The province is bringing in new standards and a bump in wages for Manitoba’s security guards.
The move, announced today by Labour and Immigration Minister Erna Braun, is the latest step in a process to bring in stricter guidelines to the growing private security guard industry. It began more than a decade ago following the holdups of armoured-car guards. (See story here.)
Braun said the provincial Security Guard Working Group, which includes labour and employer representatives, has examined a number of issues within the sector. Based on the recommendations, a new Security Guard Sector Plan is to be put in place that includes:
❚ Reviewing the content of the mandatory security guard training manual every five years, beginning in 2014, to ensure training and standards are as effective and up to date.
❚ Phasing in higher wages over the next four years, beginning with an Oct. 1 requirement that security guards be paid at least 25 cents above the province’s minimum wage, rising annually to $2.25 in October 2017. Manitoba’s minimum wage is currently $10.45 and rises Oct. 1 by 25 cents an hour to $10.70. The boost in pay is to help address high staff turnover rates.
❚ On-site-specific inspections and enforcement measures to address safety and health issues for security guards.
Over the past decade security guards have been required to be licensed by the province. In order to receive a licence, applicants must complete a child abuse registry check, a criminal record check and undergo a mandatory 40-hour training program.
Braun said in a statement that working as a security guard is a particularly risky profession as workplace injury statistics show that security guards are six times more likely than average to need time off work as a result of a violent act or assault in the workplace.