Baltimore, MD—City Councilman Nick Mosby, local clergy and community groups joined security officers at a rally today to launch a new campaign to demand that security companies like Brantley Security improve wages for private officers who earn as little as $9 an hour, drastically below Baltimore’s Living Wage of $10.59. 32BJ SEIU estimates that security companies like Brantley & Crown Security could save taxpayers over $33 million dollars over the next decade by simply raising standards for 1,000 Baltimore security officers to a level where officers no longer relied on public programs.
“Considering private security is an important industry in Baltimore, taxpayers should not have to keep paying the price for a company’s poverty-like wages,” said Mosby. “I urge Brantley, Crown, and others in the security service industry to create good jobs that would bring millions of dollars over the next decade to help officers, their families and our neighborhoods.
The group also urged companies to help improve public safety by paying workers an adequate level of compensation which often translates into reduced turnover and improved training. Moreover, adequate pay helps keep more experienced security officers on the job and can better enable officers to respond to – and help prevent – emergency situations.
Being a private security officer in the nation’s eighth most dangerous city is a hazardous job. As reported in the Baltimore sun, in 2010, James Ball was shot and killed while working the overnight shift at a downtown office building. “It’s unacceptable that officers like James Ball risk and lose their lives but may work over 70 hours a week in order to support their families,” said Reverend, David Carl Olson, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore.
Private security officers who work in Baltimore are over three times more likely than all people who work in Baltimore to receive public health insurance and three times more likely to receive food stamps.
“We need better wages to be able provide security for our families,” said Regina Banks, a single mother and security officer protecting a downtown office building. “We work hard at a dangerous job keeping students and the public in Baltimore safe every day, but we can’t even put food on the table or the pay bills.”
With more than 125,000 members in nine states, 18,000 security officers 17,000 in Baltimore and the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.
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