Okay, so my thought for today…
There is a group on Facebook I belong to that posts job openings in the local area. Today someone was looking for a bookkeeper with experience using QuickBooks 2016. Apparently the person who posted it originally offered an hourly rate below minimum wage and several people called the poster out on it (the poster claimed it was a typo and increased the amount to a little over minimum wage).
Someone commented to the effect that even if they were paying below minimum wage, any job is better than no job.
Here was my response:
“I’ve been giving a lot of thought to your comment and just wanted to ask… Since you think any job is better than no job regardless of what you get paid, would you say that to a teacher, an electrician, a plumber, a doctor? Should those people be happy to get minimum wage or lower? No, because they are educated/trained/skilled? When does it become acceptable for employers to continue to devalue skilled jobs so much that they are not worthy of more than minimum wage?
Bookkeeping skills are not something someone can just pick up over a weekend or by shadowing someone on a job for a couple of days. It needs to be done correctly and accurately. A bookkeeper needs to be skilled and knowledgeable. This is not an entry level job deserving an entry level pay. Yet, I see more an more employers looking to pay as little as possible for skilled jobs (and not just bookkeepers). I can’t help but wonder how that turns out for them… Do they get what they paid for?”
Here is a good description of Minimum Wage I found in an article on Monster:
A minimum wage is the basic labour standard that sets the lowest wage rate an employer can pay to employees who are covered by the legislation. Today one of its main purposes is to protect non-unionized workers in unskilled jobs.
So from this definition, what really stands out to me is UNSKILLED jobs.
I believe this current practice of expecting to pay minimum wage for SKILLED work continues to lower the value of people who make the effort to improve themselves and get educated or learn new skills, and just helps to perpetuate employers continuing to try and get more and more for less and less pay. If employers continue to get away with paying low wages to skilled workers, where will we draw the line on skilled versus unskilled?
Thoughts on the subject? Do you think people deserve to be paid relative to their skills or should they just be happy to get a job?