Security staff could walk out over pay delay

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SECURITY workers at the University of Portsmouth have threatened to walk out if delays over their pay continue.

A staff member from the London-based Shield Group, which provides security for the university, claims they have not been paid on four occasions in the past 18 months, including their wages for June.

One employee, who has worked for the firm for more than 18 months but wants to remain anonymous, says the delay has led to some workers struggling to make mortgage repayments or pay their rent. Last Friday, university security staff worked at reduced levels to make their voices heard.

The university is not responsible for the workers’ pay, while Shield says the delay is due to a change of bank account.

But the member of staff warned action will continue unless the problem is rectified.

They said: ‘It’s been going on for the last year and a half. We have been paid late four times. We are still expected to turn up for work and carry out our job even if we aren’t in a position to afford transport or petrol for our cars.

‘Last year, non-payment happened over the Christmas period causing real hardship for many Shield employees and their families. People are living on the breadline. Every pay day is a complete anxiety trigger.’

The employee added more action could be taken, saying: ‘It depends how severe it gets. We do like the university and we respect them so we are doing our jobs.

‘We deeply regret being forced into taking this action as we have no quarrel with the university, the staff and students will be the ones to suffer if we walk out.

‘We feel that we have been pushed into taking this action to get our voices heard.’

Employees were sent letters by Shield informing them that they will be paid soon. The anonymous worker confirmed to The News that the wages due on June 10 were paid yesterday.

In a statement, a Shield spokeswoman said: ‘Some of our employees have not been paid on time due to a technical glitch owing to a change of The Shield Group’s bank accounts which is not something in The Shield Group’s control.

‘All employees have been kept informed of this on a regular basis, and as mentioned, if employees have incurred any bank charges or expenses these have also been paid.’

The University of Portsmouth declined to comment.