Newark, N.J. – 32BJ SEIU New Jersey security officers have agreed to a new four-year agreement with the state’s largest security contractors, covering 1,700 security officers. The contract includes fair wage increases; more paid time off that reflects officers’ family needs; and contract language improvements to address workplace issues.
In addition from minimums going from $11.00 to $13.75, workers will also receive Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid holiday and an additional holiday on which they earn premium pay, as well.
“The raises help us take care of our families and pay our bills without having to work crazy amounts of overtime or even find secondary jobs,” said Tania Capobianco, a member of 32BJ SEIU’s bargaining committee in New Jersey, who works at a data center in Weehawken, N.J. “The additional paid time off reassures us that we can take time off for our own care and for the care of our family without being stressed out.”
By the end of the new contract, which expires in 2021, 32BJ security officers will earn a median wage of over $14.00 per hour. The agreement also maintains current employer-paid healthcare and improves working conditions and job protections.
The victory for security officers is part of a wave of recent efforts as SEIU members and working people continue to fight for a $15 minimum wage. The new contract, which has not yet been ratified, includes a $0.25 minimum above minimum wage guarantee for when the $15 minimum wage push becomes law.
“Now more than ever, it’s important that security officers earn a living wage to ensure that the industry is professional and prepared to handle emergencies,” said Kevin Brown, Vice President and NJ State Director of 32BJ SEIU. “This contract helps the men and women who secure the Garden State be better able to support their families and their communities.”
While contract negotiations lasted over a month, security officers received an outpouring of support from tenants, community leaders and elected officials.
It has been proven that when workers stick together in a union, like we do, we have the power to negotiate for regular raises, health care, paid time off, job security and a way to solve everyday problems on the job. But there are still too many workers who want unions but can’t have them. We are working on changing that because if even a fraction of those who support unions were able to join one, our country would enjoy broad prosperity for decades to come.
With 163,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including over 10,000 in New Jersey, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.