Visiting Hof and Brekkuborg
“We love our job. That’s why we’re still here. It’s definitely not for the money.” These are the words of an unskilled kindergarten worker spoken during a visit by Sólveig Anna and Ragnar Ólason yesterday. This woman has worked at the same kindergarten for nearly three decades, but she doesn’t even get 300.000kr after taxes per month. This forces her to work two side jobs to make ends meet. She, along with her colleagues with the same experience are a treasure. A treasure for the coworkers, and for the whole workplace, where the rapid staff turnover increases the stress at work. They are also a treasure for the children, who can spend much of their time with people whom they know, people that have dedicated themselves to the kindergarten. They are a treasure for the parents, who can rest assured that their children are in the hands of experienced staff. But they are also a treasure for Reykjavík city, which can save enormous sums on paying these valuable workers the lowest possible wages. How can this be justified?
Unskilled workers keep the kindergartens of the country running, taking care of the thing most dear to us; our children. Their work is the foundation for Icelandic economic life, since the economy would not be functional without them. Their importance is immense – and so is the stress they work under. Efling workers in the city’s kindergartens have had it with the disrespect they see on their payslip every month and want real changes in wages and conditions. Now.