodbye. That is the way I look at it.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Cunningham. Mr Wilson.

Mr J. Wilson: Just to add to that, I think the government members have to understand why faculty members are so very angry at this government and why this is one more infringement upon their rights. You have been tough on faculty members and in the RHPA, the Regulated Health Professions Act, you axed two of them from the council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. We went from a representative from each of the five medical schools down to three. They were angry about that. You have had absolutely massive cuts to the transfer payments to universities. They are angry about that.

I think for the public out there, what we tend to forget is that medical doctors, physicians, get their licences -- we still use the terminology "licence," but their authority to practise medicine in this province comes from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. The OMA has clearly strong-armed the government, as they used to do to us in the old days, and convinced you that they should move in now and extend the Rand formula in a heavy-handed manner to people in the faculty associations who would like an agreement made ahead of time before heavy-handed legislation is brought down, and that is all our amendment does.

You have the cart before the horse here. You have the legislation coming in in a heavy-handed way, and yet our amendment clearly says they should sit down and come to an agreement before the Rand formula is extended to those members who have complained to our offices, or we would not have been going through this exercise.

Our amendment speaks to agreement. I think it is absolutely consistent with the logic put forward a few minutes ago by the parliamentary assistant. He talked about the fact that there should be agreement. This says, "Don't put the cart before the horse. Come to agreement, and when they agree that those faculty members should have the Rand formula extended to them and should pay OMA dues," then that is fine. I do not see the need for a rush, and it just flies in the face of what your candidates said and what I am sure many of you said and what your Premier says almost daily in the Legislature about partnerships and fairness and agreements and consultation.

We think it is a very reasonable amendment that we have brought in and we would ask you to reconsider your position.

The Chair: Just for the information of members of committee, I have the following speakers' list: Mrs Sullivan, Mr Owens, Mr Hope, Mr Sola and Ms Haeck. Mrs Sullivan, you have the floor.

Mrs Sullivan: There are a couple of areas that are distressing about the bill and why we see the amendment proposed by the Progressive Conservatives as having some merit and I want to review those.

Indeed it has been pointed out that for many physicians practising at the university and working in a university setting, the primary relationship of those physicians is to the university and the primary bargaining questions for those physicians relate to academic issues that are faced by academics in other faculties. They relate to issues of tenure, promotions, student population and questions of standards of operation. Those are issues where OCUFA indicated to us yesterday that it felt there was no particular expertise or qualification exhibited in the past by the OMA in representing that group of physicians.

In the course of looking at where the bargaining has been recognized -- and I am sure that when this negotiation process between the OMA and the Ministry of Health was being undertaken, it probably did not occur to a health researcher, by example, at the University of Western Ontario, that the impact of an agreement about which there was very little information would in fact affect his operation and his representation with his university and in its own faculty associations.

At every single one of the five teaching universities we see that there have been formal agreements from the universities indicating who shall represent the university teachers. In Ottawa that agreement has been formalized since 1975 -- I am just referring back to notes -- in Toronto since 1977. At the University of Western Ontario, since 1971 there was an informal agreement and that agreement was formalized in 1985. At Queen's the formal agreement has been recognized since 1976. This is not a new approach.

I think what is interesting and in fact problematical with the legislation as it is put forward is that the people who had been represented in a formal bargaining mechanism by OCUFA or the faculty associations at the particular universities were not consulted and were not involved. Many of them may not have been members of the OMA and therefore would not have even been able to participate in the vote, whether in a full vote or through the proxy methodology that was put forward.

One of the things that struck me about the OCUFA presentation yesterday was that they indicated they were not fundamentally opposed to joint representation in certain areas. It seems to me that the Conservative amendment that is being put forward provides the opportunity for that joint representation. So the academic matters, the matters of specific academic policy, can receive full representation by OCUFA or the particular individual university associations, and the OMA can participate in matters relating to the fee-for-service and other issues where the OMA has expertise and has represented physicians who work in a multi setting and who are bargaining in a different environment and with a different person on the other side of the table.

