Mayor Bloomberg walks a day in the shoes of SEIU 32BJ security officer
“For me and for so many of my co-workers, the main issue is our healthcare,” said Annie Davis, a 54-year-old New York security officer and SEIU Local 32BJ member during her day-long visit with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We don’t have sick days. We don’t get paid for holidays. It’s not even so much our wages, it’s the benefits…We are doing some of the most important jobs in the city. “
Davis, who works in the lobby of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in downtown NYC, makes $11.75 an hour with no days off and no medical coverage. She is one of 1,100 guards at 20 agencies throughout the city who work for private contractor Allied Barton and are considering going on strike by the end of May if things don’t improve.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, his day spent with security officer Annie Brown “renewed his appreciation” for what workers go through every day to makes end meet in New York and take care of their families. On his campaign blog, Mayor Bloomberg reflects back on his day spent with Brown as part of Local 32BJ’s “Walk a Day in My Shoes” campaign, acknowledging that in spite of the initiatives his administration has invested in to improve the training and compensation of NY’s security officers, there’s “much more to be done” to ensure the “security guards [that play] a pivotal role in keeping all eight million of us safe” are “well-paid, well-trained, and well-treated.” Read the Mayor’s blog here.
“Walking a day with a working New Yorker shouldn’t just be a prerequisite for our union’s endorsement, but a requirement for the job,” said 32BJ President Mike Fishman of the local union’s “Walk a Day in My Shoes” campaign to get every elected official to experience firsthand what life is like for working people. Mayor Bloomberg is the second NYC mayoral candidate to have taken part in the campaign, after City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. walked a day in the shoes of 32BJ member Lateef Rivers last week, spending part of Rivers’ shift with him at the Brooklyn Municipal Building.