Manitoba Security Guards facing a surprise wage-freeze by Pallister Government

September 29, 2017

 

Manitoba security guards won’t be getting the pay increase they were expecting on October 1. Instead, the Pallister Government is in the middle of pausing legislation that governs Manitoba’s security guards minimum wages — and may be planning to revoke it entirely.

UFCW is holding a rally at the Legislative Building on October 24, 2017 from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm and will be encouraging all security guards union and non-union to attend.

Under existing legislation, private security guards were expecting their minimum wage to increase to $13.40, $2.25 above the provincial minimum wage. Despite regulations that require mandatory expenses for security guards that are paid out-of-pocket, including licensing, completion of a minimum 40-hour training course, and current criminal records checks and child abuse registry checks.

Many security guards rely on minimum wage increases as the only pay raise they’ll receive. Strong competition in the security industry keeps wages suppressed.

“Security guards do dangerous, important work every day, protecting Manitobans, protecting companies, and carrying out their duties.” said Jeff Traeger, President of UFCW 832, which represents more than 1,700 members in the security industry. Employers include  G4S, Garda, Impact, Securitas and SRG. “Security guards put themselves at risk every shift, often late at night and all alone, and it’s unfair to ask that they work for so little.”

“Our biggest fear is that the security guard minimum wage will be frozen until the standard minimum wage catches up — revoking the security guard minimum wage altogether. With the regulated training and licensing requirements, security guards are professionals who deserve better from the Pallister Government.”

Along with attending the rally, security guards are also encouraged to write to their local MLA and tell them how this wage freeze will affect their lives.

UFCW 832 went to great lengths to help put the SGMW in place, and it has paid dividends for workers, for security guard companies, and for all Manitobans. Previously, with such high competition in the industry, wages were stuck near the bottom. That led to high rates of burnout and turnover, but security guard companies were afraid to raise wages since other companies could undercut them. Instead, a win-win-win solution was the Security Guard Minimum Wage, which raised wages for private security guards while keeping the playing field even for all security contractors. The higher wage also helped employers retain their most experienced employees, and reduce the amount of turnover in the industry.

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