The NannyVan: Educating domestic workers about their rights

12 September, 2014 | Alicia Menendez | Fusion


Ever wonder why Mary Poppins left the Banks family? Sure, she made it seem like the kids were great and they just didn't need her anymore. But, what really happened? She was sick of working day in and day out without a livable wage and no lunch breaks.

According to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the median hourly wage for domestic workers who are US citizens is $12 an hour, compared to only $10 for undocumented domestic workers. And most aren't even aware of their basic rights to things like overtime pay and sick leave. This is one of the many things Nanny Van is aiming to change.

NannyVan is an organization based in New York that travels around the country in an awesome 1976 revamped Chevy van that was purchased on Craigslist.

Their goal is to accelerate the movement for domestic workers rights' by meeting domestic workers face-to-face and informing them about everything they are entitled to in their workplace. They hand out informational flyers, sample work contracts, informational coloring pages for children and they even have a nanny hotline where domestic workers can call in and hear short, humorous episodes that teaches them about their rights.

But equally as important as knowing the laws is having a support group to back you up.

"It's a combination of knowing what are the laws on the books and this other knowledge of community, channels in which they can pursue their rights"

says Irene Jor from the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Nanny Van launched in February of this year and has already been able to reach over 10,000 domestic workers around the country.

Credit: Johanna Rojas and Ignacio Torres

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2014 © International Domestic Workers Federation