Instead of running around hollering, how about acquiring the knowledge and skills that will earn you $15 an hour - or far more? You don't "deserve" more than what you're paid; Oregon has long had the second-highest minimum wage in the USA, and it's adjusted upward for inflation each year.
Supporters of higher wages for Oregon's low-paid workers swarmed the state Capitol steps today, loudly chanting, "Fight for 15."
Waving red picket signs that read "end poverty wages," protesters sought to build support in Oregon for a new minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Of course, Oregon Democratics are eager to force employers to pay you far more than you're worth, and they've got a number of bills lined up to do just that. Your problem is that they want to phase it in, whereas you want it yesterday.
After the rally on the Capitol steps, supporters marched the McDonald's franchise a few blocks away at Capitol and Center Streets NE, presumably where minimum-wage workers are employed, to emphasize their point.
Norton-Kertson said raising the minimum wage would help more than just restaurant or retail workers.
"It's our city workers, parks and recreation department and people who work at our schools, who drive our buses," he said.
Janice Niang, a Portland school bus driver and member of the Oregon School Educators Association, agreed.
"We make less than the wood chip guy and the beer delivery guy make at your local minimart, and we haul around American's future — and we are invested," Niang said
She said most people don't know that their children are being taken to and from school by highly qualified individuals. Most of her fellow bus drivers have degrees that they've never used. Niang has a degree in both K-12 art education and psychology.
"I'm in a career that I enjoy, but I can't make a living out of it," Niang said. "I house-share with someone, I'm on the Oregon Heath Plan and I work and I live below poverty, and it's about time that Oregon got a wage."
Yes, well, Janice, there's just one little problem: driving a school bus isn't a full-time job. It's too bad that your degrees in art and psychology aren't in demand, but you're the one who chose to pursue those degrees. To restate: driving a school bus is not a "career".
I know of a former stockbroker who retired and used to run a local blog, until he ran into technical difficulties. He decided to drive a school bus, and he enjoyed doing so. But it wasn't a "career", and he didn't pretend that it was - unlike you, Janice. Now, by contrast, that wood-chip guy and the beer-delivery guy of whom you speak are working full-time - and it's heavy work. Try it yourself; there are almost always job openings in both of those areas. You'd make a living wage, doing full-time work. But it's easier to gripe, isn't it?
Aternatively, since you enjoy driving buses, why not go to work for Tri-Met? Al drove for them for, I think, about 15 years. From what he has to say, however, you probably would find it a bit less enjoyable than driving a school bus. But at least you'd have a career, and you'd earn more money than you do in your part-time job. You might even find a few things to legitimately complain about.
But of course, the media probably wouldn't interview you then.