Sunday, July 06, 2014

There's Always A Cost To Someone

I sneered a little when I heard about Starbucks' new educations benefits. In general, I am a big believer that a benefit that doesn't fit the individual isn't really a benefit. I can't manage online courses, that's not how I learn. I also don't learn well in 5 week cram sessions. What if you just want an Associate's degree in accounting form the local community college, and not a degree from Arizona State University? ASU is no Harvard. Others came up with other drawbacks of this new program.

Then I thought about it a little more--I live near ASU. They've cut staff and faculty positions at a ferocious rate since 2008 when the economy crashed and the state had its budget crunch (remember how Arizona sold their state office buildings for quick cash and then rented back the office space? Fun times!)during which they cut funding to the three state universities. So...who is going to be teaching all these new online students?

Adjunct professors, working on contract without benefits.

So Starbucks, which prides itself on being good for workers by paying higher-than minimum wages and offering benefits to part-time workers, is actually exploiting another pool of workers. Kind of makes those $5 Create Jobs wristbands seem ironic.

I wonder how Howard Schulz explains all this? Because it seems like fairness for all workers is what we should be striving for, not exploiting one batch to help another.

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