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Security pay, but not security work

IrishRookie

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#1
Hi all,

Excuse the slightly long winded description but I want to explain in as much detail as possible.

We all understand the need for some flexibility but I'd just like to raise an issue that has become all too common lately and I'm wondering what the great hoards of CPW have to say on it, if anything at all. It is the issue of security guards becoming the easy target to do every ad hoc non security related job that may spring up leading to many increased duties with zero pay increase.

Up until last week I was working in a corporate security environment. The site was a commercial office block with a couple of multinational tenants and 3 large adjoining retail units and 4 residential apt's on the roof.

This job was 45 hours per week with no breaks, lunch to be eaten at the reception desk.
It was contracted as security/reception and was Mon to Fri, normal working hours. When I first started here over 3 years ago there was a permanent building manager on site to ensure to efficient running of the buildings facilities, cleaners, security and to ensure residents and tenants had a permanent point of contact from one end of the week to the other.

I was working in this building for about 3 months before the building manager had to have a serious operation that meant he would not be able to work for a minimum of three months. Long story short, I stepped up and took over the managing of the daily tasks in the building. Diving straight into the deep end and taking on almost all his duties.

The building manager returned to work after the 3 months and noticed how I was running things, shortly after this he began to come to work later and later each day and some days didn't come to work at all. By the time I took a stand and said I wasn't willing to manage the building anymore without an increase in pay the building manager was only coming to the site 2 days per week, sometimes 3 days or half days should I say.

When I raised the issue with both my employers and the building manager I was basically told that I was expected to do all the extra duties without any increase in pay. I refused and declared I would return to working to my contract which was purely security related.

This caused major upset with the building managers company calling my company claiming I wasn't doing my job etc. Which left me in a position in which I had to explain to my employer again that it actually wasn't my job to manage the building and take out of hours calls from contractors to arrange works. Or from tenants and residents about problems with the buildings facilities. He reluctantly agreed with me but then stated that if I wasn't going to do the job (manage the building) the client wanted someone who would. So they were left with no choice but to move me to another site. Not wanting to cause any major upset I reluctantly accepted what I had been told.

Recently I started work on this new site, it's a private hospital. I am now expected to do four 10 hour night shifts with no night shift allowance.

The duties are as follows, to do a cardiac response test calling and bleeping all medical staff in the hospital upon starting shift, monitor the building management system and respond within 20 mins to any alarm raised from it, monitor the hospitals blood monitoring system and call the hospital wards if a fridge is left open which happens regularly per shift, check water pressure gauge pressure whilst on patrol and lock up, as well as checking blood fridges to ensure the nurses closed them properly, check risers whilst on patrol.

Clean lobby area before the morning admissions arrive, take cash from and load cash into the parking ticket machines, take calls from patients family and Doctors at reception and transfer them throughout the night to the wards. Take in hospital admissions and go through relevant VHI paper work and fees in the morning before the reception staff come in, Also I'm expected to sell newspapers which are available at the reception.

The vast majority of the above duties have nothing to do with security and it appears both the site security manager and the company I work for are afraid to say no to any client, as a result I feel it is cheapening the work of a security guard.

Has anyone else noticed this trend, do you think it's acceptable?

Regards,

I_R
 
Last edited:

specialistk9

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#2
todays favours are tomorrows jobs............when you stepped up and did the building managers job........you effectively confirmed you would do anything asked of you....... you were your own worst enemy........in as much as the security company and the building manager informed the client who in turn said carry on.......if he asks for extra money tell him no.

at the hospital the person who did it before you did exactly the same as you......hence why now you have to do all the duties he finished on.

security guards/officers are their to protect the premises and persons........because you stepped up as you call it.........you took on the duties voluntarily which in the eyes of the client you are doing the work for nothing.
 

IrishRookie

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#3
todays favours are tomorrows jobs............when you stepped up and did the building managers job........you effectively confirmed you would do anything asked of you....... you were your own worst enemy........in as much as the security company and the building manager informed the client who in turn said carry on.......if he asks for extra money tell him no.

at the hospital the person who did it before you did exactly the same as you......hence why now you have to do all the duties he finished on.

security guards/officers are their to protect the premises and persons........because you stepped up as you call it.........you took on the duties voluntarily which in the eyes of the client you are doing the work for nothing.
Well for the sake of brevity I left out a lot of the minute detail. I was asked to do the extra duties for the 3 month period to help out the building manager. In hindsight I should have said no, but that doesn't mean that workers should not be compensated for extra work.

