Reducing Turnover Through the Union Solution


When officers form a union, they have the ability to solve workplace problems, which increases morale and decreases turnover.

Security officers work through their union to win decent wages and fair treatment, which leads to a sense of pride, loyalty and cohesion among officers. When officers are treated as security professionals, both performance and longevity increase–with obvious benefits for clients.

Officers who stay on the job understand their workplaces better and are better prepared to respond quickly and effectively to problems that arise. These officers spend enough time on-site to learn their role thoroughly and build strong relationships with employees and guests. Experienced officers have the confidence of knowing who should be on the premises and who should not.

Retaining an experienced security force lowers recruitment and training costs while also reducing the danger of security breaches by dissatisfied former employees–who may possess keys, pass codes and an inside knowledge of operations.

Hiring responsible contractors who allow their employees the freedom to form a union to win good jobs–including better pay and benefits–is good business. Here’s why:

  • Employee turnover costs a lot of money. Replacing a worker can cost two to three times as much as retaining one.
  • By raising pay, security companies can reduce turnover.
  • Higher pay allows companies to attract and retain better security officers, which will enhance a client’s reputation for excellent service and create new business.

Security Facts:

In New York City buildings where officers had not formed a union, turnover averaged 148.0 percent, compared to just 5.6 percent in buildings where officers had formed a union.

The largest security contractor in Los Angeles cut its turnover rate in half by working with SEIU to keep experienced officers on the job. As wages and working conditions improved with the L.A. officers’ first union contract, turnover fell each year, dropping from 79 to 29 percent in just four years.

According to a 2006 report by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, turnover rates are just 25 percent–far better than the industry average–in Chicago, where officers receive employer-subsidized full family health benefits.

According to private security firm Ligouri Associates, turnover decreased dramatically after healthcare and other benefits were improved under a 2003 union contract in San Francisco.