Johnson City Press Saturday, November 29, 2014
Opinion

Cutting low-wage earners isn’t helpful in business

November 4th, 2013 11:00 am by Staff Report

Cutting low-wage earners isn’t helpful in business

I would like to start off by asking a question that has always puzzled me. Why is it that when any company or business decides to cut costs the first ones to be terminated are the lowest-paid employees?
I know for a fact that the custodial employees at East Tennessee State University barely make minimum wage. If it were not for insurance coverage and some vacation, these folks would be better off on some form of government assistance. Instead they choose to be taxpaying, hard-working citizens of the community.
If ETSU wants to cut costs, I suggest that they look at the top-heavy end of the administrative side of the ledger. Some of those positions such as second vice president to the vice president in charge of sidewalks (not a real position, just making a point) could surely be eliminated at a far greater savings than doing away with the custodial services. I bet the custodians would be missed a lot more than some of the higher-end paid positions.
I know the plan is to contract out these services. I have seen this happen at other sites, and I can say without a doubt that the quality of the services drops dramatically. Most employees who have a vested interest in their place of employment take pride in their job performance.
ETSU says that contracting out these services saves money. To a certain degree that may happen, as the contract services will staff the bare minimum number of employees at minimum wage and no benefits of any kind. Of course the contractor will pass along the savings to ETSU. Sure they will. On the other hand, ETSU will pay a greater price for cleaning supplies and probably a greater quantity of them.
Whoever is making this decision should check into some of the business courses offered at ETSU.
RANDY TAYLOR
Jonesborough

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