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Guard negotiations continue at Kaiser Hospitals

Securitas : 25 May, 2009  (Company News)
Securitas security staff at Californian hospitals being urged to bargain in good faith to bring dispute to an end
Union leaders representing security officers at Kaiser Hospitals in Oakland and throughout California are being urged to bargain in good faith and adopt a fair contract offer.

“Union leaders calling for job actions at Kaiser should remember the support they publicly voiced for a very similar contract in 2007,” said Sam Singer, a spokesman for Securitas, which employs 1800 security officers at Kaiser facilities in five states. “This contract provides excellent wages and benefits, which many of our employees currently enjoy.”

Securitas was hired to staff security at Kaiser Hospitals in January. Security officers working at the healthcare facilities were not operating under a union contract at the time. But Securitas agreed to bargain in good faith with the Service Employees International Union.

Prior to Securitas, Kaiser security officers had been working without a collective bargaining agreement for 15 years. Securitas is working to finalize a labor agreement with these officers which will be on par with a contract signed in 2007 in San Francisco that remains one of the most generous collective bargaining agreements in the country.

“Technically, Securitas was under no obligation to bargain with the union for up to 24 months because these security officers were not under a union contract to begin with,” said Mr Singer. “However, Securitas is prepared to offer a contract that provides very generous health insurance, including coverage for dependents, and a salary package similar to what security officers in San Francisco earn.”

Security companies, including Securitas, and union leaders reached a contract agreement for more than 4,000 security officers in November 2007. The agreement, announced at San Francisco City Hall, was praised by Mayor Gavin Newsom as giving “dignity to the work that is being done by the security officers.” Mayor Newsom also suggested the contract would serve as a model for other labor agreements around the country.

At the time, Mike Garcia, the vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1877, noted that the contract was approved unanimously by a union bargaining committee and “goes a long way to lift hard-working security officers out of poverty.”

Securitas intends to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement with the union representing security guards at Kaiser Hospital. “We hope union leaders will join us in striving to reach common ground and act reasonably to keep security officers on the job where they are needed,” said Mr Singer.

Securitas is the nation’s largest and most locally-focused security company in the United States, with over 450 local branch managers and more than 100,000 security officers who provide unmatched security solutions to meet the specific needs of thousands of businesses.
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