BCGEU calls for reopening of Victoria Youth Custody Centre as new staff hired at “closed” facility

“The hiring of new staff proves this facility and the services our members provide are crucial and that it should not be closed.” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President

logo for B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union BCGEUVancouver (09 Nov. 2015) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is renewing its call to reopen and expand services at the partially closed Victoria Youth Custody Centre (VYCC). The call comes as new auxiliary, on-call staff are being hired at the centre that was partially closed last year to save money.

B.C. government closed Victoria Youth Custody Centre despite outcry from the legal experts, workers and the community

“Our front-line members, stakeholders and experts overwhelmingly objected to the closing of VYCC. They argued that the services provided there are crucial to at-risk youth and law enforcement in the area,” says BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “The hiring of new staff proves this facility and the services our members provide are crucial and that it should not be closed.”

The B.C. Liberal government decision to close VYCC was roundly condemned by the BCGEU/NUPGE, First Nations, the Representative for Children and Youth, legal experts, local mayors and police chiefs.

Expanded services needed for VYCC, not more cuts

The BCGEU/NUPGE believes the provincial government should explore other options for the facility, including

  • alternative capacity uses for the centre
  • reaching out in the community to explore options and to seek support
  • exploring housing female youth at both VYCC and Prince George Youth Custody Centre

“It is not too late for the government to do the right thing: keep VYCC open, and provide expanded services for at-risk youth in the region,” says Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice-President for Correctional and Sheriff Services.

“Approximately 30 correctional officers, with many years of experience working with young offenders, were moved from VYCC to other positions in government. They should have the opportunity to remain at VYCC and work with these young people.”

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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