Many Rivers bridges gap with union

Workers at Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services are back on the job. After a strike that lasted more than three weeks, management and the union reached an agreement earlier this week.

Workers at Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services are back on the job.

After a strike that lasted more than three weeks, management and the union reached an agreement earlier this week.

“I think everybody’s pleased with it,” said Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees Union. “It’s a win-win for everybody, most importantly the clients of Many Rivers.”

The main stumbling block was the issue of flexible time.

“They need this to be able to provide services to their clients and that’s what this is all about,” said Geick. “(The workers) are very professional, they have professional ethics. And so for them to go out on strike was a big decision, it was a difficult decision, but for their own mental health and the health of their clients they had to take that stance.”

Neither the union nor management would reveal any details of the deal that was reached, although both said they were happy with the way things turned out.

“There was a bit of back and forth, but we both came out on the good end,” said Geick. “We’ve maintained the ability of flex-time and we’re quite happy with the way it turned out.”

For the duration of the strike, Many Rivers still maintained most of its services.

“We were providing telephone counselling in the interim and the outreach van was running most nights, so most services were maintained at least at a basic level,” said Many Rivers executive director Marilyn Wolovick.

“We’re really hoping to get back to our reason for being, which is serving the communities and the clients that we are in place to serve,” she said.

Contact Josh Kerr at

joshk@yukon-news.com