High-School Bathroom Cleaner: "$15/Hr Salary Will Change Everything"

Tyler Durden's picture

Presented without comment...

My job is what’s called a “restricted” position — the California education code’s name for specially funded positions that can employ only people who meet certain conditions (they’re from impoverished areas or have disabilities, for example). Restricted workers have a set wage rate, which means I haven’t been able to ask for a raise, and I can’t earn overtime.




"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."




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 school workers here, 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 the district’s lowest wages and are covered by the raises. It might be an even bigger deal around the rest of the United States, since $15 per hour is the goal of a movement in cities around the country to improve the lives of working people.




I’m not exactly sure how my life will be at $15 per hour. I’ve never made that much money, and I’ve been doing custodial work since I was 15. I started out while I was still going to school myself, as a part-time custodian at St. Nicholas, a parochial school in the San Fernando Valley. Back then, in 1997, I was making $7.25 an hour. After I graduated from San Fernando High School, the parochial school offered me a permanent position, and I worked there for four years, eventually making $8.50 per hour. Later, I jumped to Van Nuys High.




So a raise like this won’t just give workers more — it will give the district happier parents.

Read the rest at The Washington Post...

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ParkAveFlasher's picture

Hookers and blow, my friend, hookers and blow!

NotApplicable's picture

He likely won't be having to miss quality time with his child.

gh0atrider's picture

....he thinks we will make it to 2016!

Skateboarder's picture

The world's not gonna end tomorrow bro.

Unless an asteroid blesses us. Take us!

anti Oligarchy's picture

No... robots will start cleaning schools.

lordylord's picture

The liberal utopia is here.  I am going to throw up now, but at least a $15 /hr janitor will clean it up...or not...it's not like these people care about their jobs.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



That janitor works 2x harder than the teachers for 1/2 the salary.  That is the value of a college degree.

Scrub techs work 2x harder than the nurses for 1/2 the salary.  Once again, that is the value of a college degree.

Ariadne's picture

People with college degrees invented, operate and pay for almost everything that enforces their enslavement.

At least they have high self esteem. 

ParkAveFlasher's picture

If you present a larger debt orifice, you will receive a larger flow.  The higher your debt (structured as transfer payments to colleges, mortgages, etc) the higher your salary.  Until it isn't.

whotookmyalias's picture

As a human you have to be a bit empathetic towards those who work so hard for so little.  Don't forget that most on here slamming people that don't have college degrees will equally slam the current rigged system that pushes college tuition higher, causing people to take on more debt - because the government's solution to higher education costs is lower interest rates on loans.

The entire system is rigged so don't think you have an easy solution.  


This, however, like Obamacare is the wrong solution looking for the right problem.  If it's so easy to solve with money, why not just pay everyone a flat million dollars per year, or make everything free.  LOL.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

A janitor may be precisely the right choice for that person to make in life.  I know lots of bankers who probably couldn't be janitors, and can't really bank all that well either.

kaiserhoff's picture

Consider the source:  the Communist Vichy DC Post.

Union Propaganda as nausium.  What the article doesn't say, is that this sorry sod is living on food stamps, ADC, and section 8 housing,  oh yes and the negative income tax aka child care credit.

His union boss raise will be more than off set by reductions in his "checks."  He is NOT living in Cali on that wage


SilverIsKing's picture

The janitor must be upset with what's going on down at the border then.

Aussie V's picture

The bank manager notices the new clerk is terrible when it comes to counting money and adding up figures.

“Where did you get your financial education?” he asks.

“Yale,” replies the lad. The manager is sure he’s misheard the man, so he asks his question again and the man again responds “Yale.”

That can't be right, thinks the manager. He decides he’s going to check it out online.

“And what's your full name again?” asks the manager.

“Yim Yohnston.”

chumbawamba's picture

Even at $15/hr, that's $2,400/mo.  Who the fuck can live on $2,400/mo these days?  I'll tell you who: poor people.

