Macdonald Youth Services Crisis Stabilization Members (Local 221) On Strike
MYS Crisis Stabilization (Local 221) members are now on strike and have been without a contact for over 2 years.
Aug 03, 2016
Crisis Stabilization workers for Macdonald Youth Services (Local 221) are now officially on strike. This is the first strike of MGEU members in almost 20 years. Strike action started Tuesday, August 2 at 8:00am after the MGEU received no response from either the employer or the government.
“These professionals, who deal with Manitoba’s most vulnerable young people, are doing this with profound reluctance,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “Their work stoppage will impact an entire system that is already in a state of crisis. We know emergency rooms and Child and Family Services afterhours units and shelters will see an influx of those in need, and the police will see an increase in their call volumes.”
Last year, the Mobile Crisis Team made nearly 1,500 visits to help families deal with a young person struggling with self-harm, at-risk behaviors, mental health issues, and parent/child conflict. They also help young girls who’ve been sexually exploited get out of harm’s way and into safety.
The previous government committed to funding a wage increase for four years for these workers, which works out to be only about $24 000 per year. It should be noted that, those who provide similar services to adults through the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, make approximately $10 more per hour.
Local 221 has been without a contact for over 2 years, and the new government has failed to communicate with the union on this issue. Following numerous phone calls, a formal request for information through a letter to the Minister and an information picket on July 12, the union has heard nothing and members have been left with no other option than to strike.
“We are not talking about huge amounts of money, but we are talking about the safety of vulnerable children,” said Gawronsky. “I’m calling on the government to do the right thing.”
An Essential Services Agreement is in place, which will provide a minimum level of service to ensure the safety of youth in crisis while the strike continues.
All MGEU members are encouraged to join the picket line in support. Local 221 members and supporters will walk the picket line Monday to Friday at 226 St. Mary’s Rd. from 12 pm – 6pm
MYS Local 221 QUICK FACTS:- Nearly 1, 500 community visits last year
- Over 275 referrals to the Brief Therapy Team
- 560 referrals to the Crisis Stabilization Units
- Average age of youth seeking help, 13
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honouring their financial commitment.