Security guards need help

Security guards need help

Friday, April 10, 2020

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Dear Editor,

As a security officer I'm very concerned about security officers being laid off due to coronavirus pandemic.

I am not sure if we are a part of Dr Nigel Clarke's three-month plan for workers, as we are contract workers, even if we have been working for a registered security company for a decade you're still classified as contractors.

The private security industry employs over 30,000 people.That industry has the potential to employ an additional 30,000 if the conditions under which officers are working are changed.

Currently the government rate for security officers is $242.5o per hour for the lowest rank. Therefore, an officer will take home $19,400 if he/she works 80 hours fortnightly. That's chicken feed for even a labourer. Hence, an officer has to work at least 120 hours fortnightly to survive from pay cheque to pay cheque. Therefore, using the government rate an officer may take home $29,100 fortnightly for 120 hours, which is nothing when you consider the dangers and the amount of work done.

If the Governent increased the rate to $312.5 per hour, it would mean an officer can work 160 hours a month to take home $50,000 monthly.

Here's my five-point plan for the private security industry:

1) Pay officers $312.5o hourly.

2) Have a three-shift system, instead of a two-shift system. Each shift would be eight hours long, rather than the customary 12.

3) The mininum for an officer should be a workweek of 40 hours and a maximum of 64. If an officer choses to double, or is asked to double, the same rate can be used.

4) Group health insurance plans should be offered for injuries, sick leave, maternity leave, and vacation leave with pay. As now, if we don't work, because we are ill, we don't get paid.

5) There needs to be a pension plan for officers.

The five plans above will also allow for an increase in number of officers, their productivity, and quality in this sector.

Please consider.

Teddylee Gray

Ocho Rios, St Ann

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