Cm or Slc'rv
h of a UNC Housekeeper
resses for Respect, Higher Wages
Black Ink Photo BytEvan Eile
i'ants UNC to offer classes to her colleagues
igh she would like to help make
iges, she felt that too many
Jple would abandon the cause. If
jrybody would pitch in, the
bsekeepers could make a
ference, she said at one point.
Marsha Tinnen, spokesperson
the housekeef)ers, said the
►lie did not fully understand all
|r demands, and the effort to
^d the word has been hindered
B decreasing number of workers.
‘There seems to be a lot of
^nings for housekeepers (at the
(versity) because a lot of people
te after discovering the bad
king conditions,” Tinnen said.
[ifortunately, some people don’t
e anywhere to go, so they end
■ “They deserve better treaiment,
jier pay, and courses to better
imselves. The housekeepers are
■'ays being picked on and
constantly hounded by their
supervisors. (Pettiford) tries to show
the other housekeepers not to be
scared and step forward and fight
for their rights.”
Tinnen, a housekeeper in the
school of social work, thinks the
University should start
housekeepers at a $17,000 yearly
salary to ease their financial woes.
Housekeepers could further benefit
from classes offered by the
University to enhance their
educational skills, she said.
“We are the backbone of this
University and without us, the
University would be in big trouble,”
she said. “I am glad the students are
helping us because they will help
us make a difference.
“That’s why we are hoping to
get as much student involvement as
possible so people will look up and
pay attention to us.”
Tinnen said University
officials have not responded the
way she would have liked.
“They talk about getting help
for us, but they only put the blame
on other people and nothing gets
accomplished,” she said.
Alan McSurely, the attorney
representing the housekeepers, said
the state of North Carolina sets the
pay scale and the University can not
alter it But the University has not
addressed the problem in a
significant way, he said.
“We are trying to fight for the
elimination of the lowest pay
classifications and start the
minimum salary at $15,000,” he
said. “People have to get second
jobs to make poverty wages and
something has to be done.
‘This problem is partly sexual
and racial discrimination. Why else
would 95 percent of the
housekeepers be just black
Pettiford in the meaniime, is
working tokeepour buildings clean
and keep her life together. In
addition to her job, she lakes care of
her mother, who suffers from a
“When 1 get my back against
the wall like now, I don’t get any
sleep, and all I do is worry.”
Black Ink Photo By:Bvan Eile
Sometimes, all Pettiford can do is worry.