Essential Workers Protest Healthcare Cuts at Lorain County Community Action Agency

Agency workers say now is the time for us to unite across our differences and make choices that help every-day people in pursuit of a safe and thriving community.

LORAIN, OHIO – In times of need, families in Lorain County have come to rely on the services provided by the amazing staff of Lorain County Community Action Agency (LCCAA). Even during this global pandemic, many of the hard-working community action agency employees continue to provide essential services as they assist people struggling in our community get the services and help they need. Yet, LCCAA Executive Director Jackie Boehnlein is attempting to force head start teachers, family service workers, and other agency employees to pay a lot more for their healthcare at a time when they need it the most.

“No matter what you look like, where you live, or how much money you have, when you’re sick, getting care without going bankrupt to do it is everyone’s your first priority,” said Kathryn Ramsey, a Union leader and Family Service Worker who has worked at LCCAA for more than 25 years. “But for too long, we’ve let a powerful few divide us to pad their own profits by making life and health a product for sale. We must rewrite the rules to ensure everyone can access the care that we need.”

Changes proposed by LCCAA Executive Director Jackie Boehnlein in healthcare will require employees to pay a substantial amount more for the health insurance premiums at a same time while slashing employer-provided Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) contributions almost in half. Rather than negotiating these changes through the typical collective bargaining process, LCCAA is attempting to force implementation of these changes which has forced Union workers to file several federal Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the National Labor Relations Board.

“We are all better off when we are all healthy — especially the most vulnerable among us,” continued Ramsey. “Any one person’s wellness depends on everyone else’s. Whether it’s people with chronic health conditions or people without shelter, our undocumented neighbors or people living in detention, people providing vital services or those who can’t forgo a paycheck to stay home, we must ensure all of us can access the care we need and have the support required to make the best choices for everyone’s health.”

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