Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line:Somerville Not Paying Sufficient Salaries Schools, DPW and Losing Qualified Employees at Rapid Rate

Dear Billy T and Somerville/Medford News Weekly Speakup Line,

Hey Billy,

It’s xxxxx xxxxxxx, xxxxx’s daughter. I went to school with your son and daughter. I wanted to bring attention to the Somerville Public School System for not having an after care program at the Argenziao School for kindergarten through 2nd grade.

Even returning students are being denied. We were told they just needed to hire someone at the school and the kids would be enrolled, but one of the mothers spoke with the director and they basically said it’s not happening. The Elizabeth Peabody House is another option, but it has a year and a half waiting list to enroll children there. We parents are being left with no safe affordable options for our kids.

I did look up the posting for this job on the city’s website and they are offering $18.75 an hour salary if the person has a long list of degrees and certifications. The salary that they are offering which we know is nowhere near what it should be and no one would take that job.

I’m asking you for help to try to get the word out and help to address this issue that this city has dumped plenty of money into unnecessary things, but for some reason can’t find the funds to hire a lead teacher for an after school program. So with this situation now, parents can’t work.

I was told that the same situation is happening at the Somerville Department of Public Works (DPW), where employees are bailing out for better paying jobs elsewhere. The City of Somerville doesn’t even have people to trim trees anymore. The Somerville Tree Department doesn’t even exist anymore and now the city has to outsource all that work to private contractors. The same thing is happening with understaffing in the trash collection department. The city is ridiculously shorthanded because they’re not paying enough money to hold onto qualified people who are leaving Somerville to go work for other municipalities that are offering greater pay for the same jobs.
DPW employees are also being lost to Eversource and other municipalities that pay much more for qualified help. Even Somerville Police Officers are putting in lateral transfer is for other cities to better support themselves and their families.

I also heard that we are even losing our Somerville Veteran’s Services Officer this week who is leaving Somerville for a better paying job elsewhere. I’m just very surprised that the City of Somerville is still functioning and not completely shut down at this capacity. This new mayor has made complete shambles of our city and she has to go.

If you have any ideas on how we can get something started for the parents and their school children, please let me know.

Thank you,

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