It seems to me that this amendment provides that flexibility. I would be very interested in seeing if Mr Wessenger sees that the flexibility is indeed necessary due to the different kind of work environment and work-related concerns of two different kinds of practising physicians and indeed if he can see the flexibility in this amendment as it is put forward to deal with both of those issues.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Sullivan. Mr Owens, you have the floor.

Mr Owens: I listened with particular interest to Mr Wilson's comments around --

Mrs Sullivan: On a point of order, Madam Chair: I think I have a question for Mr Wessenger.

The Chair: I will put you back on the list, Mrs Sullivan.

Mrs Sullivan: I did ask a question. I asked him if he could see the flexibility in the amendment to cover those two situations. I would like to hear him comment.

The Chair: You were not clear and in directing that to Mr Wessenger. I will allow him to answer and then you will have the floor, Mr Owens.

Mr Wessenger: First of all, with respect to the amendment, I think the amendment put forward by the Conservatives would put the government in breach of its agreement with the Ontario Medical Association and would make us bargain in bad faith. We have an obligation to support the agreement, and this bill is supporting that agreement. That is the first comment I would like to make.

The second comment I would like to make is I agree that, for the situation involving the general comment with respect to the physicians who are faculty members, certainly the OMA has to work, or should work, in co-operation with OCUFA with respect to those areas, particularly the areas of tenure that you mentioned. I am hopeful an agreement will be entered into between OCUFA and the OMA to deal with these matters.

Last, I would like to say that the amendment, aside from the other two matters, in effect weights the bargaining power on the side of OCUFA. It is not an evenhanded amendment; it, in effect, gives OCUFA the upper hand in bargaining with the OMA. I would not support that for that reason, besides the others.


The Chair: Mrs Sullivan, you still have the floor.

Mrs Sullivan: Thank you. On your first point in relation to the question of the government having the obligation to fulfil the agreement with the Ontario Medical Association, there are very serious questions being raised at this point already as to whether indeed the government is fulfilling the agreement as it was written. They are coming in relation to exemptions, relating to doctors who are providing services in underserviced areas, to doctors who have been refused exemptions in certain geographical areas, which it was very clear to us yesterday the OMA had not expected. There appears to be some concern about whether indeed the government is living up to its obligations to fulfil the agreement in terms of the funding of the joint management committee. There have been very unclear approaches and announcements made in those areas.

One of the questions, of course, I put to you is whether a flexible approach, which was requested by OCUFA, was the appropriate approach, in that those university-related issues affecting only university-paid doctors should not be addressed by those associations who represent university physicians as well as other academics who are in similar situations. Once again, for the OMA expertise -- fee-for-service areas -- the flexibility could be provided without giving anyone an upper hand.

The amendment is, "unless the bargaining unit and the Ontario Medical Association agree." There is not question of an upper hand. It says "agree." It seems to me that that agreement could be on joint representation, with the OMA representing physicians who belong to faculties in relation to fee-for-service and other matters where the OMA has specific expertise, and the faculty associations could represent those physicians who have particular interest and particular requirements in relation to their academic functions in a university setting. This says, "unless the bargaining unit and the Ontario Medical Association agree." Agreement does not give one or the other an upper hand.

Mr Owens: In terms of the comments made by Mr Wilson around the issue of transfer payments and people being really angry with us, I find it passing strange that as I was reading my Globe and Mail this morning there was an ad from OCUFA asking people to clip the coupon suggesting to the Premier that they were mad about university underfunding. However, if you look at the text of the ad it also said that they want us to make up for 15 years of underfunding by previous governments. So I think that in terms of putting the responsibility squarely on our shoulders, that is not --

Mrs Cunningham: That is why you were elected, Steve.

The Chair: Order. Mrs Cunningham, I can --

Mr Owens: I am trying to inject a little reality and little bit --

The Chair: I am sorry. Mr Owens, just a moment, please. I am happy to put you on the speakers' list, but you cannot interject.

Mrs Cunningham: Put me on the speakers' list.

