In The Nation, Sharon Lerner looks at the ongoing struggle to protect the rights of domestic workers. And like all discussions of nannies, this one focuses largely on Park Slope.
Using the findings from Park Slope Parents annual Nanny Survey in the context of New York’s Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, Lerner argues that the parents of Park Slope — while far from perfect in their treatment of the domestic workers they employ — are probably “doing better by their employees than most.” But here as elsewhere, there’s still a long (long) way to go. And while individual employers can certainly make an effort to do better (85% of PSP respondents aren’t paying due overtime, for example), Lerner argues that the big change has got to be systemic: nannies should be able to unionize.
No doubt, the ability to negotiate as a group would bring nannies and other privately employed domestic workers closer to getting severance pay, advance notice of termination, and sick days—other benefits they still lack. Perhaps even more important, it would help bring them into the larger national movement of agency-employed domestic workers.
Whether or not you agree (or employ a nanny), the article’s worth a read.