Spirits were high despite soggy, cool weather at this community barbeque held to support youth and staff at Huron House Boys’ Home in Bright’s Grove near Sarnia.
Representatives of several groups joined the event to celebrate and protect public services for youth with mental health problems and other serious issues.
OPSEU Local 145 members are negotiating for a first contract. Key issues are wages and training. OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas addressed the crowd and urged the employer to do the right thing and agree to a reasonable contract.
Bargaining unit chair and residential counselor Scott Honke said the union expects management to agree to a fair deal at the bargaining table today.
The workers have significant and growing support from the community and local businesses that recognize the work of HHBH staff.
Former executive director Ken Stothers spoke at the HHBH Frontline Staff & Youth BBQ BBQ. Groups represented include: St. Clair Child and Family Services, Sarnia Children’s Aid Society, Sarnia District Labour Council, Optimist Club, CUPW, and CUPE Local 4370.
Thomas donated baseball gloves to the 28 HHBH residents. Volunteers also handed out OPSEU’s Kids Matter frisbees and T-shirts.
Download the Sarnia Observer article that describes the path of Scott Honke who has “gone from a troubled youth to a youth worker who is helping troubled kids”.