I am Chumabwamba.

giggler321's picture

With his acceptance attitude he may well survive longer than those on $100+; who unwilling to do anything else when the future comes knocking on their - sorry, your doors.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

The world wouldn't need janitors if the world cleaned up its own mess, and vice versa.

hot sauce technician's picture

Quite true. Half of the weekly/daily cleaning chores in an average office can be completed by the professional (and less professional) staff themselves with a sacrifice of, say, 25 minutes per week per employee. A janitor's workweek could then be cut down substantially while he retains his original salary, as production hasn't really been affected by such an arrangement because salaried workers never spend *any* of their time behind their desks online, shopping for shoes,.reading gossip or building castles on kandy krush. (/sarc ) In this scenario a janitor can focus his energies on jobs that would really require more expertise, (bathrooms? floors?) which he would probably possess because we assume that he's minimally qualified, right?


James_Cole's picture

Half of the weekly/daily cleaning chores in an average office can be completed by the professional (and less professional) staff themselves with a sacrifice of, say, 25 minutes per week per employee.

Lol now that would be the day. The whole point of having a rigid (but totally non-existent wink wink) class structure is so folks in decent suits aka the makers get to spend their workdays shopping online. Ain't no way they gunna be cleaning toilets!

Lost Word's picture

With Wage Inflation affecting price inflation, will anyone actually have more real income?

crazzziecanuck's picture


The janitor's landlord will know he got a payraise, and therefore his rent will go up accordingly.

I've seen this firsthand when it came to student loans.  The solution by the Canadian government to financial squeeze on students was to allow for more debt.  What happened when the cap was increased while I was at university?  Rents in the city went up accordingly to "soak" up all that extra debt so students remained at the same parity level.

skam's picture

Hmmmm.   What is this kandy krush you speak of?

ejmoosa's picture

THe system was designed and put into place long before the current crop of graduates were even born.

max2205's picture

This post is just bizarre

Skateboarder's picture

But everyone goes to college now.

Grande Tetons's picture

Nobody goes there anymore it is too crowded. 

stormsailor's picture

+1 for the yogi berra quote

noless's picture

That's why I'm going back for my degree, never too old to further ones education!

Lanka's picture

Your spuriouse statement has validity only if you consider the measure of work in joules.  University degrees offer the opportunity for one to apply for certain jobs, thereby excluding those without the pre-requisite degree.  Statistics indicate that higher education generally translates to higher pay.  Many non-degree tradesmen and service technicians make more than nurses and teachers.  Salaries of nurses and teachers varies greatly by region and by rural vs. urban environment.  The crime currently underway is that the administrators of the hospitals and schools receive their C-suite level salaries and benefits and provide zero va;ue-added services to the students/patients.    

nevadan's picture

I'm not exactly sure how my life will be...


still shitty

mc225's picture

actually, any time i've ever done 'menial labor' -- janitorial, mini-mart cashier, washing cars/pumping gas, delivering pizzas' -- i've always cared about my work.

pods's picture

I thought California took like $10 an hour in taxes?

How the hell are people making it on $10 per hour? I mean, maybe in Haiti but California?  

Does he get $20 per hour in cheddar and free housing?

I would rather have a cup of coffee with him rather than some investment slug though.


Gene Parmesan's picture

I bet he pulls down more than $20/hour in .gov benefits.

Excursionist's picture

Perhaps more importantly... this article is Exhibit A for the need for qualification tests before anyone is allowed to vote and / or run for office.

Doctors, accountants, lawyers (even hairdressers in some states!) need to demonstrate basic mastery of their craft before practicing it.

So in what bizzarro universe does it make sense to allow anyone off the street to vote or run for office, thereby gaining purview over perhaps billions of taxpayer dollars?

It's a harsh toke, but contrary to what our founding fathers thought, not everyone is created equal.  This janitor's ignorance should eliminate all doubt.

pods's picture

Yep, the smart ones have surely helped us out a lot.

Most of the janitors I knew were salt of the earth people, one was my hockey coach. They understood that life was more than your job. And they never got tricked into the "career" meme that so many have. (See Jumbo's comments below about working is ass off for pennies).  They all seemed pretty damn happy to be honest.

