The Newfoundland and Labrador's government hasn't budged on its contract offer to doctors, which they rejected last spring, according to a memo obtained by CBC News.

The N.L. Medical Association (NLMA) met with Health Minister Jerome Kennedy and Finance Minister Tom Marshall Wednesday.


Newfoundland and Labrador's Health Minister Jerome Kennedy was at a Sept. 15 meeting with the group that negotiates for doctors. ((CBC))

"The ministers reiterated government's previous position on a financial package for physicians," the NLMA told members in a memo Thursday.

Last May, the NLMA rejected the same contract offer that the ministers made Wednesday.

At the time, an association official told CBC News that the offer was "insulting" to doctors.

The official said the government's offer of 97 per cent pay parity with doctors in Atlantic Canada — phased in over four years from 2009 to 2013 — is unacceptable.

The province's more than 1,000 doctors would receive 40 per cent of the pay increase in the first year of the contract and 20 per cent in each of the next three years.

Physicians have said the province must significantly increase the amount it pays them if it wants to recruit and retain doctors.

The NLMA will provide more details on what was said in Wednesday's meeting when it meets with its executive board Sept. 25 in St. John's. 

After that, NLMA president Dr. Pat O'Shea will begin a series of consultations with doctors around the province to discuss the association's next step, which could include job action.

The medical association and the government have been negotiating a new contract for more than a year. Their previous four-year agreement expired last fall.

Earlier this year, the NLMA asked the government to agree to binding arbitration, but the government rejected that, saying it believes a negotiated agreement can be reached.