Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center workers fight for higher pay

After contract negotiations to renew a 2016 contract broke down, court administrators for the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and Detention Facility ended negotiations in December and kicked out the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) Local 860, who represented 135 workers. Recently, Cuyahoga County officials agreed to a pay raise for juvenile court workers from $18 to $24 per hour due to a staffing crisis that led to juveniles being locked down for long periods of time.

LiUNA Local 860 Field Representative Colin Sikon joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss struggles at the detention center, and how Local 860 continues to advocate for higher worker pay despite being locked out of contract negotiations by the court.

Local 860 continues to fight for workers despite being locked out

Local 860 has represented workers at the detention center since 2012. When the contract expired in 2016, they entered negotiations and had to demand talks seven times before the court agreed to meet, Sikon said.

During negotiations, the Union proposed an 18 percent pay increase over three years, which the court said was too much, despite detention center workers being the lowest paid in the state. The court proposed no raise and later a 2 percent raise. In December, the court told Local 860 it no longer represents the workers.

Despite being locked out of officially representing the workers, Local 860 never rests, Sikon added. They continue to fight Cuyahoga County to win back their right to represent the workers. Currently, the Local is collecting petition signatures and letters of support from elected officials on its website, Justice for Justice Center Workers.


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