My point is about what is seen as acceptable work for a security. Do you think this sort of exploitative culture is acceptable in the security industry?
 

specialistk9

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#4
seems that your company are scared to say anything in case the client bins them..... weather it is corporate, building sites, or any premises of any description..... the main function of the guard/officer/dog team is to protect the premises, people from damage, assault etc........
on a personal note...........i would only do the duties stated in the site A.I.\s........... if its not in there.......i dont do it.....

ive seen guards and supervisors carrying visitors bags...... i have refused....saying im a dog handler not a security/porter..... what the others do is down to them.......... but no i would never do other duties......... currently i work on an old school.... it states in the A.I.'s that dog teams are there to " stop any persons from entering the site with the purpose of making it an illegal squat"..........
 

littlewoman

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#5
Most jobs will have some other duties which go outside the usual description of that job. For instance at one place where I worked as an engineer I also had the responsibility to liaise with the contracted security team to check they were doing things right and that they had decent procedures to follow etc. But this was only a very small part of my job and that is the key. Other duties are fine but they should not be a huge part of the job, they also shouldn't have too much responsibility that is not security related.

If I was a patient in a hospital I would be a tad concerned that a contracted security guard was responsible for processing my VHI paperwork (that's health insurance for those that don't know). Does that give you any access to medical information? I would be seriously worried if the security guard had to run around after the nurses and make sure they'd shut the fridges. Checking building alarms including facilities ones is quite normal on night shift but checking the blood monitoring system should be the responsibility of medical staff.
 

marshy41

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#6
Its on the lines of the pay issue as well, more work less pay, as already stated, your line management are the weak link as they are the ones who should be liaising with the client an building manager in the role you explained, and the security manager in the hospital, but as already stated, once you accepted the cover role for the building manager then the client will just expect you to do all the time, regards to the role in the hospital, there doesn't seem to be much security related duties from what you have said, it seems your more a dogs body. Ive always done what my job spec / contract states, yes at times you may do the odd thing outside those remits, but its down to yourself to gauge what is acceptable and within your role remits and whats just way outside. The problem today is a lot of security personnel work on flexibility, its clients who don't, they just expect, and security personnel just keep stun an see it as not rocking the boat, I blame poor management, and I have seen it first hand, kissing the clients arse and then expecting the security to just go with it. And as said earlier, security companies just not wanting to lose the contract.

Bit of a waffle there lol
 

Pyrene

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#7
Hi all,

Excuse the slightly long winded description but I want to explain in as much detail as possible.

We all understand the need for some flexibility but I'd just like to raise an issue that has become all too common lately and I'm wondering what the great hoards of CPW have to say on it, if anything at all. It is the issue of security guards becoming the easy target to do every ad hoc non security related job that may spring up leading to many increased duties with zero pay increase.

Up until last week I was working in a corporate security environment. The site was a commercial office block with a couple of multinational tenants and 3 large adjoining retail units and 4 residential apt's on the roof.

This job was 45 hours per week with no breaks, lunch to be eaten at the reception desk.
It was contracted as security/reception and was Mon to Fri, normal working hours. When I first started here over 3 years ago there was a permanent building manager on site to ensure to efficient running of the buildings facilities, cleaners, security and to ensure residents and tenants had a permanent point of contact from one end of the week to the other.

I was working in this building for about 3 months before the building manager had to have a serious operation that meant he would not be able to work for a minimum of three months. Long story short, I stepped up and took over the managing of the daily tasks in the building. Diving straight into the deep end and taking on almost all his duties.

The building manager returned to work after the 3 months and noticed how I was running things, shortly after this he began to come to work later and later each day and some days didn't come to work at all. By the time I took a stand and said I wasn't willing to manage the building anymore without an increase in pay the building manager was only coming to the site 2 days per week, sometimes 3 days or half days should I say.

When I raised the issue with both my employers and the building manager I was basically told that I was expected to do all the extra duties without any increase in pay. I refused and declared I would return to working to my contract which was purely security related.

This caused major upset with the building managers company calling my company claiming I wasn't doing my job etc. Which left me in a position in which I had to explain to my employer again that it actually wasn't my job to manage the building and take out of hours calls from contractors to arrange works. Or from tenants and residents about problems with the buildings facilities. He reluctantly agreed with me but then stated that if I wasn't going to do the job (manage the building) the client wanted someone who would. So they were left with no choice but to move me to another site. Not wanting to cause any major upset I reluctantly accepted what I had been told.

Recently I started work on this new site, it's a private hospital. I am now expected to do four 10 hour night shifts with no night shift allowance.

