Could Canada’s largest union tackle the non-profit wage gap? One Calgary counselor believes it can

“I’m not blaming employers. Employers are doing the best they can with the meager funds that they’re provided with.”

Why It Matters

Provincial governments depend on frontline non-profits and charities to provide basic services to clients who are unhoused, impoverished or have complex mental health issues. Without additional funding, today’s alarming rate of worker turnover will lead to a weaker social safety net.

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Garry Lehmann has seen a lot in his 30-year career in frontline mental health services. Between stints at group homes, working with high-risk youth in schools and “hardcore” treatment programs, he’s seen just how grim the conditions for frontline workers can be.

Now a counselor at a Wood’s Homes facility, a children’s mental health centre headquartered in Calgary, and the president of CUPE Local 4731 – which represents six frontline non-profits across Alberta and the Northwest Territories – he’s trying to shine a spotlight on o

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