THE Union of Security Employees (USE) is aware of the low basic pay and long working hours our security officers currently face ("Unfair practice in security industry" by Mr Syed Abdul Muneef Syed Muhammad; last Saturday).

The recently launched Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the security industry was developed to help address these challenges, by creating a road map to raise basic wages, skills and productivity, and ensure meaningful career progression for our security officers.

The USE is part of the Security Tripartite Cluster (STC), a tripartite committee comprising representatives from security agencies, service buyers, the relevant ministries and the union to look at the pay and working conditions of our security officers.

As announced, the STC will review excessive overtime hours in due course. We fully agree with Mr Syed that having enough rest would allow security officers to stay alert while on duty and enjoy better work-life balance.

Security officers should have the option of working shorter hours, and we are heartened that there are progressive and responsible security agencies which are already taking steps towards reducing excessive overtime hours.

We also note that some of these agencies are already providing basic pay above the recommended basic of $1,100.

Security officers may get in touch with the USE on 6334-6393 to seek assistance on looking for employment which offers shorter or more flexible working hours. With the implementation of the PWM for the security industry, USE is committed to helping our security officers lead better lives, not just in terms of better wages, skill sets and career paths, but also in terms of good balance between work and family.