Muskoka To-DAILY

$700 gift cards rejected, as mental health workers reach tentative deal with New Path in Simcoe County

BARRIE The $700 gift cards offered in lieu of wage increases — which almost led to a strike by mental health workers in Simcoe County — were pulled off the table in a last-ditch effort that saved the day.

Therapists, counsellors, and child and youth workers at New Path Youth and Family Services in Simcoe County reached a last-minute tentative agreement with their employer.

According to the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), negotiators for 86 staff at the child and youth mental health agency belonging to Local 332, they would have been in a legal strike or lockout position as of Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Talks had stalled with the employer, who was offering $700 gift cards in lieu of the modest wage hike workers had sought, said the union.

“We were asking for a small cost-of-living increase,” said bargaining team chair Scott Stratton in a release Friday.

“I’m glad we were finally able to convince the employer that $700 was not the right way to compensate staff for their long hours and dedication to their work.”

OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said in the release he was very proud of Local 332.

“This employer tried to play hardball, but workers refused to cave in to stonewalling and intimidation tactics. When the employer saw that workers were determined to get a deal that respected their professionalism and commitment, they came back to the table at the 11th hour. I applaud the resolve and courage shown by these members.”

The tentative deal will now go to the workers for a ratification vote, with further details on the date and details of the agreement forthcoming.


New Path Youth and Family Services of Simcoe County is  the Lead Agency in Simcoe County for Moving on Mental Health.   We are an accredited children’s mental health centre providing a range of compassionate,innovative and accessible services for children, youth and their families throughout Simcoe County.   New Path is funded through multiple funding sources including the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Ministry of the Attorney General.

We provide direct service to children and adults, and develop resources for new programs.  Everyone at New Path works together to create better futures for people and their communities.


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Posted by on Jul 14 2017. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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