Temporary Security Staff Faced Potential Layoffs


(File Photo)

Temporary security staff on all three Montgomery College campuses faced layoffs, by the end of last December but were renewed on Dec. 6.

The initial decision to layoff staff came from the college’s Human Resources department which, according to an anonymous security officer, was not willing to extend its budget to part-time security officers.

“We have no clue why they are doing that. It could be money or it could be something else,” the officer said. Regarding working as a security officer, he reflected, “I met a lot of good people. That’s really why I like working here.”

At first, the officer did not want to disclose any information because the topic is “just a sensitive issue” for him. In fact, all officers interviewed wished to remain anonymous because they did not want to lose their jobs.

Security has important duties around all three campuses. A full-time security officer said, in regards to what security does, “We’re here when the college closes, we’re here on snow days […] but they don’t give us [extra] money for it; they just expect us to do the work.”

A parking enforcement officer added, “We honestly need all the personnel we can get, considering how many incidents have happened.”

In addition to the current payment situation, security is also not allowed to get raises. The full-time officer explained, “The rest of the faculty departments get raises […] But they said, ‘You know what? You’re cut off. No more raises.’” This was explained because security already has a lot of money as it is, more than any other security force in the state.

According to indeed.com, the average salary of someone who works in the safety and security department at MC is $23.26 per hour, which is 61 percent above the national average. In Maryland, the average security officer’s income is $11.96 per hour.

Although there was a reason behind pending layoffs for temporary staff, no one interviewed knew the reason. “It probably has something to do with budgeting, HR. They don’t provide temporary benefits, so it’s one less person to pay,” the parking enforcer speculated.

The security staff successfully changed HR’s decision about the layoffs and reminded them how important security is around the school. “Everyone above us are trying their best to keep us and try to show the HR department that part-timers are valuable for the safety of the campus,” the part-time officer said.

While full-timers work for 40 hours a week and get benefits of staying hired, part-timers need to get their contracts renewed “every three or six months,” according to the full-time officer.

The full-time security officer does not have to worry about losing his job. The other interviewees, on the other hand, thought about what could happen if they did get laid off. Sometimes, it feels like security gets underappreciated for all the work that they do, and the part-time officer felt this way.

“It does concern me that if some security members are going to get laid off, how much are they going to cut from us? Because we’re also temporaries under the Public Safety Commission,” the parking enforcer remarked. She did not know what she would do if she did get laid off, but the other part-timer had a decent idea of what he could do. “I hope that […] we all get an extension. If we don’t, I have been looking at other places, some with security, and some in the field of studying. But if it does happen, I will most likely be finding another job,” he stated.

Fortunately, all part-time security staff got an extension.