SECURITY OFFICERSUnited Federation LEOS-PBA to Represent Court Security Officers in Washington, DC

Published 21 November 2023

The Washington, DC Court Security Officers (CSOs) and Special Security Officers (SSOs), who were represented by SPFPA and its Local 439, voted in August on a new representation.The United Federation LEOS-PBA was successful in organizing several SPFPA groups from around the country.

The Washington, DC Court Security Officers (CSOs) and Special Security Officers (SSOs) were represented by SPFPA and its Local 439. The CSOs and SSOs voted in an election, held between 7 and 28 August, on a new representation. SPFPA received 3 votes, while United Federation LEOS-PBA received 46 votes and United States Court Security Officers (USCSO) received 65 votes.

United Federation LEOS-PBA filed an objection to the election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

While the change of union representation was taking place, there were other developments which affect the DC CSOs and SSOs.

Metropolitan Security Services Inc., doing business as Walden Security, has won seven contracts worth $1.93 billion combined from the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to provide protective services to U.S. courthouses.

According to USMS notices posted on in early August, the awards cover court security officer staffing in the 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 9th-through-12th federal judicial circuits,.

Under the CSO program, USMS recruits court security officers to perform building perimeter protection, screen people entering the court, and strengthen security associated with sensitive trials.

Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Walden Security says it helps government clients deploy armed and unarmed uniformed security officers, loss prevention specialists, and vehicle patrol officers.

Before Walden Security won the USMS contracts, security at the DC courthouses was provided by Paragon Systems, whose contracts with USMS ended 1 October 2023.

Before Walden Security took over, SPFPA had negotiated with Paragon Systems a wage-increase for the 321 CSO and SSO union members. That raise was supposed to go into effect on 1 October, but Walden Security did not honor the agreement between SPFPA and Paragon.

To date Walden Security has not paid a wage-increase for the 321 CSO and SSO union members and SPFPA has done nothing but give lip service to its members noting that they are working on it according to its CSO and SSO members.

Based on the change of employers the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had issued an Order to Show Cause on why and election should be held. Both the United Federation LEOS-PBA, and USCSO, filed briefs in support of a new election while SPFPA filed a brief in support of not having a new election.

The United Federation LEOS-PBA brief notes that the facts in this case are similar to the fact pattern in a case pending in Region 27: Controlled F.O.R.C.E., Case No. 27-RC-318054.

LEOS filed a petition seeking an election in a unit of employees of The Whitestone Group. While the Region was preparing a decision on the scope of the bargaining unit, Whitestone informed the Region that it was no longer the employer of the employees in the unit sought by LEOS. The Region issued a Notice to Show Cause asking the parties to address the status of Controlled F.O.R.C.E. as a successor employer and its impact on the collective bargaining agreement between Whitestone and SPFPA.

After reviewing the responses to the Notice, the Regional Director reopened the record and scheduled a second day of hearing. At that hearing, LEOS moved to amend its petition to name Controlled F.O.R.C.E. as the employer, rather than The Whitestone Group. After reviewing the record of the second day of hearing, the Regional Director granted LEOS’s motion to amend the Petition and directed a third day of hearing to address the appropriate unit after the arrival of Controlled F.O.R.C.E.

LEOS and SPFPA filed post-hearing briefs on November 3. A decision is pending.

LEOS-PBA also notes that the 321 CSOs and SSOs are frustrated for another reason. Most of the CSOs and SSOs are African Americans – in fact, the DC Court circuit is primarily staffed by African Americans - they believe they are being discriminated against by Walden Security.

The CSOs and SSOs are considering a walkout or sickout to express their dissatisfaction with the situation.

Most recently the United Federation LEOS-PBA was successful in organizing several SPFPA groups from around the country which includes 140 Paragon protective service officers PSO’s in Boston, 150 Paragon protective service officers PSO’s in Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa, 91 transportation security officers TSO’s working for ISS Action in Arizona, and 50 security police officers working for Fiore Industries, Inc at NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California just to name a few, by an overwhelming vote in each of these NLRB elections. In the NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory NLRB election SPFPA received zero (0) votes. This is real-life forecast of what lies ahead for the troubled SPFPA and its President, David L. Hickey, noted a United Federation LEOS-PBA official.