The Chair: When another member has the floor, I am going to request that you --

Mr J. Wilson: If you chide us with thought-provoking comments --

The Chair: Mr Wilson, you are on the list. Mr Owens, I would recommend that you not tease the bears or provoke the members of the opposition.

Mr Owens: I think the phrase is, "Don't tease the bears" --


The Chair: Order. No, I cannot allow that. When a member has the floor, other members are not permitted to interject. You can ask to be placed on the speakers' list, but Mr Owens has the floor and is entitled to speak. You may continue, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: In terms of the issues Mrs Cunningham raised with respect to her not wishing to be lectured on collective bargaining, it certainly was not my intent to provide the ABCs of collective bargaining. With the fairly extensive experience Mrs Cunningham outlined to us with respect to her experience with unions, both, I am assuming, on the union side as well as on management side, that Mrs Cunningham understands that, while we --


Mr Owens: No, let me finish -- that we understand that, while we strive to have each and every party represented, that is not necessarily what happens and that we attempt to negotiate in good faith the best agreement possible. The issue that was raised by Mrs Sullivan with respect to underfunding of the joint management committee -- and I pose this question to the parliamentary assistant: It is my understanding that each party will fund its own costs on the joint management committee. Is that not a correct understanding?

Mr Wessenger: Yes, it is a correct understanding. If I might comment, the Ontario Medical Association has published in its OMA Review that the government has been positive and supportive of the joint management committee and its development. The joint management committee is just starting. There have been two meetings held and seven more booked.

Mr J. Wilson: Are those comments extemporaneous?

The Chair: Thank you very much for your interjection, Mr Wilson. You are on the list, but not right now.

Mr Owens: Madam Chairman, I suppose we are probably going to go around the room for the rest of the afternoon debating who has more bargaining experience and who understands unions more and how the --

The Chair: I think Mrs Cunningham might concede the point if you would stop speaking to it, Mr Owens.

Mr Owens: Anyway, I thank you, Madam Chair.

Mr Sola: Actually, my point has been made by Mrs Sullivan, but I would just like to make a comment. I am a little perturbed by the attitude of the government. I have only been sitting on this committee for a day, and I specifically remember Mr Owens posing questions to both parties yesterday -- OCUFA and the Sudbury and District Medical Society -- as to whether or not they were consulted during the bargaining process. He got a clear, distinct, definite "no" from both parties. As a matter of fact, OCUFA even had members of a couple of faculty associations here who distinctly and adamantly said they were not consulted. For him to conclude, because the OMA declared that consultation did take place, that therefore consultation was the order of the day, I find difficult to understand. But then, after the comments by the parliamentary assistant that discussion after the fact can be taken as consultation, I am afraid there is going to have to be a change in attitude if we expect the OMA will have control of these dissenting members.


Ms Haeck: As probably many professionals out there do, I for one have not only a professional association; I also, in my other life as a public librarian, had a union association. I am quite sure it can be said that among the faculty -- and obviously 85% of the faculty who are teaching at Ontario's medical schools have a similar type of arrangement -- those relationships are not -- how shall I say? -- conflicting. They may perform somewhat different functions, as in the faculty association assisting with bargaining with the university and obviously looking after whatever moneys or salaries the professors may gain from the university and the OMA providing whatever salaries, fees, coming from OHIP. So I really do not see this as being the kind of issue that has been purported here. The OMA, at this point, is looking after those moneys flowing from OHIP, and it is really, I think, quite that simple.

The Chair: I have on the speakers' list, just so that everyone is aware of where he or she is -- and if you want on the list, please signify -- Mr Hope, Mr Wilson, Mrs Cunningham, Mrs Sullivan, Mr Owens. Mr Hope, you have the floor.

Mr Hope: I certainly will not tease the bears. Just for my friend from London, who I know has been on bargaining units before and played an active role: The issue here has to be that, when you start a new process, there is always someone who is unhappy. The system will straighten itself out, as the member for London North indicated. She sat on a number of bargaining committees that had representatives from all areas. As you develop yourselves as an organization with collective rights, you develop the policy inside the framework that you have full representation. But when you start something new and you develop something new, later on as you progress into strategies of collective bargaining, you make sure that you start encompassing all areas that are subject to scrutiny.

