My name is Eric Reyes and I have been working as a Security Officer at George Westinghouse College Prep for seven years. I’ve been a union steward for a year and a half and have been attending recent bargaining meetings with Chicago Public Schools. I got involved in the union because I know what it’s like to work security in a non-union workplace. I don’t take my union for granted and I really enjoy my job as a Security Officer at a school.
Sometimes, however, it feels like Security Officers are overlooked despite playing a very important safety role at our workplace. We are the first line of defense in case anything that could hurt the students tries to come through our doors. As school Security Officers, we are in a very unique environment where we have to cooperate with a number of a other professionals who are all looking for the same group of students. There is no other security officer position where I have had this sort of responsibility and I believe the unique service we provide should be respected. I enjoy playing an important role in the lives of many bright young people and I want management to see just how important our job position is.
Going into negotiations I want management to make sure they treat us all like humans and not as disposable or replaceable. It’s in their best interest and the best interest of the students we serve that they meet our needs and exceed them. We should be paid and staffed fairly and feel dignified in the work we do.