OPEA representatives met recently with employees of the Central Oklahoma Juvenile Center (COJC) to discuss the current study of possible privatization of several OJA centers.
“This is not the first battle OPEA members have fought to keep OJA centers out of the hands of private vendors,” said OPEA Deputy Director Scott Barger. “Join OPEA where there is strength in numbers. We have to fight this thing together! We must have investments in people, not in out-of-state vendors. We know private vendors cannot accomplish the task that state employees can accomplish when facing identical situations,” Barger said.
Several OPEA members were in attendance ready to support their agency. Fourteen new members joined OPEA on the spot, eager to join their fellow employees. Six members took advantage of the ever growing Pre-Paid Legal Service offered at a discount through OPEA.
COJC Director James Johnson mentioned possible changes that could happen to the clients. “The nicer shampoos may not be available for the kids and possibly no passes on weekends,” he said. “The clothes the clients wear today could change to jump suits. If a private vendor takes over, you can be assured that if something cuts into their profit then that issue will be eliminated. We hope our kids appreciate what they have today,” Johnson said.
“We need everyone here to contact their legislators with a personal phone call” said Barger. “Don’t wait until the study and the hearings are complete before you respond. If you do it could be too late.”