NL Gazette

Choices for Youth employees on strike in conflict over collective agreement

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • We are prepared, ready, and capable to go back to the table,’ says the NAPE president.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Association for Public and Private Employees at Choices For Youth in St. John’s have moved on strike. 

Strike for Youth workers: 

Unionized employees at Choices for Youth in St. John’s have proceeded on strike while dealing their first-ever collective contract.

The deadlock between the charity and some of their workers came to a charge Tuesday morning when a portion of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees struck the picket line.

Nine members operating at the Lilly — a 14-unit congregate-living supportive housing center for youth run by Choices for Youth on Bond Street — are an aspect of the strike action, with the last picket line on Duckworth Street the downtown St. John’s.

On Thursday, the members voted 100 percent in favor of strike action. The members voted to join NAPE about two years ago.

Read more: Nearly all COVID-19 limitations end, N.L. enters a new pandemic period

Choices for Youth employees on strike

“They negotiate with some of the most vulnerable in our population, the youth in the metro region and across the region,” said NAPE President Jerry Earle. He was at the picket line Tuesday morning. “They’ve been doing this through the whole pandemic while the management unit was able to work remotely.”

Earle said non-unionized workers had a pay rise, but his members haven’t.

“These workers are very motivated. They’d much like to be inside the facility right now doing the work, but they know this is an important thing to do,” stated Earle. “There are just nine workers, but we have almost 30, 40 people here this morning in front of Choices for Youth in approval of these workers.”

Earle stated Choices for Youth has “made no measure” to reach the union.

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