Union begins contract talks with security contractors in DC for 1,700 security officers

Washington, DC – Negotiations for a new union contract covering 1,700 private security officers who protect most commercial office buildings in Washington, D.C. begin today between 32BJ SEIU and the region’s top private security contractors. 32BJ, the nation’s largest union of security officers, presented its contract proposals to representatives of the contractors, Admiral, Allied Barton and Securitas.

“The men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe deserve fair wages to help them provide for their families and support our economy,” said Jaime Contreras, Capital Area Director for 32BJ SEIU. “Our proposals will help protect good local jobs and ensure that businesses and nonprofit institutions in the District get responsible protection.”

32BJ’s proposal seeks to raise industry and wage standards at commercial office buildings in Washington, D.C, including Gallery Place, the Watergate Offices, the National Press Building, the National Geographic Building and NPR Headquarters.

32BJ private security officers earn on average $13.54 per hour under the current contract that expires on June 30, 2012. Prior to officers’ first-ever union contract in April, 2008, officers were making as little as $8.24 an hour and most lacked health care and benefits.

For the first time, all full-time officers are receiving employer-paid quality health care and part-time officers and their families receive employer-paid ancillary benefits for dental, vision, and life insurance.

With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 16,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.