Letter: Ridgefield Library janitor deserves higher wage
To the Editor:
As always, the Ridgefield Library looks great!
We are at the library often and have been utilizing the library more or less since the 70s. We use the library to check out books and other materials, read magazines and use as a working space. The place is friendly, comfortable, has great materials and of course very clean. Staff is mostly cheerful and professional. Along with other patrons the janitor. He is a good guy, always professional and friendly. Despite being such a large space (three floors, five bathrooms, 46,000+ square feet) well used (800+ daily average visits) and sometimes messy people, the library is always really clean. This is not to mention those ugly or heavy traffic days, especially messy people extra work for special events, minor repairs, etc.
Being the nosy person I am, I asked him how much he earns and was baffled that after 10+ years on the job he earns just the legal minimum wage in CT with few benefits. He is employed by a cleaning contractor, which also employs another person for several hours in the evening. “The average hourly wage for a janitor in Ridgefield is $16 as of June 27, 2019, but the range typically falls between $14 and $19,” according to Salary.com.
If this is really true, it’s a disgrace!
With 40-plus full and part time employees, a long term employee working under a contract without health insurance or decent pay. All staff other than bookkeeping are employed directly by the Ridgefield Library.
Cleaning is often a thankless job with a high rate of turnover. A 10-plus year trusted, hardworking employee should be valued as an asset and a member of the team, not just another expense in the budget. Even a slightly dirty, messy space is quickly noticed by patrons. Can’t we do better for an employee who contributes greatly to the shining space our library presents to the public?
Barlow Mountain Road, Oct. 14