MTPR

Western Montana Mental Health Center

Western Montana Mental Health Center headquarters in Missoula
Eric Whitney

A federal mediator is stepping in to help arbitrate a dispute between a new union of recently laid-off mental health care workers and their Missoula-based employer.

Today, the union and Western Montana Mental Health Center confirmed they will meet Tuesday.

Western Montana Mental Health Center headquarters in Missoula
Eric Whitney

Last week Montana Public Radio reported about coming layoffs at the state’s largest community mental healthcare provider.

Employees at Missoula-based Western Montana Mental Health told us about 50 case managers there were being laid off due to state government cutting Medicaid payments.

The organization confirmed the cuts Monday, and today we’re hearing from its CEO, Jodi Daly.

An woman holds a sign during the picket of Western Montana Mental Health Center in Missoula, Dec. 18, 2017.
Olga Kreimer

One of Montana’s largest mental health care providers has confirmed that it’s cutting up to 50 case managers and community-based aides. Some of those employees and their supporters picketed Monday morning, protesting the layoff notices.

State budget cuts mean about 200 clients of one of Montana’s largest mental health care providers could lose their services next month. That’s according to employees of Western Montana Mental Health Center, who say they’re losing their jobs.

Employees say they were told yesterday that they’ll be out of a job in January.

A new union that formed in response to state budget cuts is now charging their employer with unfair labor practices. Adult mental health caseworkers accuse a state contractor of not bargaining in good faith.

The union, which formed in September, filed an unfair labor practice complaint Friday with the National Labor Relations Board.

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