We are thrilled to announce that, beginning September 1, 2019, Piano Power is compensating our teachers for all in-between-lesson time at City of Chicago minimum wage: $13/hr as of this summer. This will be a huge change in our current teachers’ day-to-day work experience. It will also cement Piano Power’s status as Chicago’s best workplace for great music teachers.
Previously we supplied a flat $5/day gas subsidy. Now our teachers’ downtime will be worth three to five times that amount, based on their routes. Teachers can rest easy knowing that when, for example, they have a last-minute cancellation or a regular gap in their schedule, they will always be paid for that time. (Hanging out in a suburban Starbucks just got a little sweeter!)
We were inspired by the recent news that Logan Square restaurant Fat Rice was adding “a 4 percent surcharge to all customer checks to help pay for employee health insurance and boost the wages of kitchen staff.” Like the owners of Fat Rice, we think it makes a lot of sense to take care of the folks who are out in the field, doing the important work.
“I always think back to where I was in my twenties,” says Piano Power founder and director Abraham Levitan. “How can we make Piano Power into the work environment I would have been thrilled to find when I first moved to Chicago? Paid downtime makes that vision a reality.”
Teachers are the heart, soul, and engine of our company (and, we just really love our teachers!), so we strive to do everything we can to support them. We’re heartened to see other restaurants across the nation adopting the healthcare surcharge. With our move toward paid between-lessons-time, we hope to inspire other small businesses to look for ways to make their teams’ lives a little bit easier.