This being a new process -- and I certainly do not want to tease the bears over there -- I think it is very appropriate that once the legislation is in place, the mechanisms of consultation between those different groups, or fashions or whatever you want to call them that are out there, come together in making sure that when they return to bargaining process -- and in bargaining process, yes, everybody puts a wish list forward, and you come back, and you do not always have everything. You do not consult during the process of negotiations. You negotiate, in good faith, on behalf of both parties, whether it be labour or management or whether it be the government or an organization. You bargain in good faith, you make sure you encompass all the concerns that are out there of those you are representing, and you bring it back. If we are to try to straighten the process out, the process will straighten itself out after the legislation has been passed and they start to work together in a co-operative manner to make sure that the representatives of all fashions are put forward.

I am very surprised today to hear the enthusiasm of the opposition party under collective bargaining rights. I think it is great to hear the opposition member speak so highly of collective bargaining rights. I look forward to legislation on labour relations which will probably identify some of the concerns that are faced today.

Mr J. Wilson: I am surprised that Mr Hope is surprised that he somehow has this mythical vision of the Ontario PC Party not believing in the right to strike and the right to collective bargaining. Who the hell do you think brought in the legislation in the first place?

Mr Hope: Who brought in anti-scab --

The Chair: Mr Hope, you do not have the floor.

Mr J. Wilson: It was under a Conservative government. You guys do not have a corner on compassion in this province like you were trying to pretend to have in the campaign, and you do not have a collective right on bargaining in good faith.

Let's take an example in reference to this bill, because we are talking about bargaining and bargaining rights. Let's take an example of the Ontario Pharmacists' Association, where both Mr Owens, as a member of this committee, and Mr Winninger, as an NDP member from London, wrote to their own minister in the NDP cabinet and indicated that they were disappointed that the minister walked away from the bargaining process there. In fact, after an arbitrator had been appointed, after negotiations were going on, the NDP government, which is so high-and-mighty all the time on behalf of unions and collective bargaining in the process, walked away from the table unilaterally and did not even have the courtesy to speak directly to the OPA, Ontario Pharmacists' Association. The minister sent them a letter that said: "We are not going to debate your dispensing fees any more for this fiscal year. See me next year."

You have a bit of a selective memory, I think. You are certainly consistent in trying to fool the people of this province that you are on the side of the workers, but --

The Chair: I would remind you, Mr Wilson, that we are speaking to Bill 135.

Mr J. Wilson: In reference to this bill specifically, I think it is important that the people of Ontario understand that when the parliamentary assistant, in reference to this bill, says they would never bargain in bad faith, we have other examples since this government has been in office where they have done that. As Mrs Sullivan raised very clearly, we have examples within the agreement this bill refers to between the Ontario Medical Association and the government where clearly the government is not living up to its side of the bargain.

We ask you again to support our amendment. It talks about agreement before forcing the Rand formula on people who have come to us and said they do not want that forced on them until such time as they can get an agreement together with the OMA. I think it is a very reasonable approach.

I am sorry the debate has been elevated to such an emotional level, but we are all a bit guilty of getting to this plateau, but do not throw high and mighty stuff at us because we will be here all night. We are the third party, as you are so fond of reminding us, and we have about another four years to put up with you guys. We would be happy to sit in this very room and debate constantly over the next four years whether you people actually put into practice what you preached so eloquently on the campaign trail and while in opposition for so many years.

Mrs Cunningham: I just want to add a few pieces of new information to my ongoing efforts to persuade the members of the government to vote in favour of our amendment because as I listen to them today I think they, like us, were not totally informed as to the ramifications of this agreement. I would venture to say that I bet the OMA did not realize there were people who receive none of their income due to the OMA's efforts who will be forced to pay OMA dues. My guess is they may even not have understood that when they were bargaining and I think the government may not have known it either. I am not sure whether that is fair to say, but my guess is that a lot of people got caught up in this and now we know about it we are trying to fix it.

