The United Way British Columbia and the union representing the organization’s employees have reached an agreement to increase extended mental-health coverage.

The coverage, which has been increased to a combined maximum of $1,200 per person annually, can be used to access psychologists, registered clinical counsellors, social workers and online cognitive behavioural therapists, according to a press release, which noted the agreement was reached outside of the collective bargaining process. The change is effective immediately.

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“We are pleased to see this increase in coverage applied now,” said Lena Shillington, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1760, in the release. “It reflects the timely need for mental-health supports, a priority of our members.”

The agreement will also convert 12 temporary status jobs to regular status, providing those workers with full access to health benefits, sick time, long-term disability and enrolment in the United Way B.C.’s pension plan.

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