Pittsburgh – After several months, the Safe and Secure Building Act, an ordinance introduced in City Council to create universal training standards for security officers, has passed out of committee, with unanimous support from all nine members of council.
“I proudly support this legislation; it’s good for the city and the integrity of the business we conduct here. This bill also helps to create good jobs that ultimately strengthen our communities,” said Councilman Dan Gilman (D-8th).
The spirit of the bill creates higher standards for safety in Pittsburgh’s major institutions and most iconic buildings, while professionalizing the security industry for security officers city-wide.
“We applaud the City Council for passing this ordinance out of committee. They understand the importance of higher safety standards in our city and the need to make poverty jobs into good jobs with real training,” said Sam Williamson, Western PA Area Leader for 32BJ SEIU.
Most of the hard working security guards in Pittsburgh earn less than $10 an hour with no real benefits. They often find after struggling to pay bills it is impossible to save for a rainy day. Many are forced to rely on public assistance to provide for themselves and their families.
“This is what we’ve been fighting for. I work hard and I want to do the best that I can to protect my building and all of downtown Pittsburgh, but it’s hard to do that when you work two jobs, try to take care of your family, and don’t have sufficient training,” said Ra’Anah Killebrew, a security guard.
This legislation comes just as nearly 1,000 security officers started bargaining for their first ever union contract on April 29th.
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.