With regard to experience in collective bargaining, since I do not know what the experience of my other colleagues on this committee from any party is, I would concede that others have a lot more experience than myself and that was not the point I was trying to make. I was just letting you know that I know something after 15 years of sitting at tables and that is the way it goes. Sometimes you have those experiences and sometimes you have others.

With regard to Mr Wessenger saying it would be bad faith, I do not think it is bad faith. If the government had the right spirit here it would work with the OMA and would have done so already by today. It would say, "Look, I think this is a fair amendment and what about it?" The good faith was extended by ourselves and the Ontario Medical Association when we had a discussion about coming to this committee.

If we had been interested in supporting any bad-faith bargaining, we would probably have encouraged others who are not happy with the agreement at all to come before this committee and we did not do that. It was not that we did not have the opportunity. We did; but we would not have asked people to come about other areas of this agreement that you can imagine everybody is not happy about. We understand that. Looking at the issues in this agreement, this is the one issue we felt was worthy of more discussion. Nobody is interested in bad faith right now. I would not expect that to be one of the points the OMA would be making, considering the very careful wording of this legislation.

With regard to new process, I am assuming that -- and I will assume out loud -- my first point was that no one knew they were representing people who had nothing to gain by this agreement or the makeup of the team would have been different. I am not sitting around like anybody else on this committee suggesting for one minute that we do not have enough experience in collective bargaining in this province to know who ought to be represented at the table. My guess is that no one would have guessed the ramifications of this agreement.


Madam Chairman, you and I and others are extremely concerned about the cost of health care in this province. One of the reasons education, health care and social services are so expensive is that so many of the people trained to be in the front lines, whom we would like to be serving the public directly, are stuck in administrative positions trying to fix things up and deal with government intervention from time to time, day to day, minute to minute. Social service providers will say that, and so will educators, people in hospitals and the medical profession.

A good example of that is this agreement I have in front of me, "Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, An Affiliated Teacher Hospital's Academic Health Centre's" -- in large print -- "Plan for Staffing and Funding of Clinical Academic Units." There are 18 representatives. Another column says, "Participants." There are three. They look like representatives of the administration of the university. The others are clearly of the affiliated teaching hospitals, five of them. Assistants, people who are probably helping get all the stuff out -- one, two, three; my goodness, this is administrative time. "Negotiation rights. The provisions of the recently negotiated April 1991 framework agreement between the Ontario Medical Association, OMA, and the government of Ontario have implications for the conditions of employment and compensation of contracted clinical appointees in clinical academic units."

I will not read it all into the record, but obviously these people have had numbers of meetings with numbers of recommendations as to how they deal with this agreement and the effect it has had on all these people in the teaching hospitals. These are the kinds of things that waste people's time. This stuff should have been dealt with ahead of time, either by the OMA or the government so that the people can get on with their lives and do what they are supposed to be doing: research or taking care of sick people.

I will just let you know that one of the observations that were made is that the government did not know anything about this and that people were so concerned. I do not know about the members of the government, but certainly one of the members of the government, my colleague David Winninger from London South, received a letter from the University of Western Ontario faculty association. My guess is that other members who have universities in their ridings, or perhaps faculty association members -- this came on October 8, 1991. This is not new.

Mr J. Wilson: Two months ago.

Mrs Cunningham: "Dear Mr Winninger:

"I am writing to you on behalf of the faculty association of the University of Western Ontario. We are the recognized bargaining unit for all of the approximately 1,400 regular full-time faculty at the university. We negotiate salaries and benefits as well as all conditions of employment including promotion and tenure procedures, grievance procedures, terms of sabbatical etc. Included in our membership are MDs who have appointments both with medical facilities as practitioners and with the university as faculty members.

"Recently, the government came to an agreement with the Ontario Medical Association whereby the OMA would become the sole bargaining agents for physicians, including those with university appointments."

I am reading this so that Mr Hope can hear it because he is one of the great guys who bothers about the University of Western Ontario, being one of the seven government members from southwestern Ontario who attends meetings from time to time at the University of Western Ontario to listen to their concerns. This was on the agenda of the last meeting.

