Child educators and caregivers working at Google’s children’s centers say their relatively low pay makes it unviable to live near Google’s campuses and that the company’s refusal to help with its transportation costs reflects an underestimation of his work.
Google workers who provide child care and education for staff children say the Internet giant is calling them to the office without restoring the relocation service they trust and distributing a petition urging the Alphabet unit Inc. cover travel costs.
“Shifting this cost for essential workers, who earn much less than the Googlers whose children care for them, is unacceptable,” according to the petition, which was drafted by members of the Alphabet Workers Union and began circulating on Friday. . “Google may be an extraordinary problem solver, but it chooses not to solve that problem for its child care workers.”
The petition, which in its early hours had garnered signatures from some 200 Alphabet employees, says Google Children’s Centers employees have tried to raise the issue with executives to no avail: “The corporate response was:“ Transportation it’s just an advantage, not a benefit. “
A Google representative said Friday that the transfer service will be available “as soon as it’s secure,” but declined to give a timeline.
The company added that daycare staff were paid in full during the pandemic when the Google center was closed and, like other Google employees, received an additional $ 1,000 housework expense.
“We work hard to provide a positive, rewarding and satisfying experience for all of our employees, including our Google educators at our children’s centers,” Google spokeswoman Shannon Newberry said in a separate statement. “We appreciate the feedback and will continue to work with any employees who have questions.”
Educators and early caregivers work at four Google children’s centers, near the company’s San Francisco Bay offices, with employees ’children under their care, from infants to five-year-olds.
During the pandemic they have provided virtual activities such as yoga and reading books to children. In interviews, employees said their relatively low pay makes it unfeasible to live near Google campuses and that the refusal to help with their transportation reflects an underestimation of their work.
“They’re babies, kids and kids from Google, and we support them, but still, our work doesn’t look that way,” said Denise Belardes, a local U.S. leader who earns about $ 25 for time as a Google child educator.
Employees said they had been trying for weeks to raise the issue of transportation with managers and were told to handle them themselves through solutions like car sharing. “We feel so invisible,” said Katrina de la Fuente, a member of the AWU. “We’re like stepchildren.”
Some workers are due to return to the office as early as Monday to prepare classrooms for children to return by the end of this month, according to Google Children’s Center employees.
While many tech companies have decided to make remote work more permanent, Google is inviting staff to the offices later this year, arguing that in-person work encourages innovation. The company has redesigned its campuses to offer more space between people and create features for hybrid work with a mix of staff in the office and at home.
Earlier this week, Google changed its rules to allow more people to work from home or from different offices. After this fall, the company said 60% of its staff will work on site, a few days a week, while 20% will be able to work remotely.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also told employees that by 2021 the company would continue to offer “recovery” days, including additional paid leave breaks that Google implemented during the pandemic.
The Alphabet Workers Union, affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, was formally launched in January. The group has said it does not seek formal recognition or collective bargaining with the company, but plans to address labor issues through advocacy and protest.
A National Labor Relations Board (AWU) complaint filed in February on behalf of a subcontracted Google data center worker in South Carolina led to a solution, in which Google vowed to obey federal law in not to silence workers about their pay.