Denver mental health workers to picket for hazard pay and better benefits

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DENVER – This Saturday, members of the SEIU Local 105 union will participate in an information picket from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of 10th Ave. and Federal Blvd. to demand hazard pay, a pay scale, and better benefits for employees at the Mental Health Center of Denver.

“A lot of my fellow mental health workers have been seeing the people we serve face-to-face during this pandemic, and so a lot of them have been on the front lines still helping the people that we serve get their needs met,” said Clinical Case Manager Cassandra Garcia.

Garcia told Denver7 that residential counselors, clinical case managers, and resource center employees have been working in-person.

She said most employees worry about their own health as they continue to work during the pandemic and they want their pay and benefits to reflect the danger they face.

“We’re simply just asking to be valued. A lot of us are very passionate about our jobs and that’s why we stay at the Mental Health Center of Denver. We love our jobs, but we want to be able to get compensated for the work that we do,” said Garcia.

This information picket comes at a time when Colorado faces a huge shortage in the mental health care workforce.

Also, according to a Mental Health America survey there’s been a 93%, increase in anxiety and depression during the pandemic among those screened for the conditions.