There are other underpaid people out there
Mayor Mike McGinn expressed concern about the $16 hourly wage at Whole Foods, while most teachers and child-care workers in the city earn much less than that. [“McGinn goes all out on Whole Foods,” NW Sunday, July 21.]
Mayor McGinn, are you saying that people who work with food deserve to make more than people that work with young children at the most crucial time in their development?
While the city of Seattle has been a tremendous leader nationally in supporting young children and families, especially those in poverty, the average child-care wage is closer to $10 an hour. The city contracts with child-care centers through their levy-funded early-learning program, in which teachers have no health-care benefits at all.
When child-care staff members live in poverty, so do the children they serve! Talk about a social justice and equity issue.
I would suggest that the mayor look closer in his own back yard. While I know it is complicated, I have never understood why the city wouldn’t take a more active role in improving the quality of life for child-care workers, especially regarding health care and salaries.
Ilene Stark, Seattle