Kids Help Phone staff ratify new agreement

Toronto – Frontline counsellors working for Kids Help Phone in Ontario have ratified a four-year collective agreement.

In voting yesterday, members of Local 515 of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union voted 96 per cent in favour of the deal signed May 18. The new contract includes measures to prevent and handle workplace harassment and violence, a better grievance procedure, increased union leave, and wage improvements.

“Bargaining this contract took some time and a lot of work but it was worth it,” said Duane Singh, chair of the union bargaining team. “The team wishes to thank all members of Local 515 for their support throughout this process, from beginning to end.”

The wage improvements include a lump-sum payment of one per cent of salary upon ratification, plus wage increases worth one per cent in each of 2015 and 2016 and two per cent in each of 2017 and 2018.

“This new contract creates stability for staff at a vitally important service that young people in Ontario depend on every day,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “On behalf of the Executive Board of OPSEU, I congratulate all the members and staff who made it possible.”

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s leading counselling service for children and youth in crisis and the only 24/7 professional counselling service that is totally confidential and anonymous. Counsellors help young people struggling with bullying, depression, and other problems; they also refer youth to programs and services in their communities, including mental health services, sexual health services, shelters, legal support, LGBTQ services, and culturally relevant and ethno-specific services.

For more information: Duane Singh 647-202-9661