Why my Wife Takes Out her own Trash from her Office
Your author’s wife teaches at the local university. She’s a union gal. This is not a right-to-work state, so if there is a union, she has to pay dues to it. We accept this without complaint. We earn enough that a percent here or there isn’t missed.
Most everyone else at the university is unionized too. Each worker belongs to the union representing their respective occupation.
Custodians are the exception. They make less than anyone else at the school, so paying union dues out of their paychecks would actually be noticeable.
Universities tend to do all right for themselves, but there are off years, and last year was off. Sufficiently off that they needed to pare expenses somewhere.
Options were limited. The university had already signed contracts with each workforce committing funds.
But the custodians weren’t unionized. They don’t earn much, so the university can’t save much by chopping pay there, but you do what you can do when you can’t do anything else.
So, the custodians hours were cut—in particular their night hours, for which the university had to pay more. But that wasn’t the biggest savings from the change.
Many of the custodians took the job because it allowed them to take classes at the university for free en route towards earning a degree. This is a valuable benefit that costs the school money.
By moving the custodian hours to the day, the university prevented them from being able to take day classes, which freed seats in those classes for paying students.
Of course, this means that there are no custodians available to take out the trash out of my wife’s office at night.
That’s why she takes her own trash out of her office.
Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons