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Columbus Security Guards Join Union, With Contract For Higher Pay

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Esther Honig
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Columbus security guards will become part of the Service Employees International Union.

Three hundred security guards in Columbus have joined a local union in the first contract of its kind in Ohio.

Under the three-year contract, security guards will become members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1, or SEIU 1. Workers who were earning minimum wage will see a significant increase in pay, as well as paid holidays and enhanced health care benefits.

Columbus City Council member Elizabeth Brown said this contract is important as jobs in the service sector continue to grow, and positions are increasingly contracted.

"What SEIU 1 has done here today is bring the collective voice of security workers across buildings to come together and say look we all have a mutual stake in this,” Brown says.

According to SEIU 1 director Yanela Sims, security guards are important to keep both homes and businesses secure.

“The officers are at those sites before law enforcement arrives to the property,” Sims says.

She says their agreement took five years to reach.

“This is why this is such a historic event, because it took a long time and it was worth every minute to make sure that people get the standards that they deserve and have some sort of security,” Sims says.

Ohio security officers will join 50,000 other security officers across the county as members of SEIU.