Back to School for Students, Back to Poverty for Pitt Security Guards

Back to School for Students, Back to Poverty for Pitt Security Guards

Pittsburgh – University of Pittsburgh security officers, property service workers, and allies marched across the campus this morning demanding U.S. Security give workers a fair contract that includes essential training. More than 200 security officers are employed by the contractor at the school and earn less than $9 an hour with no meaningful benefits and training. In light of the tragic murder of security officer Idrissa Camara who was murdered last week at a New York City federal building, officers at the rally stressed the importance of having training.

“U.S. Security needs to recognize that we are an asset and not a liability. Training is essential for us to do an effective job,” said Phylliss Harris a campus security officer.

The march kicked off this morning a Schenley Plaza before stopping at the Pitt quad for a moment of silence in memory of Camara, a member of 32BJ SEIU. Camara, a father of three, was fatally shot on Friday evening by a gunman who entered the NYC Federal Building where was working an overtime shift.

“Security officers around the city and country serve on the front line each and every day to keep us safe and secure. We are heartbroken that one of our own has fallen,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa in a prepared statement.

Security officers from Pitt and across the city have been in negotiations for their first-ever union contract since April. The workers are calling for training to professionalize their industry and an increase in wages to help lift them out of poverty.

With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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