New York, NY – More than 1,000 private security officers who protect Port Authority locations in New York and New Jersey overwhelmingly approved a new 4-year union contract with major wage increases that will bring the hourly rate to nearly $20 an hour for many men and women by 2016.
“Professionalizing the industry means better pay for officers, better protection for New York City businesses, campuses and stadiums and a safer, more secure New York,” said Hector Figueroa, 32BJ Secretary Treasurer. “This contract provides the raises and benefits that working men and women need to support their families, and that in turn will help support local businesses in their communities.”
FJC officers work at numerous high-profile sites, including Newark, JFK, and LaGuardia Airports, the World Trade Center, PATH stations and the George Washington Bridge.
“This is not an easy job and it shouldn’t be taken lightly,” said Aurelia Brown, an FJC security officer working at JFK International Airport. “We protect millions of people every day by staying vigilant, inspecting the tarmac and perimeter, and screening vehicles for explosives and other suspicious packages.”
In each year, officers will receive at least a 3% percent wage increase and pay rates among various Port Authority locations will be equalized to a minimum rate of $19 per hour in 2016.
Other benefits include employer paid healthcare; an improved vacation schedule; an additional sick day; a 401K program and access to the Union’s free legal service. The workers approved the contract in ratification votes across the city on Thursday.
“This contract recognizes the importance of the work we do and the places we protect,” said Brown. “These new wages will help us protect ourselves and our families going forward.”
32BJ represents more than 10,000 security officers who protect commercial office buildings, higher education facilities, government facilities, museums, libraries and stadiums. Members of the union protect other high profile sites in the city, including the Statue of Liberty, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, Yankee Stadium, Fordham and Columbia Universities, all three of New York City area airports, the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Contracts covering some 9,000 of these officers are set to expire this year.
“The campaign to raise standards and respect in the security industry isn’t just about getting new contracts for security officers,” said Figueroa. “It’s about respect for the officers as well as lifting families out of poverty and providing an economic boost to our communities.”
Efforts to professionalize the security industry turn their focus next on the city’s commercial office buildings, with the contract for officers working at these locations set to expire on March 30th.
With more than 120,000 members in eight states and Washington D.C., including 70,000 in the New York area, 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country.