Received Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I've been taking care of the same three children almost two years and all has gone well. Regular raises, vacation, no sick time or benefits but I don't ask for or need either I was happy until this past September.
Mom enrolled all three kiddos in extra curricular activities so basically two days per week I now have 90 minutes free tine while the kids are at various activities. When my review came up in July she never mentioned this and when she let me know her plans when school started she asked if I would mind using my car to shuffle them around I said no problem. We agreed an extra $50.00 per week was fair for use of my vehicle and gas since they don't have an extra one for my use. She offered that amount and I accepted. Now for the problem.
She has cut those three hours from my weekly pay. When I brought it to her attention she said she did not cut my pay since she's reimbursing me for my car use . I earn $15.00 per hour. In fact, she said, I am actually getting $5.00 more per week! I explained that the $50.00 was, in her own words, EXTRA money for gas and wear on my vehicle. She countered with the argument that I now have two days where I get 90 minutes all to myself to do with as I wish. I reminded her that there is not enough time for me to go home and come back, so it's not truly a break and she does not live near where I can use the time for myself.
The following payday her husband came home from work early and explained that it is not right for me to expect to be paid for time I don't work and I could use that time to do my family food shopping. I explained why that won't work for me since I have a large family, often shop in BJ's and would have neither the time nor room to complete the task and transport the kids. He said he and his wife would discuss the situation.
The following payday the wife said they had a great idea. They have a housekeeper four hours a week. they would let her go and I could do their housekeeping! When I was hired I made it perfectly clear I do not do housekeeping of any sort other than clean-up after the kids. I also happen to know they paid their housekeeper $125.00 for the four hours she worked there a week. Now they expect me to do it for $45.00. When I brought these facts up the mother was not pleased. She said she felt hurt that after all this time I would want to take advantage of them and expect payment for time off. I declined and so I am being paid for three hours less per week plus the gas stipend.
Things have been tense between us since. I don't think I am being unreasonable but then again maybe I am. I would appreciate other people's advice on this matter.