Direct employment of security guards will improve safety and conditions

The Public Service Association welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that the government will directly employ security guards as part of the Covid-19 response, and pay them the Living Wage.

The union believes this should be a stepping stone towards a government security service operating across multiple agencies.

Direct employment of security guards by government will enable quarantine services to better integrate security into their overall operations.

“Contracting out services like security led to a downward spiral in worker wages and conditions for many years, and has undermined the ability of government to ensure accountability and improve standards,” says PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay.

“Allowing third party providers to clip the ticket has never improved the experience citizens and clients have when dealing with government. Despite neoliberal myth peddling, it doesn’t save money and it will never improve health and safety or the employment experience for workers.”

“This is an opportunity to do things differently and better, and offers the potential to inspire similar shifts to direct provision of public services elsewhere.”

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