"This agreement was negotiated and signed behind closed doors, with no input from the other groups which will be affected by such an agreement, including those who presently represent some of these physicians." This was sent to a member of the government.

"The result of this legislation even affects some full-time faculty members who hold an MD but who do basic research at the University with no hospital appointment." None. I would underline that.

"The association is concerned with a number of issues arising from this agreement and subsequent legislation:

"1. This agreement will generate two classes of faculty, the first being the majority of faculty whose conditions of employment affecting promotion and tenure, grievance procedures etc, as well as salary and benefits, are negotiated by the faculty association. A separate group of faculty will be represented by the OMA, thus allowing for two sets of faculty working side by side under two sets of circumstances."

Is that not why we had the Elgin county teachers' strike, because we had people working for that school board who had two different packages with regard to their retirement gratuity? Certain bargaining units were annoyed about that and therefore they have come to some conclusions where everybody is now going to be the same. Nobody likes to have two different types of people working in the same area without clearly being represented.

"Again, those MDs performing basic research will be part of the OMA's unit even though they perform no outside medical services." Can you imagine this?

"2. The NDP government, by signing this agreement, has endorsed the raiding of one recognized bargaining unit by another. We feel that this is contrary to the ideals of a political party which has aligned itself with the basic tenets of the labour movement for many years."

I have to tell you, Madam Chairman, I am not always happy with the faculty association at the University of Western Ontario. They do not often vote for me; they have told me that. Many of them are NDP members who voted for you people because you are supposed to stick up for them and work for them. I know they do not vote for me. They tell me that. They are going to vote for me the next time because I am a good listener. I bring their concerns before the committee, represent them well.

"The faculty association feels that the OMA has every right to seek bargaining power if that is the wishes of its members." I would have guessed, Madam Chairman, given the views of Mr Hope in southwestern Ontario and some of his colleagues, that he would be taking this much more seriously. "However, we believe the agreement was a product of backroom negotiation and because of this, groups which are affected by the agreement have been given no opportunity to voice their concerns or objections."

Mr Hope is a great spokesperson of those kinds of people, and do you know what he is finding out? So are we, members of the Conservative Party and my colleagues of the Liberal Party. We all have varied backgrounds and support people who need our support and need our voice. That is what we do and we did this for years in this government and in this Legislative Assembly. It is not new that people who have been elected to this assembly for the first time would think there are those of us who only have certain points of view.

Since I have been down here in the last three years, it is very difficult to understand, at least by party, anybody who does not recognize that there are people out there who elected us so we would speak for them. Second, there are many less fortunate than ourselves. That comes from all political persuasions, which I am happy to say as a person who really supports the democratic process.

Mr Owens: This is not related to the bill.

Mrs Cunningham: Mr Owens does not like what I am saying but he had his chance and he said those kinds of things too.

Mr J. Wilson: She is reading from a letter directly referring to the bill.

Mrs Cunningham: I want Mr Owens to listen to this and he can respond to this if he wants to: "Input from the ministries of Labour and Colleges and Universities was not requested and, to the best of our knowledge, they were not informed of the agreement until after it was signed."

I am not going to speak for either of those ministries because that would not be my position to do so, but I bet you anything, Mr Wessenger will be able to speak to that because I am sure Mr Winninger shared this letter with him.

"It is even unclear to us that the physicians who are members of the OMA were aware that the OMA was attempting to change their status from a professional membership to that of a bargaining unit.

"The legislation to support this agreement, Bill 135, is presently before the Legislature and we ask that the legislation not proceed until these problems are solved."

Madam Chairman, you and I both know, because we had to discuss this amendment I was going to bring forth, that we hoped the OMA and the faculty associations being represented by OCUFA would come to some agreement before this got to committee. After all, this letter was sent to the NDP member for London South, David Winninger, on October 8.

"We count on your support" -- this is to the NDP member -- "for this request and trust that our concerns will be brought to the attention of the government.