The duties are as follows, to do a cardiac response test calling and bleeping all medical staff in the hospital upon starting shift, monitor the building management system and respond within 20 mins to any alarm raised from it, monitor the hospitals blood monitoring system and call the hospital wards if a fridge is left open which happens regularly per shift, check water pressure gauge pressure whilst on patrol and lock up, as well as checking blood fridges to ensure the nurses closed them properly, check risers whilst on patrol.

Clean lobby area before the morning admissions arrive, take cash from and load cash into the parking ticket machines, take calls from patients family and Doctors at reception and transfer them throughout the night to the wards. Take in hospital admissions and go through relevant VHI paper work and fees in the morning before the reception staff come in, Also I'm expected to sell newspapers which are available at the reception.

The vast majority of the above duties have nothing to do with security and it appears both the site security manager and the company I work for are afraid to say no to any client, as a result I feel it is cheapening the work of a security guard.

Has anyone else noticed this trend, do you think it's acceptable?

Regards,

I_R
Your first job took the piss, im shocked you worked it, no breaks, lunch at desk - they go go shag a horse for all i care, shove that job where the sun dont shine - name and shame the company please!!!!!!

The hospital job, all seems pretty security related, however i would say stop cleaning the lobby - All jobs these days require training, are you trained to know about the harmful effects of cleaning products? Loading cash, so are you CVIT licensed? (petty but hey ho)

It looks like the job has a secondary aspect, secondary been security, primary as do-it-all. I would argue that security is a priority, and the other work prevents you from carrying out security work. However security is not just preventing criminals from doing their naughty deeds, but its preventing loss - loss can be counted as power, water, or in your case - blood.

anyway,

All i can say is that I think the job takes the piss and so do 99% of security static jobs, and i would never do them. If you dont like the work - dont do it
 

IrishRookie

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#8
Your first job took the piss, im shocked you worked it, no breaks, lunch at desk - they go go shag a horse for all i care, shove that job where the sun dont shine - name and shame the company please!!!!!!

The hospital job, all seems pretty security related, however i would say stop cleaning the lobby - All jobs these days require training, are you trained to know about the harmful effects of cleaning products? Loading cash, so are you CVIT licensed? (petty but hey ho)

It looks like the job has a secondary aspect, secondary been security, primary as do-it-all. I would argue that security is a priority, and the other work prevents you from carrying out security work. However security is not just preventing criminals from doing their naughty deeds, but its preventing loss - loss can be counted as power, water, or in your case - blood.

anyway,

All i can say is that I think the job takes the piss and so do 99% of security static jobs, and i would never do them. If you dont like the work - dont do it
I suppose part of the problem is I still at least partially have the military mindset of 'just get the job done' which can be a bad thing.

I don't clean and I don't take admissions but I am expected to, so it's only a matter of time before it becomes an issue.

As for the first job, in hindsight I should have leveraged the need for immediate cover for the building manager to bring about a pay rise, lesson learned.

But when he (building manager) returned and noticed how I was on the ball and capable he basically led me down the garden path by telling me he would recommend that I take over his well payed role as building manager once he retires which should be in the next year or so. My mistake was taking him at face value, I was happy to take his word on this right up until his company parachuted a new guy into the role of his assistant with the plan being the new guy would take over from the building manager when he retires. Another valuable lesson learned.
 

blitzkrieg

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#9
It's here in the US too. I worked for a security company years ago that hired me to work the dock doors at a warehouse working under their loss prevention. I had to keep a log of trucks and personnel coming in and going out and was responsible for pin locks on trailers that were dropped for later pickup. No problem, all seems like physical security stuff and pretty easy. It only paid about $9.00/hour.

After about six months they had us security guards keeping shipping and recieving logs complete with inventory and packing lists, load plans for trucks, had us loading trucks, and even scanning labels on boxes to enter them into shipping and recieving logs. This was all manager duties while the shipping and recieving managers were making around $14.00/hour and doing very little at that point since we were still getting paid the same as before but doing their jobs.

I left on the grounds I'm not doing someone else's job so they can get paid more. That contract has a very high turnover rate for the security company but they are scared of losing the account so they do nothing about it.

It's a shame but companies are trying to squeeze every bit of money they can so they have a guard leave their post and be distracted from physical security just to get some free labor.
 

GSD-K9

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#10
You are not the only 'gotchi' to experience this trend in using / abusing security personnel with tasks that are outside of our remit.
I have also personal experience of a slacking building manager who has reduced his time on site each week and leaving the duty officer to catch complaints from clients, organize hot works permits for contractors and cover the receptionist when she is on break etc.

