What LAUSD’s New Minimum Wage Means for My Family
LA School Report | July 8, 2014
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By Raul Meza | Via: Thinking L.A., a partnership of UCLA and Zócalo Public Square
The Worst Thing About My Job as a School Custodian Has Always Been the Pay. Now I’m Imagining What a Difference $15 Per Hour Will Make.
Monday through Friday, my full-time job is cleaning restrooms at Van Nuys High School. But that work is not the hardest part of my life. The hardest part is saying goodbye to my 4-year-old son when he asks me not to go to work again. In order to make ends meet, I also work weekends and nights.
I know I’m lucky to have a full-time job as a facility attendant in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I’ve done that for 10 years, and some days are better than others, but I like the work, and my co-workers are a supportive second family. We don’t interact much with students, but those of us who do custodial work are eyes and ears for teachers and administrators. If I see a student needs help of any kind, I take pride in letting the right people know.
The one thing that hasn’t been good about the job is the pay. When I started 10 years ago, I made $8.65 per hour; now I make $9.85 per hour. But I just learned that’s going to change. SEIU Local 99, the union that represents me and more than 30,000 other LAUSD school workers, just negotiated a new contract that will raise my pay to $15 per hour by 2016. This is a big deal for the 20,000 of us who make LAUSD’s lowest wages and are covered by the raises.
Read full story here.
Raul Meza works at Van Nuys High School and lives in Pacoima