"Yours truly, A.M. Dawes, President, 1991-92" of the faculty association from the University of Western Ontario.

I am just reading it into the record because I do not want to be accused of being the only person in this room who has had any complaints from people. I am sure many people are unhappy about this and they are not saying -- Mr Wessenger said I was the only person, but he did in fact say they had not had a lot of concern from a government point of view. I think when the government members got this kind of letter they must have brought it to the attention of the Minister of Health. I certainly know my colleague Mr Winninger would have done that.


Mrs Sullivan: I want to address two issues, the first in regard to representation and the second in relationship to the joint management committee, and to follow up on two points. I was very interested in the argument made by Ms Haeck that in her own line of work she is a member of an association and a member of a union, and she feels the interests of those bodies are substantially different.

What I see here is membership in an association which has been recognized on every campus in Ontario where there is a medical faculty as the bargaining agent for people who belong to that association. I now see an association having been given union status: the Ontario Medical Association. Bill 135 provides de facto union status for the Ontario Medical Association.

I would like to read, because I think it describes this perfectly, subsection 44(1) of the Ontario Labour Relations Act: "Except in the construction industry...where a trade union that is the bargaining agent for employees in a bargaining unit so requests, there shall be included in the collective agreement between the trade union and the employer of the employees a provision requiring the employer to deduct from the wages of each employee in the unit affected by the collective agreement, whether or not the employee is a member of the union, the amount of the regular union dues and to remit the amount to the trade union, forthwith."

Then subsection 44(2) goes on to describe what "regular union dues" means, and of course that refers back to the Honourable Mr Justice Rand's decision in 1945 that the obligation to pay dues should tend to induce membership, one of the obligations of a union, and this in turn should promote that wider interest and control within the union. What we are talking about here are two unions and what each of them should represent their union membership on. That is what Bill 135 talks about.

Bill 135 relates not only to members of the union who are involved in fee-for-service operations. We see and we know the OMA has a statutory position: the right to bargain for fee-for-service. That is there, and it has done that. But now Bill 135 extends the provision of union membership, the obligations of a union in bargaining and the obligations of people to submit union dues, and if they do not want to belong to the union, to submit union dues to a number of other areas: to physicians who practise in insurance companies, to physicians who work in academic settings, to physicians who work in medical laboratories, to physicians who work in health service organizations and comprehensive health organizations, to physicians who work in the Workers' Compensation Board. Indeed, the provision for extension through the Rand formula is substantial. We have not had much discussion about what is happening in terms of Workers' Compensation Board physicians; we should probably talk about that a little bit.

What we now have is a situation where, for physicians who have a particular interest in a particular portion of their professional activity, representation is provided by a different union than will be provided under this legislation. The amendment put forward has provision in it that there can be joint representation. It provides the flexibility so that both issues can be covered.

I would like to step back for a minute and look at why many people joined the Ontario Medical Association in the first place. Some of them joined simply to participate in the benefits that are covered through group insurance plans. Some of them saw the Ontario Medical Association as a body which kept them up to date on medical issues -- whether they were questions of ethics, whether they were questions of quality improvement -- through its professional publications, through meetings under its sponsorship and so on. Membership was voluntary, and many physicians who were qualified to practise under the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario chose not to join or pay dues because they may have been doing other things -- for example, working for workers' compensation, working for an academic institution, working for an insurance company -- where indeed the representation that affected others in the profession did not affect them.

However, now we see the OMA moving into a union status, and the OMA, in terms of its approach to the agreement, did not have certification in the normal manner other unions have: the signing of cards and the insurance that all people who were going to be on the table and included in the agreement had a say in the approach to that agreement. The proxies were designed to eliminate choice, and indeed, most of the choice was secret. I can remember as a member attempting to discover for physicians in my own riding what that OMA agreement included. It was very secret. You cannot talk about members having agreed to participate in this union, nor can we see where the university physician has been included in the discussion. They have indicated they were not included.

