School janitors should get hazmat pay

How ironic that as our Southern Humboldt School District trustees are asking voters to approve millions X millions for upgrading buildings that the one person position for maintenance is being advertised. Single handedly this one person will maintain seven school sites — from Weott to Whitethorn to Redway to Casterlin. This overworked, underpaid person hired to protect the taxpayers’ investment is worth only $12.88 per hour?

How much did the board pay the consultants pushing school districts further into debt? Wasn’t it just last year that these consultants recommended that the district save money by cutting janitorial hours for the part-time positions? Talk about penny wise pound foolish. Janitors not only sweep floors, but deal with broken glass, used condoms, dog poop, urine, gum, hypodermic syringes, unclog toilets, blood, and vomit. Truthfully, our school janitors should be getting hazmat pay for the work they do. Not a pay cut. If we do not invest in the people who are responsible for caring for our new facilities, how will they outlast the years of debt obligation?

With faces coming and going where’s the long term commitment to providing a caring environment? What makes a school of choice is people who are there for the students, not the paycheck. Our fond school day memories are of a teacher, a bus driver, a school nurse, a school secretary… not of a building.

When a board listens more to paid consultants then their employees, students, parents, and community — perhaps it is time for an election. Every single member of our school board has been appointed in lieu of an election to save the district $2,600, the cost of an election, according to Humboldt County’s Elections Office.

When will we ever learn?

Cheri’ Porter-Keisner

Piercy, CA

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