Security officers demand healthcare

Los Angeles County security officers - the first responders who protect county hospitals, medical facilities, courthouses and social service buildings - on Tuesday called for quality jobs and stronger security at the County Board of Supervisors Meeting.During public comment, county security officers testified about the importance prioritizing safety and security and on the public cost of security jobs with low pay, no sick pay and no healthcare. "Without health insurance, county security officers like me depend on public programs and emergency rooms for healthcare, said Eliazar Witron, a county security officer. "The Los Angeles Times has reported routine serious overcrowding in the emergency room where I work. Supervisors say that is a major concern - but the county contributes to its own problem when it allows more than 1,000 security officers and our families to work without healthcare." "Public safety and security should be a top priority in Los Angeles County," said county security officer Gloria Salgado, responding to a July 8th La Opinion article in which a Supervisor's office said the county chooses security companies "at the lowest price." "The county might save a little but taxpayers, security officers and public pay the true cost. When county security officers do not have health insurance, we use emergency rooms and public programs for healthcare - that costs taxpayers $2.6 million every year." "Supervisors have tried to stay out of this fight but you can no longer ignore us," said Witron. "Security is the county's responsibility and county security officers who have low pay and no healthcare are a county problem. If you truly stand for safety, security and good jobs, then you need to stand with the county security officers who keep you safe." "We urge you to get serious about security and provide the resources we need to best serve the county," said Salgado. Outside the board of supervisors meeting, county security officers demonstrated, waving banners, chanting and engaging in street theatre. Submitted by the SEIU - United Service Workers West.

********** Published: July 15, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 13