Mr Owens: On a point of order, Madam Chair: The subject of discussion is Bill 135. I can understand there is certainly interest in the agreement that brought us to this point, but this is not the issue we are here to discuss. I think we have heard the concerns of the opposition parties, and we have expressed concerns ourselves. However, the point Mrs Sullivan is now making is totally unrelated to Bill 135. I would suggest we go back to that subject we are mandated for. By the way, Madam Chair, we did have all-party agreement when we met as a subcommittee to complete clause-by-clause today and I am curious to know whether that agreement is going to be upheld.

The Chair: That is not a point of order, but you have had a chance to express your view. I will remind Mrs Sullivan we are speaking to Bill 135. I would also point out to all members, and to you, Mr Owens, the subcommittee suggested clause-by-clause would begin today, but I do not believe there was any time limit placed as to when it had to be completed. I will check that with the clerk.

Mrs Sullivan: I am not quite certain of the point Mr Owens was making, because indeed the agreement is an issue here. Bill 135 is a significant portion of that agreement. It is the Randing of all physicians in Ontario who are qualified to practise in Ontario or who are engaged in the practise of medicine in Ontario or who conduct health research. We now see a conflict between two organizations, or two unions, in relationship to whether the Rand formula should apply. My discussion is very much directly to the point of Bill 135.


The second point I wanted to respond to, and to place a question to Mr Wessenger, relates to a response he gave earlier regarding the joint management committee which arose out of a question regarding whether bargaining was in good faith, and the question related to the funding of the joint management committee. Mr Wessenger responded that the Ontario Medical Association and the Ministry of Health would "fund their own costs." There is no indication of what commitment there is from the Ministry of Health or from the OMA in respect of the funding levels or the nature of the agreement between them.

If four of the five issues involve cost to the Ontario Medical Association, and item 4, which is to be discussed, is the portion of the joint management committee agenda that the government agrees to take on, does that mean the Ontario Medical Association will bear the entire cost of the agreement?

Mr Wessenger: What we mean by both sides paying their own expenses with respect to their representation on the board is that the representation on the board by the OMA will be paid however they deal with it and the same with the government side. The ministry will end up funding the special research staff with respect to the joint management committee. However, as far as what the budget is going to be is concerned, I think it was very well dealt with by Dr Wyman who indicated that the matter of the budget would be a matter worked out at the joint management committee.

Mrs Sullivan: In other words there is in fact no commitment in relation to specific funding for the joint management committee from the government?

Mr Wessenger: There will be a recommendation coming very shortly with respect to the matter of funding of the joint management committee. It is fair to say that it will be dealt with quite expeditiously.

The Chair: Thank you, Mrs Sullivan. Mr Wessenger, you have the floor.

Mr Wessenger: I would like to go back to first premises here. What we are dealing with is the legislation of the Rand formula, which basically says that members who benefit from the bargaining unit ought to pay fees. Certainly it is my opinion and the position of the government that all physicians benefit from the bargaining made by the OMA, because we have to remember we live in a market economy and the salaries physicians earn are related to the earnings physicians make on fees for service. We cannot really separate those two, so we should remember that. All physicians benefit from the bargaining by the OMA, whether they do it directly or indirectly.

With respect to the whole question of consultation, I would like to make a comment that the minister met with the Ontario Council of University Faculty Associations this summer with respect to this issue and others, and staff, in fact, were assigned to try to assist OCUFA and the OMA to work things out. Unfortunately, an agreement has not yet been worked out, but we do support, and both sides in fact have agreed to continue to try to work out an agreement with respect to this matter.

The Chair: Thank you, Mr Wessenger.

I am going to call the amendment now by Mr J. Wilson.

All those in favour of the amendment as placed by Mr Wilson, please so signify.

Those opposed?

Motion negatived.

Section 1 agreed to.

Sections 2 to 11, inclusive, agreed to. Title agreed to.

Bill ordered to be reported.

The Chair: That concludes the committee's consideration of Bill 135. We have agreed to have a meeting of the subcommittee immediately following adjournment. That is just to inform all whips that they are expected to stay. It should not be a long meeting. There being no further business, the standing committee on social development now stands adjourned.

The committee adjourned at 1710.