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Breaking News: Group of Concerned Citizens Occupies Parry Center Offices

As of a group of concerned citizens has occupied the administrative offices of the Parry Center in Support of striking workers.
Contact: Tom Mooney
(503) 892-8777
(503) 887-5503 (mobile)
 mooney@pdx.edu

Monday, November 29, 2004

Group of Concerned Citizens Occupies Trillium Corporation Administrative Offices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

A group of concerned citizens announces that they have occupied the administrative offices of the Parry Center for Children as of 9:00 a.m., Monday, November 29. The action is in support of striking workers at the facility. The Parry Center is located at 3415 SE Powell Blvd., Portland.

The Parry Center is a residential treatment center for at-risk youth. It is owned by Trillium Group, Inc. and funded with public money. Low wages and benefits at the facility lead to high staff turnover rates, which leads to poor care for at-risk youth, as well as increased risk of injury to the staff. The participants in the action are demanding that the Parry Center improve wages and working conditions in order to provide the best care possible for some of the most vulnerable segments of our community.

"We're doing this for the kids," says Dave King, a mental health social worker from Portland. "These wages and working conditions do not support a stable workforce for these kids."

The participants are unaffiliated with the workers and their union, but they wish to send a message to the administration of the Trillium Corporation that there is community support for the struggle of the workers, and that they are committed to holding the administration accountable for how public funds are spent.

nice! 29.Nov.2004 11:51

kurtkabang

i worked at waverly children's home for two years, in the worst conditions of my life. i was paid $8 an hour for a job that was so stressful i regularly had nightmares. i had to work weekends, evenings until 11, or up before 5--or sometimes i'd work until 11 and have to be back at 5. all of us were forced to work overtime (for free) on a regular basis because the staffing was so shitty and we cared about the kids and our coworkers, so we didn't want to leave anyone hanging. we were undertrained and overworked. meanwhile, the administration was driving fancy new sports cars and had huge houses in vancouver. fuck them. good job.

Any Updates? 29.Nov.2004 13:15

anon

What's going on at the Parry Center now? Any updates since 9am? We want to know!!!

updates 29.Nov.2004 13:51

solidarity

I posted updates elsewhere, but it is briefly cause I am exhuasted and frazzled. Lots of good stuff happening today. The management is insane. The city commissioners requested binding arbitration (a neutral 3rd party who decides for both sides, usually equitable if not on the side of management a bit), the union agreed... management refuses. This is because they don't care about the people who give them their tax dollars, they don't care about the public opinion or the wishes of our representatives, they don't care about what happens to the children, all they want is to break the union unconditionally. So we're out there all day and night. There's 3 entrances to the facility and we need extra hands if you can spare them to help spread out people. THe media was there and interviewing people I believe from all 3 stations and OPB did a live feed. IWW members came to support as did JwJ. Scabs will be leaving at 2-4:30 so now is a big time, as is 11pm. Solidarity!

thanks to Dave King and the others 29.Nov.2004 13:54

another mental health worker

The Parry Center, and other programs like it, treat their caregivers miserably. This kind of strong action by community members, not just the directly affected workers, should send a strong message.
The pay sucks, & the need to cover shifts 24/7 is always a stretch.
And watching children be overmedicated and kept in institutions euphemism: "group homes") will really break your heart.
More people should understand what the situation is- both for the kids and for the employees.
Many thanks to these "concerned citizens" for being unafraid to bring the spotlight around to the Parry Center.
How can we support this action? Who can we write letters to?
Let's keep up the pressure!

where to call! 29.Nov.2004 14:33

friend

go here for more info on what you can do  http://seiu503.org/

"Call Kim Scott, CEO of Trillium Family Services, at (503) 205-3553 and ask him to Put Kids First! Tell him to treat staff fairly and follow labor law. Ask him to honor the request of Multnomah County Commissioners and settle this dispute with binding arbitration."

Come down to 3415 se powell to help picket, you could plan some solidarity actions, and get your friends and loved ones to call and express your concern. The companies website is  http://trilliumfamily.org

If anyone is in Corvallis, Children's Farm home is run by Trillium and is non-union. They broke the union that tried to form there through union busting.

thanks to the community supporters who took action 29.Nov.2004 14:35

friend

Thanks to you all! You are so great, and the workers loved your support.

Keep It Up! 30.Nov.2004 12:00

Care Giver Solidarity

Keep it up Perry Center! You bring hope to all caregivers stuck making $8-9 dollars an hour doing the work they love! Higher wages=not having to work 2or3 jobs= less burn out=less turn over=better trained consistant staff=better care for kids! I know these workers can't have much $ in the bank cuz they don't make jack....Put the pressure on Perry Center to end this NOW!!!

Solidarity forever 01.Dec.2004 11:09

mikeyg

It was a pleasure to walk the picket and come to the rally on Monday. I'll be there again on Friday to support my brothers and sisters, and at least a few times a week until Trillium agrees to negotiate or submit to arbitration. See, that's the one thing that Trillium has not acknowledged on their cutsey little Q&A ( http://trilliumfamily.org/info/labor.html)....They are NOT willing to submit to binding arbitration because they know they will lose.

Stay on the line guys, and don't return to work until the injustice is redressed!

Solidarity forever,

Mike G
Member, SEIU Local 49