Gerard Gurrier: “This is our moment. Let’s make the best of it.”
My name is Gerard Guerrier. I am a native of Haiti. I have been working as security officer for the past 7 years.
At 54 years old and because I am the father of 3 children, I need job security to secure my retirement. But my job offers me no perspective in terms of retirement. With my salary, I support my mother and my extended family back home. With $12.95 per hour, I am still struggling to make ends meet. I rent a studio for $425.00 a month and I have to pay all kind of bills.
But for me the most important thing is benefits. As an individual, I have to pay $60.04 a week, an average of $240 per month for health insurance. I have no sick-days, no holidays. At my workplace, overtime is distributed unequally. When some one look at my pay check and see that I am making $12.95 an hour they may think that I am doing well in comparison to other officers. But these wages come after 7 years on the job and because of the nature of the work I am doing.
I am for the union because it will stop favoritism. It will bring respect and dignity to all security officers. When I heard that we could join SEIU 615, I felt relief and I told all my co-workers not to let this opportunity pass by, this is our moment. Let’s make the best of it.