Although Temple proudly advertises its campus as a place of safety and security to prospective students and their parents, the administration has thus far overlooked the unconscionable conditions faced by the very employees who protect the campus – our security guards.
Improved wages and benefits would have an immediate and measurable positive impact.
Most of the guards on campus are subcontracted to a company called AlliedBarton. In 2004, Allied-Barton generated $97 million out of he $1 billion in total revenue in Philadelphia.
Billionaire investor Ronald Perelman, a Penn alumnus who owns 70 percent of AlliedBarton, is counted as the 94th richest person on the planet while most guards on campus only make around $9.15 an hour.
This adds up to an average annual income of less than $20,000, below local and national poverty levels.
At such a low salary, few guards can even afford the health benefits plan made available by the company.
Security officers are not even afforded paid sick days and are expected to work while injured or ill.
Paid sick days, like those provided for guards at Penn, will ultimately lead to a safer campus for students, faculty and staff and a healthier North Philadelphia.
Temple must hold its contractors to a higher standard. Students have the power and the responsibility to hold our administration accountable.
At Penn, students, guards and faculty activists won paid sick time for fulltime AlliedBarton officers on campus.
It’s time for us to step up and do the same for the guards who are such an important part of our Temple community.
During the week in which our nation honors working men and women, campus and North Philadelphia activists will unite on behalf of our security guards. There will be a rally tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 5, at noon at the Bell Tower to demand five paid sick-days per year for full-time guards. We encourage all students, faculty, guards, staff and religious leaders to be there.
– Temple Student Labor Action Project (SLAP)