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The unlikely issue of severance for laid off employees has prompted a strike by workers at a Halifax mental health facility.

Members of Local 1028, Halifax County Regional Rehabilitation Centre (HCRRC) commenced job action July 5.

While the Rehab Center has now closed, about half the bargaining unit and some clients have been moved to a temporary facility at Sunrise Manor and two so-called ‘small options homes’.

The major issue of severance for employees who have lost their jobs is being held up by the provincial government - sole funder of the facility - which has refused to give management a mandate to offer severance and a retraining program.

Many of the displaced CUPE employees have over 20 years service at the center.