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Mental health workers rallying for better working conditions, small wage increase

Joy Stevens at the CUPE rally Wednesday afternoon.
Cassie Aylward

Members of the union representing local mental health support workers rallied at the Canadian Mental Health association Wednesday afternoon to end their negotiations with their employers.

They say they haven't had a contract since 2012.

Part of what's been involved in the negotiation is a wage increase in the area of one per cent, and better health and safety conditions for both their clients and employees.

They say part of those health and safety conditions are in their cars.  Right now, the workers are using their family vehicles to transport clients and they aren't able to have their cars cleaned for free.

Joy Stevens, with CUPE, says the union's top priority is to avoid a strike. 

"Economically it's a disaster, but for our clients who really see us as their link in the community it would be distasteful and distressing for them," she said.

She says so far the clients haven't been affected by the years-long negotiation process.

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