At one site, a well known family run chain of Irish grocery stores, one manager suggested that the night security officer start cooking chickens at 05:00hrs for the deli counter staff. And when he finishes that, sure he may as well put up some point of sale poster signs suspended from the shop floor ceiling tiles! Needless to say I told the manager where his spit roasted chickens could be placed!

Over the last 5 years, all facility / building managers are drastically cutting back on staff levels and cleaning / security hours resulting in security personnel having to cover the gaps in certain duties. Most Irish security service companies will say 'yes' to their clients' wishes and intimidate s/o's with additional duties to their SOP's. And if the officer refuses,.... there will always be an exit door open for the non-compliant staff member.

Which reminds me,... I'd better hurry-up and deliver these blood samples down to the lab! ;-)
 

purplelad

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#11
This is not just specific to the security industry. Pretty much every job now involves multi-skilling and varying responsibilities. Unfortunately, from the untrained eye, security officers are a resource that can be used as "they just sit around all day waitning for something to happen". I always see the local supermarket security guard shelf stacking.
The amount of security companies appearing means that competition is at such a point, no-one will refuse the work.
 

marshy41

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#12
Purplelad, that is exactly how it is, its down to that individual on whether he or she is happy to accept the "extra" jobs. Security is actually becoming a joke these days. But can anyone see a change, I think not. A lot will do anything just to keep there job.
 

IrishRookie

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#13
I have no problem with being 'flexible' in fact in order to provide the best security service you have to be flexible.
But the problems arise when employers and or clients just take the piss.

I consider myself a professional. Regardless of the type of security I am engaged in I will do the best job I can and I am dependable and try to conduct myself in a manner that leaves me beyond reproach. This is the reason why I will not accept anybody taken advantage or trying, once I recognise this is what is happening I will take a stand.

Because I refused to work as a building manager while being labeled and payed as security, I have been moved to another site, twice as far away from where I live as the other site and it's all night shifts as opposed to the 8 to 5 mon-fri on the other site.

But the problem is they (my company) didn't have much difficulty getting another sucker to take the position with the new title of 'building manager' instead of security guard but this new guy is actually getting paid less than I was getting paid. Whether or not he can do the job and be as reliable as I was (2 sick days in 3 years) is yet to be seen.

The way I see it the industry is ruined, at least at the static/door/event end of the industry. The money is crap, the conditions are crap and it's only going to get worse when you have a situation were the continued inflow of low skilled labour leads to the destruction of wage levels and working conditions creating a perpetual race to the bottom. (not an anti immigrant rant, just a matter of labour conditions sustainability)

There is no protection for the security industry as there is with other 'professions' there are almost no barriers to entry. I was earning double the wage I'm earning now doing security work 10 years ago pre-licencing era, that's a very bad sign as wages are supposed to be within 1 or 2 % of inflation over time.

The higher end of security is flooded also, so unless I was guaranteed work it would be pointless to waste 3 to 5 thousand euro on a CP course that may lead to nothing but a shiny SIA badge. I think it's time to say goodbye to security work, at least as an employee....

It's a sad state of affairs.
 

12345

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#14
Hi Irish rookie,

Good post but I don't think it is a waste of money to do a CP course, as lets say you did get your CP Licence and got onto a contract that is fulltime say for example with a ruling foreign royal family. You wont be working in the environment you describe, first of all the calibre of the people you work with will be different. The conditions that you work in will be different it will be a five star environment (best hotels, restaurants, yachts and private jets, all expenses paid etc) The job satisfaction will be very high, the contacts and friends you will make around the world will be priceless, the experience gained will be priceless. There are just too many things to list.
So yes it can seem quite a negative world but that's the challenge for people isn't it to get themselves to where they want to be despite the harshness of the environment.
So a couple of thousand pounds to I increase your chance of actually getting into a job that is fun, dynamic, challenging, rewarding and doing it all in a five star environment, to me is worth it.

PS: don't forget in the CP world families tip their employees, you will get back all the money you lay out for a course without touching your salary.

Best regards
12345
 

IrishRookie

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#15
Hi 12345,

I'm guessing your absolutely correct in what you say about the high work satisfaction and professionalism that exists at the higher end of executive protection.

But I guess when I consider everything and look at things realistically I realise the odds are stacked against me. I'm actually a very positive person but in reality I have a basic military background with only one overseas trip along with door, event and static security experience.

I would be competing with guys who have 10+ years military service with several overseas trips to Afghan and Iraq, some of whom spent time in SF or elite units. I'm hearing from all corners that the market is flooded and even guys with decades of experience are finding it hard to get work.