I hate it how in today's society people have to always keep gaining when it comes to work.  Like if they are complacent they will be unhappy (in reality that is true simply because of the structure of most companies).  That is just the way the system keeps most running around trying not to fuck something up and keeps us off balance.

I for one have dropped out of the "career" meme and see that my labor is my time, and that is the only thing in life you cannot get back. So I trade some of it for FRNs, but there are limits.  I told my boss one day when he talked about only sleeping 2 hours the night before the reality of when it comes to time, I actually make more than he does.


Excursionist's picture

I'm indifferent to others' life choices as long as those choices don't impact me.

I'm quite passionate about "salt-of-the-earth" types, oblivious to the cumulative body of work on the adverse effects of rising minimum wages, controlling policy from both the voter side and the legislator side.

Froman's picture

This guy will be replaced by an industrial Roomba mop by 2016.

JRobby's picture

Someone will need to lube it and restock cleansers on the robot.

If it tries to roll on down to Lowe's or HD for a restock it will get anihilated by a 350lb person in an SUV that is texting, speeding, eating fast food and screaming at its kids all at the same time.

angel_of_joy's picture

"No... robots will start cleaning schools."

True ! They've been cleaning my house for more than 2 years now, twice a week, for an initial investment of less than 350...

Meet the NEATO guy/gal (IMHO better than the Rumba one) !


I MISS KUDLOW's picture

that means u can add 50% to everything in your local markets and fuel.........we r screwed

Stackers's picture

Welcome to your new tax bracket that comes with the 50% raise. Oh yeah, you are also no longer eligible for all the EBT, SNAP, child welfare or the host of other "salary compensating" benefits you used to enjoy

Abiotic Oil's picture

SEIU sure managed to give themselves a nice raise though as they get to extract their dues from all those raises.

Never One Roach's picture

'taint nothing:


$200,000 Lifeguards to Receive Millions in Retirement


Public outrage over lavish government employee compensation and pensions is becoming more heated as new revelations about excesses seem to crop up every week. The latest: Newport Beach, California, where some lifeguards have compensation packages that exceed $200,000 and where these "civil servants" can retire with lucrative government pensions at age 50.




That was back in 2011...probably double that by now.

cougar_w's picture

Jes a little sump'n fer da family, bucko. It's all guvmint money any-how. We'z all gits a little sump'n.

QQQBall's picture

I know a beach attendant, errr Lifeguard. He was a Lt. Lifeguard. He worked two 24-hour shifts a week on the pier. He went staright off the beach and UCLA to the Lifeguards. 30 years and out I believe. pretty sweet, now he can afford to sit on the beach again, or not?

Lost Word's picture

All for the risk of Skin Cancer and Shark bites.

Better than being a cop risking gang shootouts.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

If It weren't for the Fed causing inflation his salary would have been adequate for his needs. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize this and will be continually frustrated that his rising hourly wage never translates to better living. I cannot criticize him because I had done the same. Hoping for raises and, when they never paid expenses, got another job. Saving for costly expenditures that continually rose out of reach until I gave up and used credit. It's a trap. I don't even know if understanding this is of any benefit sometimes. There is no way out unless the big reset is realized.

At some point, one needs to understand the system is rigged and unless one is in the .01% working for a wage is a slaves life with no future.


markitect's picture

I can rememebr growing up a neighbor kid whose Dad was a janitor in a big office building in Chicago.  This was only the late 70s, early 80s.  The Mom stayed home or worked odd jobs here and there when needed.  They had by today's standards a nice old prarrie style bungalow.  Also on the block were Carpenters, plumbers, a doctor, a marketing guy and truck driver.  Today, that same block is almost all finance related or Fortune 1000 MBA guys working 80 hRS week and so are there wifes, that bungalow been long torn down and replaced by a 5000SF monster with $20,000 property taxes.  WTF happened to this country?  A custodian used to be able to live nicely along side a doctor, maybe not as big a house, but they respected each other.  Now only the parasitic class can afford to have nice things.