Pittsburgh – Mayor William Peduto (D) was on hand to announce a historic deal between the city’s top security contractors and more than 1,000 security guards in a three-year tentative agreement. The first-ever union contract between the firms and 32BJ of Service Employees International Union, which represents the guards, is one of the largest organization efforts in the state this year. The deal increases hourly wages by $1.95 over the term of the contract. Guards will also receive quality healthcare benefits starting January 1, 2016 and universal training from the Safe and Secure Building Act legislation passed earlier this year.
“The determination of the men and women to raise the standards of this industry is commendable. They put their lives on the line every day keeping tenants and students safe across this city,” said Sam Williamson, Western Pennsylvania Area Director, 32BJ SEIU. “They are helping to strengthen this great city. Now, they will earn a wage that allows them to support their families and communities.”
The guards protect some of the city’s most iconic buildings: PNC, Highmark, and U.S. Steel Tower. Prior to the contract, the majority of the guards earned less than $10 an hour without meaningful benefits.
“This is a major accomplishment to have been a part of this from the start. Things that I wanted for my family, which once seemed unattainable, now seem possible. Not only is this a gain for security officers, it’s a win for the entire city,” said David Cornish, an Allied Barton security guard.
Mayor Peduto kicked off the historic negotiations in April between 32BJ and representatives of the contractors. He praised both sides for reaching an agreement that provides a livable wage for workers who protect the city.
“If we want Pittsburgh to continue to be one of the most livable, world-class cities, we must take care of the people who take care of us. These hardworking men and women deserve a family-sustaining wage where they can contribute to the local economy, raise their families and not struggle to make ends meet,” said Peduto.
The security officers work for contractors: Allied Barton Security Services, G4S, Securitas, St. Moritz Security Services, I.S.S., S.O.S. and Chesley Brown.
The contract was ratified last month and went into effect October 1, 2015.
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.