Re: Working for love.

Naomi Gold (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 20:40:45 -0500 (EST)

On Sun, 29 Mar 1998, Tim Kyng wrote:

> Liz Wertheim has replied to my question about whether the staff are being
> offered Union rates as follows:
> <Of course not. Traditionally, the first year staff at a Sudbury school work
> for love and, hopefully, pay themselves back over the next few years.
> Still interested?
> Help us raise money!> Liz

I am fully supportive of the Sudbury model and would like to see it
thrive. I also realize that the Sudbury school, and other alternative
schools, may not be financially capable of paying salaries commensurate
with those the in public system or in many private schools.

I was, however, disppointed by the tone of the above reply. It doesn't
validate right of Sudbury staff to adequate wages. It seems to say,
"Anyone working here is lucky and should be willing to work for love."
Well, it's true that anyone committed to the Sudbury model WOULD be lucky
to work there, but why should commitment to this type of environment
necessitate giving of one's labor for free? This sounds almost
exploitative. I would be very disappointed if an environment so committed
to the emancipation and autonomy of young people had an attitude toward
its staff similar to the worst of corporate America, e.g. "You're lucky to
be here. If you're willing to work for next to nothing, there may be a
place for you. If not, there are plenty of people who will." Please tell
me it's not like this.

Realistically, how many people are in a position to give of their time
for free? Are Sudbury staff all independently wealthy or in relationships
where a spouse supports the family?

What is the origin of the practice of not paying first-year staff?