Brockville Mental Health Centre workers fight for better pay in post-Bill 124 climate

Brockville Mental Health Centre workers held a rally on September 6 to fight for better wages as they await interest arbitration with their employer, following the wage cap Bill 124 being declared “void and of no effect” by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 439 began bargaining in January 2023 but have since been unable to make progress on wage negotiations, largely due to their employer’s unwillingness to bargain beyond the 1% wage cap the workers were previously restricted by under Bill 124.

Chronically low wages have negatively impacted recruitment and retention at Brockville Mental Health Centre, resulting in extremely heavy workloads and high rates of burnout for the hospital’s workers. The 230 mental health care workers include psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, vocational therapists, recreational therapists, RPNs, service and clerical workers, and many more.