San Diego, CA | As the national debate over income inequality rages on, San Diego security officers joined local elected officials, faith, labor and community groups to launch their campaign for good jobs in the security industry at a town hall today.
Detailed in a new report, “Secure Good Jobs for All of San Diego,” raising standards for more than 9,000 private sector security officers in the area would inject $244 million into the local economy and help reverse a recent trend of declining middle-class jobs in San Diego.
While private sector security officers in San Diego report a medium hourly wage of $10.50, sometimes a low at $9.00, with limited access to healthcare or benefits, security officers in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, who have joined together in a union, are paid a minimum of $12.55 an hour, have employer-paid healthcare, paid sick days, vacation days and holidays along with a stronger voice on the job.
“I take my job seriously because I’m a first responder charged with keeping people safe,” said a security officer from San Diego. “Security officers put our lives on the line. We should at least have good jobs with pay you can raise a family on, affordable healthcare and full-time hours.”
"Before we had a union there was always uncertainty – nothing was guaranteed," said Mike Malley, a union security officer from San Francisco. "Now with a union contract, we have consistent hours and a stable schedule. Our pay has improved which means I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck. I can pay my rent and have money leftover for bills and to live an enjoyable life. I have the peace of mind that comes with affordable healthcare and the dignity that comes with being treated with respect on the job."
Joining security officers at the campaign launch were San Diego City Councilmembers Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria and David Alvarez, representatives for state and federal elected officials and a broad coalition of faith, labor and community organizations dedicated to lifting the local economy with good jobs.
"We’re here today to stand with security officers who are taking the brave step of joining together to improve their jobs," said San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria. "It’s a step they need to take to support their families. And it’s a step we all need them to take so we can start turning San Diego’s economy around and lifting our communities with better jobs."
SEIU United Service Workers West represents more than 40,000 janitors, security officers, airport workers, and other property service workers across California. For more information on security officers around the country joining together for better jobs, please visit www.StandForSecurity.org.