A Low Paid Worker—Angry About the System

Arlene has been working in a Broome County school district for slightly under ten years and makes less than $10 an hour. She was widowed at a young age and has raised a family and worked all of her life. Her annual income is slightly over $12,000 a year. Arlene works in the breakfast and lunch food preparation program.

Importance of the Job

Doesn’t it seem, from the low pay that you and your co-workers make that your job is not very valuable to the school? Well everyone one agrees that children of all ages need to be fed well in order to perform decently in school.  Without proper nutrition children cannot get the marks that are so important to the school administration.

Does the administration work at getting people in your work area better pay? Who knows.

 Do your supervisors know much about your job? Not really.  On those days when we are short a worker, a supervisor will try to fill in, which is nice, but they really don’t know what is going on.

What are the hardest parts of your job?  Being on my feet all day is tiring. It is also hard to make sure that kids get decent meals when some companies often supply rotten, spoiled produce to the school. This has to be sorted out and makes more work for us.

Since you are now near retirement age, what amount of pension can you expect?  About $70 per month which means that I will probably have to work forever.

What is most upsetting to you? I work hard, pay my taxes but there are a lot of big local companies that do not pay the taxes that they are supposed to pay. Why is it that little people like me have to work forever to pay taxes to support the big people who do not pay?  They are bleeding us dry. Things must change.




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