Pay for cleaners

RWS

Veteran
Quoting "Matty": ". . As . . . much as I would like to pay the cleaner of my meager apartment "more",I would not want to antagonize my LOCAL neighbors who do not earn in dollars. I would upset the applecart (so to speak), and would never want to be accused of 'flaunting" my dollars. My neighbors earn in pesos, I am not mighty and superior by adding and translating payment of same service in dollars. I go with the flow . . . . in Argentina we should think in pesos, . . . and not in US dollars, right? . . . ."
I'm in complete agreement with this extract, Matty. If my earlier remark seemed to indicate otherwise, please ignore it.
 

suejud

Newcomer
Good points and well taken. I only had the cleaner when we first arrived and primarily due to an injury - at that time I was feeling a lot more flush financially and knew in the states (where I never had a cleaner) I'd be paying much more (however, even in the bay area I never heard of the rates quoted here - more like 60.usd/4 hours; but no doubt the rate varies considerably.)
I appreciate the point about paying like a local so as not to undermine all who live only on pesos, etc. Thanks
 

RWS

Veteran
Quoting "suejud": ". . . . even in the bay area I never heard of the rates quoted here - more like 60.usd/4 hours . . . ."
Much depends upon the labor available. Here, in southern New England, there are fewer illegal immigrants than in California, so less depression of wages. The few folk I know who pay fifty dollars or more refuse to hire illegal immigrants and, of course, want honest and reliable (but not fulltime -- no benefits beyond pay) workers: so pay is more.
 

suejud

Newcomer
I wasn't referring to illegal immigrants. The few people I know who have a cleaner come to their homes (maybe 2xmonth) hire legal citizens, who are also trustworthy. I think in the end we are referring to different income classes here - and with that obviously comes higher paid wages.
 

austin

Member
Thanks for your comments. I prefer to be a bit generous rather than pay the least possible. My impession is that most well off or reasonably well off Argentines try to pay as little as they can and have little sympathy for people in menial positions. I try to practice what I preach, i.e. I believe in treating people fairly and compensating them fairly. I don't think 7 pesos is anywhere near enough given all the inflation we have been having. People should be paying more. Yes, people here take advantage of first world foreigners. It's part of the culture.
 

cbphoto

Veteran
.....my landlord pays my maid (she comes once a week) 14 pesos, for 2 hours, which I think is robbery. I have seen on this blog, people asking about the correct price. Talking about 10 pesos an hour, is that too much? I ask you, what do you think is fair? I give my maid extra money, groceries, and for Christmas an extra 75 pesos...1.5 months pay....my landlord gave her nothing....The difference between 7 pesos and 14 pesos an hour is 2.5 u$s.... but for a local maid is much more!!!! They work hard, save you much work, are honest.... what the hell????That being said, some friends of mine work at a local bar (bartenders)...after a busy night, they each go home with about 15 u$s in tips, of which 80% is from foreigners....Why are so many people asking what is the "norm" for pay in Argentina? Why don't you just do what you think seems "right"???
 

perry

Veteran
Well said CB Photo. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. Too many people pay the same rates endorsed by Argentine society and then they wonder why there is so much resentment and poverty in this society. Can any of you ask yourself that 7 pesos an hour is a liveable wage when inflation is currently 30 percent per annum and prices are equal now to US prices for most items.
Poverty is increasing in Argentina because of inflation and wages must reflect the reality of this . Remember when your maid comes to visit you she normally travels 2 hours to visit you and also pays for fares too and from your address. I suggest that you pay a wage taking all this into account.
 

Matty

Active Member
My neighbor once said during a meeting in the building when we brought up the issue of pay rates for cleaning ladies...."you can choose and change your cleaning lady - but you are stuck with your neighbors. Your choice!"
I cannot pay the 14pesos an hour and it is out of the family budget. There are always people looking for cleaning work and well recommended. And their travel time is always less than 30 minutes and we cover the fare.
I am not sure why the "resentment and poverty" are being factored here. My cleaning lady cleans several houses in this barrio and she cleans mine only once a week for a couple of hours. Inflation does not only affect her, uhh, it also affects me - and who looks out for me? ME!
 

Mike1

Active Member
"Matty" said:
I am not sure why the "resentment and poverty" are being factored here. My cleaning lady cleans several houses in this barrio and she cleans mine only once a week for a couple of hours. Inflation does not only affect her, uhh, it also affects me - and who looks out for me? ME!
Exactly, Matty our wages here also reflect what we could pay, especially when our wages are paid in pesos as well. Most expats do not live here long enough to a point where they have to worry about their dollars, euros, pounds, etc. running out and have to compensate by matching the current rates. We have to keep in mind that we're artificially causing the costs of labor to go higher by thinking of things in terms of wages of our home countries. The cleaning ladies here know that they can get more from expats because we're thinking in terms of our home currencies so they are more than likely to get what they want from the "ignorant & uninformed." Sure cleaning ladies in the US gets more, they are also better equipped, and rising fuel costs, which justified their overhead. We're making more out there but it also offsets our costs of living. For most of the US population, who earns less than $40,000 a year, end up with only a few hundreds dollars of disposable income after taxes, rent, or mortgage, bills, personal spending, and food. I highly doubt that these same people would be willing to pay for a cleaning lady, even for $20 per hour, plus 15-20% tip, which was the cheapest rate in the Hollywood area as of late 2007/early 2008. For $20 per hour, you get 2 people, with their own cleaning equipments & supplies plus they arrive in a van. Heck, they would even take your trash bags in their vans and throw them in a dumpster for you. I have a friend back home who is making over $60,000 per year and he has to get a roommate so that he could make ends meet. They had a cleaning lady come in once a month at $20 per hour for 4 hours. I highly doubt if there are a lot of Argentinians living here that even makes over $40,000 a year. Last I checked the average income in Argentina is $13,000 per year, if you're making twice that, you're doing very well here. Sure, I'd love to make the same amount that I was making in the US, but this is Argentina and I'm also taking a hit in my pay rates as well. I'm making way above the national average but I refuse to be looked upon as an American who has loads to blow because he is a tourist on vacation. By the way, that same tourist is probably the same guy who will cringe and cry bloody murder after he sees what he has to pay and how much he has spent when he gets back to his home country. That's my 2 cents.
 

cbphoto

Veteran
....as one of those "ignorant & uninformed" expats living here.... I have a question for you Mike1:Seeing that you earn "way above the national average" which you said was 13 000$ annually (national average) ..let's assume by "way above" you meant 2-3 times as much..so 26 000$-39 000$... are you seriously trying to tell us that you can not "afford" to give your maid a decent pay?I would be happy to give you double your 2cents ...if I thought you needed it and if I thought your "2 cents" were worth any more....
 
Top