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Thomas urges AMHS-KFLA to pause layoff plans

TV stations and newspapers in Eastern Ontario are covering the terrible plan by the supervisor of Addictions and Mental Health Services – Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (AMHS-KFLA) to cut services and lay off dozens of staff members with years of experience simply because they don’t have university degrees.

“The workers she wants to lay off have spent years getting to know their clients and figuring out the best way to support them,” OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas told Global News. He said the workers without degrees have years of experience, which is at least equivalent to new hires with “a piece of paper or a couple letters behind their name.”

The Kingston Whig-Standard quotes Thomas as saying: “Clearly, a university education is a good thing. But it’s not the only thing. I’m a mental health worker, and I’ll tell you this: you learn just as much on the job as you ever could in a classroom.”

The Whig-Standard also quotes OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, who says more than 60 workers are facing layoffs. “No matter how you slice it, a cut that big is going to hurt the people who need support with their addiction or mental illness,” he said.