“The security programs division of the Ministry of Justice has determined that one guard acted with unnecessary force and used profanity contrary to the Security Services Regulation,” Sam MacLeod, a ministry spokesman said in an email to The Vancouver Sun on Friday.
Security companies in British Columbia don’t want well informed, well educated people capable critical thinking. That is against their interests.
They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run radios and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept it.
If you work in the Security Industry in Alberta the average wage for a guard is at least $5.00 per hour more than in British Columbia. Tell me that these companies in BC are not screwing their employees and pocketing the difference.
Does size matter in a security company? It does if you want to make more money being a security guard.
Most larger security firms have high over head, meaning not only the size of the management team but also what the rent or lease and this will have a direct bearing on what they are going tp pay you.
Take for instance the company that leases out a large ground floor that is a satellite office that has a lot of wasted space and has a fleet of car for their mobile patrols as well as having a local boss that needs a secretary, as well as a person in Human Resources and someone in payroll and a scheduler and what ever else the company thinks it needs. These companies are going to pay you the bottom rate, regardless of what you do since for every contract they get over 20% to 30% of that contract goes to administration leaving very little for the company to give you more than their crappy base rate which has’nt changed in 6 years and sits about at $10.50.
Take on the other hand a company that is run out of a run down house and might have two mobile units. One person does at least two or more jobs in administration, sometimes three and it not worried about the office per-say since most of what that person does can be done by mobile computer and a cellphone. That company if they value his guards can start you off at $12.00 per hour and senior employees can be making as much as $15.00 per hour doing static guards positions.
Being a security guard in BC is not everything that it is cracked up to be. Not even close. It is mostly hype from the companies that promise you a lot and deliver nothing, which includes lousy wages and lousy working conditions, by which I mean, if your new to this occupation ( don’t consider it as a career ) that you will be working the graveyard shift until the ranks of the more senior employees thin out and they move on, since some of them will get disgusted with the management that run the companies and believe me all security companies regardless of what they call themselves are all the same.
Here’s a few things that you should know.
1. The course to become a security guard in BC will run you between $300.00 to $350.00. You will have to get over 80% on the final exam.
2. You will have to have a Security check ( Criminal Records Check ) done by the commissioner’s, as well, you will be fingerprinted. If you have ever been charged with any sort of crime, be it a misdemeanor or drug related offence, forget about even applying. You will also be charged a fee for these services, regardless if you have already been fingerprinted or had a CRC done by a police force.
3. You will also have to pay our government an annual $60.00. This just another tax grab by the government and does nothing for the occupation. It does probably cover the production of the card which costs less that $0.25 to produce and the union wages of the staff at the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Policing and Community Safety Branch, Security Programs and Police Technology Division.
4. I know that if your hired by Securiguard that after three months they offer “Medical Benefits, Dental Benefits, Life Insurance Benefits, Group Insurance Benefits, Vision Care Benefits“. They won’t be paying a penny of the coverage like most companies in other industries do. You will be picking up the full cost of all these.
5. Another thought you should consider is this. Minimum wages have gone up in British Columbia whereas wages for Security Guard wages has gone down. Minimum wages were at one time $8.50 and guards were making at the bare minimum $12.00 per hour but over the past two years the base rate for a guard has fallen to $10.50, either because the Security companies have got greedy or that the largest employer for guards ( The BC Provincial Government) has told the security companies they don’t want guards making anything more than $10.50 on their sites or both. Minimum wages in BC at present are at $10.25. This does’nt give the guards much incentive to do their job correctly or want to be a guard in the first place.
6. Another area that you will really have to watch is how the schedule you over the course of two weeks, since all security companies hate, or should I say detest paying overtime if they can absolutely get away it and to do this the use “averaging, unless of course you have be guaranteed 40 hours a week and this will only happen if your in the senior ranks of the company or on special assignment.
Here is an example.
1st week you have a total of 60 hours. This means that your next week you will only be scheduled to work 20 hours, probably less since most shifts are in an 8 hour duration, totalling 80, plus or minus, hours. The only times that you might see this change is at Christmas/Boxing Day and other statuary holidays.
Doing mobile is a constant dash between locations, either to do a patrol around a property or premise or a lockup. Companies that offer this service have the route laid out so that you don’t have a minute to spare, not even for a coffee break or lunch and the typical shift will be at least 80 different locations. Some companies will even do 10 hour shifts, working four days on with three days off, if they deem it cost effective to clients. They suggest that you drive the speed limit but this rarely happens since if your delayed for some reason your behind the 8 ball to complete the route and have to have a good reason why you did’nt finish it in the allotted time. I have been told by older mobile drivers that they have seen 148 locations that they had to service on some route but this is a rarity.
You could also be doing dispatch while doing mobile, but most times if you get a call for an alarm it will come in from one of the many alarm companies dispatch offices located mostly in Vancouver. If you are a number two car on the companies mobile fleet you could be stood down to guard a premise if the company can not find another guard to take over this position. Be ready to stayed bored if your guarding a ATM machine that has gone off line or at a bank where the alarm can not be set. You could also be doing a host of other security jobs.
A few pointers for new mobile security operators.
1. Drive the speed limit. The companies are not, like any other company going to pick up your speeding tickets or any other ticket for that matter.
2. When doing a patrol of site or premise, walk at a normal pace. Running might make it look like your doing a good job by finishing early, but in all actual fact your tempting fate, plus your ruining for others that might follow in your footsteps.
3. Don’t use a cellphone while driving. Use a Bluetooth voice activated system to answer calls.
4. Security companies will over book your route. What this mean to you is that you will not have time for a coffee break or lunch. Take a lunch, regardless. It’s your right.
5. Security companies are not going to put senior guards on mobile unless they request it. Your stuck with it as a newbie, at the lousy competitive rate and it will burn you out if you are not use to night shift and they can range from between 8 to 10 hour shifts. Say good bye to the sun.