12/17/2012 11:48 EST | Updated 02/16/2013 05:12 EST

Alberta Doctor Strike: There Will Be No Action, Even If Talks Fail, AMA Decides


EDMONTON - Alberta doctors have agreed they will not take strike action even if contract talks with the province fail.

Hundreds of members of the Alberta Medical Association met over the weekend.

AMA President Michael Giuffre says it looks like both the AMA and the province are close to settling on a third party mediator.

Giuffre says negotiations should be in full swing by the new year, with a deadline of the end of February 2013 as a possibility for a deal.

Earlier this month, Giuffre asked his membership to "batten down the hatches'' in the organization's contract dispute with the province.

He complained that Health Minister Fred Horne was refusing to withdraw a four-year, $463-million wage package imposed on Nov. 16.

Horne said the government was trying to be reasonable and insisted there is no imposed settlement.

He said he simply needed the AMA to understand "there's a limit to the additional funding the government can contribute to this."

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