National Nanny Training Days across the US connect nannies, who often endure unfair work conditions alone, to a network for advice, legal support and resources.
By Livia Gershon | THE GUARDIAN | APRIL 18, 2016
On Saturday morning, Nida Medeiros stood up in the middle of an MIT lecture hall filled with about 150 of her fellow nannies and asked a question. The family she’d been working for was underpaying her, but before she could confront them, they abruptly told her that things weren’t working out and she shouldn’t bother coming in the next day. Medeiros wanted to know what legal rights she had.
Medeiros, a tiny, meticulously dressed woman, was in the right place to ask. The National Nanny Training Day in Boston – the largest of 32 training days held across the country – aims to help nannies get better at their jobs, learn their rights, and connect with each other.
The International Nanny Association estimates there are 1.2 million nannies in the US, though it’s hard to know the real number since many are paid off the books. Pay and working conditions vary wildly. A small survey done last year by Matahari, the local women workers’ group that organized the training day, found that hourly wages for nannies vary dramatically – some make as much as $30, while others are paid less than $4 – way below the minimum wage. It also found that 75% of those who worked more than 40 hours a week didn’t get proper overtime pay. Matahari organizers also say the isolated nature of nannies’ work makes it hard for them to compare notes about pay or legal rights. >> READ MORE