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Newfoundland reaches tentative deal with doctors over pay Add to ...

Doctors in Newfoundland and Labrador have reached a tentative deal with the provincial government after negotiations that at times grew nasty between the two sides.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale and the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association held a news conference Thursday to announce details of the four-year agreement.

The offer is now $417-million, up from the $410-million that the doctors recently rejected.

If ratified, it will mean the province's doctors will be paid on a par with their Atlantic counterparts.

Salaried specialists will also get the same pay hikes that were given to oncologists and pathologists in the province in 2008 – a source of major contention that prolonged talks.

The 13 of the 14 specialists who had threatened to quit as of Feb. 4 have rescinded their resignations as a condition of the deal.

The agreement comes after months of bitter negotiations that saw former premier Danny Williams describe the association's wage requests as “through the roof.”

Two weeks ago, the province's Finance Minister said the government would not sweeten its contract offer to the doctors, adding that it was the province's duty to taxpayers to exercise fiscal prudence.

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