Better welfare for security guards requires mindset change

The Union of Security Employees has always emphasised the importance of our security officers' welfare ("Ensure well-being of security guards" by Mr Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad; Monday).

Providing a decent working environment for our security officers is the responsibility of both employers and service buyers, and the union will continue to push for their working conditions to be improved, among other things.

The labour movement's concerted push for the implementation of the progressive wage model allows better security services and standards, and security officers will get to enjoy better jobs, better pay and, ultimately, better lives.

But for this to be sustainable, a mindset change is needed.

The union urges stakeholders to make more efficient use of manpower by moving away from headcount-based contracts and quickly move towards performance-based ones.

This means delivering outcomes using technology to complement physical capabilities, and incentivising service providers to do so by adopting contracts with longer durations.

It is when service providers are motivated to explore other means to improve productivity that the pay, image and professional standards of security officers can be improved.

Beyond this, mutual respect from all parties is fundamentally important to creating a safe and pleasant working environment for our security officers.

We urge members of the public to treat our security officers with respect, which includes cooperating with security officers as they carry out their duties.

They perform an essential role in society, and the union will seek the right remedies if our officers are unfairly treated.

Hareenderpal Singh

President

Union of Security Employees

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Better welfare for security guards requires mindset change'. Print Edition | Subscribe