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ND workers always behind the Joneses

Colleen Lowry | Monday, February 22, 2010

First of all, thank you Mr. Easley for your “Words of wisdom” (Feb. 18), but I would have expected a little more wisdom and a little less ignorance from a student that comes into contact with building and food service employees every day. Allow me to explain a few things about life you may have missed.

1. Life is hard. For many people, higher education is not a possibility. Everyone has been dealt a different hand in life and not everyone is as fortunate to go to Notre Dame as you. Fact.

2. You say most people have a spouse or family member to help support them when times “get hard,” but what you fail to see is when you’re making almost $4 under the living wage, times are always hard.

3. You say someone working for a place for more than a decade should make “a bit more than $9”? Only a bit? I would hope that someone who has worked at a place for more than a decade would receive a substantial amount more after a decade of service than when they first started.

4. Yes, we live in a free society, but let me tell you something: There is a lot more freedom for some than there is for others. Working more than one job per day puts physical, emotional and familial strains on people. In this economy, most people cannot afford to quit their jobs simply because it is not their passion. I’m sure it is no one’s passion to clean Mark Easley’s hair off the shower wall, but sure enough, Mark, I’m sure your Keenan Hall shower is clean when you need to use it.

5. Night school and community college cost a lot of money. Sure, they don’t cost as much as a Saint Mary’s or Notre Dame education, but when you are already making almost $4 under the living wage, you don’t thinking about saving for a night school education, you think about what food you are going to put on the table for your family. Getting paid a fair wage is not taking a handout from the University, it is getting paid fairly for a fair day’s work.

6. Some people do enjoy their work and believe they do their work at a fair wage. These are the people that are making a fair, living wage.

The building and food service employees make our lives easier every day. Providing them with a living wage would be the least we could do to show our gratitude for the hard work that they do.


Colleen Lowry


LeMans Hall

Feb. 18