Loss of Union leads to staffing shortages, lockdowns and large fights at Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center

An article published in Ideastream Public Media on July 28 detailed alarms raised by Laborers Local 860 about working conditions in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center. 

Ideastream Public Media reported:

“After about a year of talks, court administrators ended negotiations on a new contract in December, said union field organizer Colin Sikon, ‘and has essentially kicked the union out and refuses to recognize us as the freely and fairly elected representatives of their employees.’

“Between 10 and 15 detention center officers have left since the loss of the union and staffing shortages have led to lockdowns and more large fights, Sikon said.”

A court spokesman attempted to blame the staffing shortages on the COVID-19 pandemic, which naturally has an effect. 

But the pandemic will continue to be a reality the detention center will grapple with for some time to come. Refusing to meet with the workers’ union, pay staff well and give them the training they need to do their jobs safely only further exacerbates the problem. 

Ideastream Public Media reported:

“Sikon said the facility has been understaffed for years and officers in the detention facility average between 60 and 70 hours per week to maintain the necessary coverage. In August 2019, the officers approached court administrators about helping to recruit additional staff.”

The solution is obvious. Pay staff what they deserve, give them the training they need to do their jobs safely and treat them fairly.

Sign the petition found at the bottom of our homepage. Tell the Court it needs better staffing and employee training to protect our children.