Security guards hired by National Protective Services (NPS) have been underpaid up to $2,500-per-year, according to calculations by the United Workers Union.
The six guards, who are employed to service the government offices at the new $100 million Ballarat GovHub, are currently working under an agreement which expired in 2009 and falls drastically short of the Security Services Industry Award.
For example, workers under the relevant award are entitled to five weeks annual leave, while NPS guards are only receiving four. The company also failed to pay penalty rates on overtime worked.
NPS is one of five security companies short-listed for State Government contracts.* Concerningly, this means NPS could be awarded further Government contracts and continue to underpay guards across Victoria.
United Workers Union Property Services Coordinator Damien Davie said only companies operating in an ethical and legal manner should be eligible for government contracts.
“Despite working in a new $100 million Victorian Government building, guards do not have a dedicated lunchroom, instead they have to use a manager’s office,” Mr Davie said.
“This is indicative of the lack of care NPS has for its workers.
“While this kind of behaviour from private contractor companies is not unusual, there should be better scrutiny of these contracts from a government perspective.
“The least the Government can do is ensure that taxpayers’ money is not being used to pay people below the minimum.”
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