Currently the GMB is the main union that covers the security industry. Security workers in council buildings or NHS facilities might be in Unison, on the transport network our colleagues might be in the RMT or Unite. Is that set to change? The Security Industry Federation is launching on the 1st of November 2022, its application to have its name entered in the Certification Officer’s list of trade unions is in progress.
The idea of a dedicated trade union for the industry is very appealing! As a trade unionist myself it will take some convincing for me to surrender my GMB membership and jump ship. So, I’ve invited Daniel Garnham ASyl, President of the Security Industry Federation, to introduce the Federation and tell us about their plans:
When is a trade union not a trade union? When it doesn’t expressly represent the job you do. There are many trade unions out there that do a decent job of looking after their members but they have members from an array of occupations and industries. Being part of a union that also takes care of teachers, rail workers, barristers and nurses means that a one size approach does not fit all. It is inevitable that you may be looking on enviously at other professions that are getting more support.
My own personal values are clear, I work in an industry that I have great passion for and I want to keep people safe. I also want to keep the people that protect people and property safe.
This is why I decided to create a trade union for the UK private security industry only.
Run by security professionals for security professionals.
Myself and the rest of the management team and Ambassadors have decades of experience working in security. In short, we have done the job and know what the problems are. Whatever role you play in the UK security sector the SIF will support you and reward you because we recognise that you are highly skilled key workers who are often the first responders to emergency incidents and protect the public and property in a way that our overstretched police forces can not.
On 1st November 2022 anybody working in the UK private security industry, whether SIA licenced or not, will be eligible to join. For just £10.99 per month not only will you be a member of a trade union, your trade union, where you have a voice and support on all matters that effect you, you will receive various benefits including legal assistance from one of the UK’s leading firm of solicitors, Linder Myers. Linder Myers have vast experience in this field having served as the solicitors for the British Transport Police Federation over the last 25 years.
So where do we start, in an industry that has a tattered reputation and is the first to be criticised when the unimaginable happens.
I want security workers to be unafraid to do the job they are trained to do. Unafraid of confronting violent thugs on a Friday night, unafraid of stopping and speaking to suspicious people and unafraid to confront shoplifters and people who commit anti-social behaviour. In a society where it seems everything is stacked in the criminals favour we want to empower our security professionals to do what they are paid to do. Protect us. The SIF do this by taking care of their welfare and representing them in civil, criminal and disciplinary matters.
SIF members also receive unlimited access to Care First, a 24/7 telephone wellbeing service where you can talk to trained counsellors, financial, employment and relationship advisors, and much more including face to face counselling sessions, the first guaranteed within 5 days.
There are many other reward partners offering benefits such as discounted gym membership, insurance and mortgage policies and specialist security equipment including Audax UK who are pioneers in Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras for law enforcement and security. Having used BWV myself I know that they are an undisputable tool in reducing risk of conflict and frivolous complaints as well as providing evidence to the police, mitigating against the need for a lengthy investigation. Because of the protection they offer frontline security workers one of the first things I am doing as President of the SIF is to speak to the heads of all major UK security providers and press them on providing BWV for all of their frontline staff as part of their duty of care.
The SIF Ambassadors and I care deeply about the mental health and wellbeing of security workers which is why I have appointed a wellbeing liaison to the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and I am part of the security workers focused World Suicide Day conference. With our partners at Care First we want to eliminate the stigma around mental health and suicide.
However, I am not here to make grand promises. I’m here to pledge that the Security Industry Federation are here to look after your interests and reward your dedication in an often thankless occupation where you risk your health and wellbeing day in day out.
The SIF have open conversations with the SIA and major security employers in regards to making the industry a better place to work, finding ways to retain staff instead of losing valuable experience due to poor working conditions and pay and we will continue to support those that are under represented and campaign for equality.
Whatever happens the SIF are here to give you a voice and all the protection a trade union offers. We are #security4security
Daniel Garnham ASyl
President of the Security Industry Federation