New York City security guards who protect municipal buildings and locations, including the Staten Island Ferry, have won wage and benefit concessions from their employers, reports The New York Times.
The contract, which will be announced today, was negotiated between the security guards union, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, and their employers FJC Security Services and Allied Barton. It is the first contract negotiated by the union since workers chose to join the union three years ago.
Municipal security guards will see a significant rise in pay over three years, the Times reports.
The agreement was hashed out late on Friday and will go into effect on July 1, when the guards’ pay will uniformly rise to $13.25 an hour from about $11. At the end of the three years, their hourly wage will have reached $14.35. Besides the employer-paid family health insurance, the guards will also get paid days off and advanced training for the first time.
Michael P. Fishman, president of Local 32BJ, said it was about time security guards were acknowledged for the services they provide with better pay and benefits.
“Security officers are really the first line of defense in most municipal and commercial buildings throughout the city, yet their pay is low and they have no benefits of any kind,” like paid vacations, health coverage or retirement plans, Fishman told the Times. “The greatest injustice here was that you had taxpayer money essentially funding poverty jobs, and this contract is a big step toward correcting it.”
♦ Photo by Stand4Security/Flickr