I've also heard it's partly who you know too, apparently you won't get far unless you have someone who will help you get your foot in the door and despite my four years of chatting to and networking with guys from this site that seems just as distant a prospect as it was on day one.

There's nothing I would like better than pursuing a career in this field but as you all know, money isn't easy to come by these days and I just couldn't justify or afford to spend 3 to 5 thousand pounds/euro on a course and not have any realistic hope of work when it's finished. I'm not being negative, just trying to be realistic..... a self initiated reality check.

Regards,

I_R
 

12345

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#16
Hi Irish rookie,

Its a shame to hear someone thinking about stepping away from the industry. I hope you reconsider and continue on your journey.
Yes it is hard to get a few thousand together in this day and age, but not impossible, there is no rush. Someone asked me recently if its worth getting their CP licence and i said, if you have the cash in the bank spare then yes, if not continue doing your security work until you can afford it then take a course (not necessarily the best one) and then you will be in the mix, with a bit of security experience behind you.
Regrdless of what you hear on here, there is CP work out there, and there are teams struggling to cover their leave slots and new jobs are being set up year round.
Unfortunately people are not going to give contact numbers to Team Leaders on a silver platter to people they don't know, the route is to put yourself in front of the team leaders through getting a cv built up and working with people that will move onto other jobs and take you with them. This is not new and is the way the industry has worked since its conception.
So if you don't have a licence you will never be in the mix, I think its really worth being in the mix.

I hope this post isn't taken as a negative, I'm just trying to give a bit of positivity to it.

Best regards
12345
 

IrishRookie

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#17
That is a very positive and helpful post 12345.
We'll see what happens, I plan on getting away from this end of security (static,door,event) anyway....it's getting worse by the day and working along side mongo's who are getting the same rate as me despite them having no experience and or not being able to speak a word of English is demoralising. Maybe exec CP is the way to go, time will tell.

Thanks for the advice.

Regards,

I R
 

12345

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#18
That is a very positive and helpful post 12345.
We'll see what happens, I plan on getting away from this end of security (static,door,event) anyway....it's getting worse by the day and working along side mongo's who are getting the same rate as me despite them having no experience and or not being able to speak a word of English is demoralising. Maybe exec CP is the way to go, time will tell.

Thanks for the advice.

Regards,

I R
Hi IrishRookie,

Yes well good luck and I think you are right to try progress on to a different branch of the industry. Yes I think executive CP is a natural progression for you.
The Mongo's will always be there (trust me), so that will never change but you can put yourself in a position where there are less and less of them, and enjoy yourself at the same time. Because at the end of the day this career is just a job, its not life, we just do it to get money in the bank that's all...

So if I was in your shoes, I would:
Start putting some cash aside over the next couple of years,
Find a static company that gives you a site you can see yourself staying there and enjoying it for as long as necessary to get the required savings.
Do a CP course and get the SIA Licence
Find a Company that has been established for a long time: Control Risks, Kroll, Saladin etc,
Send a CV to those companies and continue to do your security work trying to concentrate on doing more RST work.
Do all the crappy RST jobs people throw at you, do all the cover of shifts people don't want to do.
Overtime you will be building up a good cv (of RST jobs with families) and you will be in environments of CPO's who will be looking out for reliable quality people.
Then you will be used to cover CPO's holidays or sick days etc, then by this time you should have a name for yourself and offers should be coming in.

Good luck with it all

Regards
12345
 

Pyrene

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#19
Security pay but not work -

Popped into my local little co-op store the other day, and they have a security guard on there. Theyve never had one on before but apparently they had a bit of trouble with some 'youths' so they put a guy on. 5 foot nothing, not size or mucsel to him, even I could take him down - so pointless, just a tick in the box for insurance.
However I was watching him while I was doing my shopping and he wasnt standing in the door or patrolling the isles. He was the assistant to the self service hell machines, and he brought out a pallet of tinned sweets and was staking the shelves.

I got talking to him very briefly when he helped me at the self service machine, and he said that his contract was to do shop work as well as security. And he was only getting paid minimum wage


Whats happened to this world
 

IrishRookie

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#20
Pyrene, I noticed the same thing in my local Tesco.
The 'security' staff help out with those self service machines and stack shelves and generally act like another member of non security staff. It comes down to bad management from the security manager, the shop manager will chance their arm and ask can this 'security' guard help out around the shop too but it's up to the security manager to say no, it's also up to the so called security guard to say no.

Almost every security staff member I see doing this is a non national. They're afraid to say no to any request for fear of losing their job.
That end of the industry is a disgrace for exploitation.
 
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