"That's f*cked up": Redditors blast $16/hour job where you might have to clean poop

Apr 19 2023, 9:43 pm

People online are criticizing the pay associated with a job posting for a cleaner who would “agree to clean dog poop, human poop and vomit.”

A janitorial and building management company’s job posting was shared on Reddit recently. Hundreds of comments from people condemned similar employers paying around minimum wage for employees working with biohazards.

According to the Alliance Maintenance Ltd. job posting for a full-time building cleaner in Burnaby, BC, the hourly wage is $16.

While the pay is above the current minimum wage in BC ($15.65), Reddit users criticized the company and others that pay around this range because of the high cost of living in the region. 

“That’s f*cked up. Pay people properly,” space-dragon750 said. “Who can live in the lower mainland on $16/hr.”

“I wouldn’t climb out of bed for $16/hr,” another user, nickeypants, said. 

Minimum wage, Full Time, dealing with multiple biohazards
by u/lrknst in britishcolumbia


One person said, “I only understand it for entry level jobs … where you get during [high school] with 0 prior experience, but even those these days pay almost $17.”

CaptainMarder added, “But with biohazards, should be LOT higher than 16. Maybe the job is very easy.”

An Alliance Maintenance company representative told Daily Hive the starting wage for a building cleaner is $16, depending on their experience. 

English and cleaning experience are not required for some of the janitorial positions at the company, but the representative said it is an asset. 

In four days, the job was filled at Alliance Maintenance by an employee with over two years of experience. 

The company representative went on to say the tasks involving pet and human excrements are optional. 

“Situations involving pet excrements generally take place on the exterior of the buildings, which require a simple wash of the area. Pet or human excrements on the interior of a strata building are much more rare and are generally supported by our operations team,” they said. 

“If they are not comfortable with them, we have internal protocols to ensure they are supported or relieved from that task altogether.”

Staff in this position also receive training and PPE (personal protective equipment). 

“When our staff report the successful completion of these tasks, depending on the severity, we have offered additional compensation, over and above their hourly wage,” the company added. 

Other job responsibilities include general cleaning of all common areas of the strata property.

“The pay isn’t worth the metaphorical and literal crap”

Reddit user Harkannin said that cleaners require skill to do their job as they handle biohazards and chemical hazards and an eye for detail, all while working safely. 

“I only did window cleaning in the early 2000s and was paid, with inflation adjustment for today’s $, roughly $25/hour. No amount of $ for me is enough for dealing with feces,” they wrote. 

“If people don’t want to pay for the expertise, then they can do it themselves.”

Another Reddit user, Midziu, even questioned, “It’s hard work, why would anyone do it for minimum wage?”

“It’s interesting that they would think this is a reasonable rate. I know house cleaners who earn $30-40 per hour cash in hand.”

While cleaning feces or vomit is “unpleasant and difficult,” Alliance Maintenance stresses, “it is important to remember that all jobs, regardless of pay, have their challenges and may require tasks that are undesirable,” a statement from the company reads.

“While some may be uncomfortable with performing these tasks, some are. In our job posting, we chose to be as transparent as possible,” the company representative added. 

They add that its new employee will receive a compensation package (which includes CPP, EI, sick pay and vacation pay). Once they are eligible, employees are enrolled in the company’s Employee Benefit Program. 

Reddit user nurdboy42 said they are in the same line of work, working for a private company to clean a private school and make about $18 an hour.

Despite the benefits they also receive, “the pay isn’t worth the metaphorical and literal crap I have to put up with.”

Reddit users not only criticized the local maintenance company. Most of the conversation centred around employees’ working conditions in many industries and are not compensated with a living wage. 

“Paying minimum wage is pretty much saying, ‘I’d pay you nothing if I could,'” exorthiax said. 

The company representative at Alliance Maintenance told Daily Hive they are “grateful” for the conversations that sparked on Reddit, adding, “We’re glad that this post sparked some eye-opening discussions about the realities of the working conditions many employees face in a multitude of industries.”

Amid all the conversation online, many users agreed, minimum wage jobs were where many of them faced the toughest challenges but were not treated or paid a salary that reflected their efforts. 

“Min wage jobs were by far the hardest jobs I’ve ever had,” alphawolf29 wrote.

How much would someone have to pay you to clean up human poop and vomit? Let us know in the comments below.

Nikitha MartinsNikitha Martins

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