PROVINCE ANNOUNCES NEW SECURITY GUARD SECTOR PLAN AIMED AT PROTECTING PUBLIC SAFETY

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A new Security Guard Sector Plan unveiled today will help enhance public safety in Manitoba by improving standards within the security guard industry, Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun announced today.

“Every day, security guards put themselves at risk to help protect public safety and property,” Minister Braun said.  “Over the last decade, we have worked closely with the security guard industry to improve standards and training, with the aim of better protecting the public.  Today’s announcement will build on these measures to help attract and retain qualified employees in this important sector.”

A provincial Security Guard Working Group, including labour and employer representatives, has been examining various issues within the sector.  Based on the recommendations, a new Security Guard Sector Plan is being put in place that includes:

  • committing to review the content of the mandatory security guard training manual every five years, beginning in 2014, working to ensure training and standards are as effective and up to date as possible;

  • phasing in higher wages over the next four years, beginning with an Oct. 1 requirement that security guards be paid at least $0.25 above the province’s minimum wage, rising annually to $2.25 in October 2017, to help address high staff turnover rates while improving the ability of companies to retain qualified employees;

  • introducing new resource material specific to the security industry focusing on responsibilities of all parties including clients, contractors, employers and workers to help improve bidding practices and promote worker safety; and

  • continuing focus on site-specific inspections and enforcement measures to address safety and health issues for security guards.

These measures build on previous requirements put in place by the government in the past decade as a result of various incidents that impacted public safety, the minister said, adding security guards are now required to be licensed by the province.  In order to receive a licence, applicants must undergo a child abuse registry check, a criminal record check and undergo a mandatory 40-hour training program.

“As a major employer within the security guard sector, we know first-hand how important qualified and trained security staff is when it comes to protecting public safety,” said Perry Clarke, vice-president, Western Canada, Securitas Canada.  “Our clients expect a high quality of service that Securitas is dedicated to providing, but a big factor to providing a high quality service is a liveable wage and I believe this is a step in that direction for security services in Manitoba.”

The minister noted that being a security guard is a particularly risky profession as workplace injury statistics show that security guards are six times more likely than average to need time off work as a result of a violent act or assault in the workplace.

“Our government and stakeholders believe that building experience in the industry will help security guards better protect the public, property and themselves when faced with violent or aggressive situations,” Minister Braun said.

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