News - Press Release
Press Release

Arrell Youth Centre workers holding info picket over health plan cuts

Publication Date

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 7:15am

Hamilton– The 60 members of OPSEU Local 216 at Arrell Youth Centre will be holding an information picket on April 25 at noon to stop cuts to their health plan.

What

Information picket by the members of OPSEU Local 216, Arrell Youth Centre

When/Where

Wednesday April 25 at 12 p.m. at 688 Queensdale Ave. East, Hamilton.

Why

The employer is demanding the workers take a cut to their health plan, which could force a strike or lock-out as early as Saturday, April 28.

“Day in and day out, these OPSEU members put themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe and to make sure that our youth receive the best possible care and rehabilitation,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
 
“They deserve better health coverage, not health coverage that takes more money out of their pockets.”
 
Arrell Youth Centre is a residential detention centre in Hamilton that provides secure custody and program services for up to 16 male youth. It is currently operating at capacity. The members of Local 216 have been without a contract since April 1, 2017.
 
Late last month, the members voted overwhelmingly to reject a contract offer from the employer that would have forced them to pay 20 per cent more for their health coverage. That contract offer would also have kept the lowest-wage employees below the 2019 minimum wage of $15 an hour.
 
Earlier this month, the employer asked for a “no board." A lock-out could begin as early as Saturday, April 28.

"I'm a Correctional Officer so I know the kind of toll this line of work can take on you," said OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. "As a proud Hamiltonian, I'm outraged this employer would take such a hard-line on the health plan. They should be ashamed of themselves."
 
Thomas said all 155,000 members of OPSEU are standing with the members of Local 216. “They have my full support, and the full support of this great union.”
 
For more information:
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 613-329-1931
OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida: 289-439-2135