'No counsellors available' at troubled Many Rivers counselling office

Counsellors received lay off notices last month, just weeks after signing on to a new collective agreement that ended an 11 week strike.

Society holding board meeting Wednesday evening to discuss future

Blinds are drawn and the front door is locked at Many Rivers offices on 4th Avenue in Whitehorse. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Shuttered doors and drawn blinds at the Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services' offices on 4th Avenue in Whitehorse are a glimpse at the society's unclear future.

The entrance is dark. There is a note posted on the locked front door that reads, "There are no counsellors available at this time and until societies is finished with their work, we are unable to take appointments."

Counsellors received layoff notices last month, just weeks after signing on to a new collective agreement that ended an 11 week strike.

The notice on Many Rivers' front door in Whitehorse tells the public "there are no counsellors available at this time." (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

It was reported layoffs would be staggered over weeks, but according to a former counsellor, that wasn't the case.

"It was disclosed that our layoffs were staggered. However as of March 1, every single staff member was completely laid off," said Brandon Murdoch.

Murdoch says the layoffs affected both counsellors and administrative staff.

Many Rivers executive director Marina Bailey confirmed to CBC a board meeting will be held Wednesday evening.

Bailey said she will know more about the society's future after that.

Besides Whitehorse, Many Rivers serves clients in Haines Junction, Watson Lake and Dawson City.


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