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George Hull mental health workers ratify contract with wage increases, improved health and safety provisions

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Toronto –The roughly 130 OPSEU members who provide child and youth mental health services at The George Hull Centre for Children and Families have voted in favour of a contract that features three years of wage increases, ending nearly a decade of wage stagnation.

“We’re incredibly proud of the work we do providing resources, programming and support to children, teenagers, and families to achieve mental wellness,” said Zuzuky Diaz, a community engagement worker and the chair of OPSEU Local 539’s bargaining committee. “We know our work has value and we set out to bargain a contract that recognizes that value with fair wage increases.

”The three-year agreement takes effect on April 1, 2018. In addition to the annual wage increases of one per cent, the new agreement also contains:

  • three annual payments (two per cent in the first year and 1.5 per cent in each of the final two years);
  • strengthened health and safety provisions;
  • increases to parental and bereavement leave;
  • improvements to the notice the employer must give OPSEU Local 539 about funding increases, new funding, changes to the benefits plan, and weekend scheduling.

“This is a fine example of bargaining,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “On behalf of all 150,000 members of this great union, I want to congratulate the bargaining team and all our members at George Hull for their professionalism and resolve at the table.

“It's important that the value of their work has been recognized,” Thomas said. “And it's also important that they’ve bargained better health and safety language because that’s a major issue for mental health workers across the province.“

This contract is good for our members and it’s good for the kids and families who depend on them.”

For more information:
OPSEU Local 539 bargaining committee chair Zuzuky Diaz: zuzuky_diaz@yahoo.ca
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 613-329-1931