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Private guards in 3 NJ counties reach contract

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Private security officers who guard commercial office buildings in three New Jersey counties have reached a contract.

Officials with 32BJ of the Service Employees International union say more than 1,200 security officers in hundreds of buildings in Essex, Hudson and Union counties are covered by the contract, which is expected to be ratified April 12.

The union says most security officers will see hourly wages increase from $9 to $11 an hour over the life of the 3½ year contract. They will also receive employer-paid health care and paid vacation time as of Jan. 1.

Union officials say the contract represents one of the largest recent unionization drives of private sector workers in New Jersey. They say they hope it will set an example for other industries.

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