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Pay review increases-More money less to spend


Bruce B
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I'm curious at the places you guys are employed if there is a standard increase and what it is. I work for a ski resort that has about 100 year round employees that peaks out at 700 employees in the winter time. Our maximum increase at review time is 3 %. I know alot of larger corporations also have cost of living increases, but we dont.

Its very frustrating with a 3% increase every year making a little extra money watching it fly out of your wallet with astronomical health insurance costs rising every year, gas prices skyrocketing, electricity is going up, and for those of us that live in a cold winter climate, ballooning oil prices. 2 years ago I paid $.89 a gallon for oil, last year $1.30, and this year it looks like $2.50 a gallon. I have a good job and have been here for 12 years so I was wondering if your employers have made any strides in coping with the increased cost of living.

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I've always worked in tech (semiconductor chips specifically) which is hard to equate to other industries. When I started, I received a 30% raise my first year out of school, 20% the year after that, now (10 yrs or so) it's about 5% a year. Usually you make all your money in this biz with stock options and employee stock purchase plans that are negotiated when you join. That's the upside, when the times are good they are really good.

 

The downside is that if there is a recession (like 2000-2003) or other downturn, you get 0% payraise, or a pay decrease (!), or just laid off. I survived that last dip pretty well, but friends and co-workers that were 'downsized' typically spent 6-12 months trying to find another comparable position. When the times are bad in tech, it can get really bad.

 

Typically in tech when you want a raise, you change companies and negotiate a better salary at the next place you work.

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Well.. In most parts of Ny The minimum Wage was $ 5.15 an hour for 4 years... Since the living expenses have gone up.. Ny has raised the minimum to 6.00 an hour.. Its not much but it does help.. I work At Modells Sporting goods..The Retail sporting goods market along the east coast.. We have over 121 stores from NY To Virginia. The pay increase usually depends on the company. It can also depend on the Union That the companys in.. I know when i started 4 years ago our Company was forced to give yearly raises to it associates as well as a union raise.. However 3 years ago we changed unions and the only raise that associates get is 20-25 cents an hour from the union.. Thats for regualr associates.. As a manager we get treated a little better.. We get 1.00 raise every 6 monthes and 2 bonus's a year. However all the money we are getting... the more union dues go up..

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I'm in the creative department in an ad agency. The recession of the last 5 years or so hit this industry very hard. The company I work for is owned by a huge conglomerate, so while my company was quite successful despite the recession, the conglomerate was not doing well. Many of our (less profitable) sister companies saw huge layoffs. For example, one company we shared space with went from 350 employees to 90 in about 2 years. The parent company put a freeze on raises and hiring for 3 years after I started here. But because my company has actually been profitable, last year they gave us raises (I got 5%), then again this year we were allowed raises (which came to about 5.5%),

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I now seem to work for a company that gives a bi-annual paycut and medical benefit cost increase. Never had a cost of living raise.

 

I've had an 18.4% pay decrease this year. Not really sure what the percentage is on medical cost increase but, when you consider that cost as an actual decrease in pay, which...it really is, it's more than a 20% cut.

 

We've lost over 24000 employees since 9/11 and, they just announced a further 7000 to 9000 more to whack.

 

I'm in a bad industry, just like some of you guys.

 

BUT...at least gas is cheap, huh? :bh

 

I'm thinking about finding the nearest bell tower, er...flight control tower, and making an afternoon of it with one of my rifles. :rock

 

Any games coming out where you kill executives and upper management-type people? :hmm

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Wow, in many ways I guess I should be counting my blessings. :eh We have an annual review at my job, no one is guaranteed anything. I've been through 2 mergers/acquisitions now, and countless re-orgs so it changes slightly from year to year, but typically each project has to put staff into 3 groups, average, slackers, or excelling, and those groups have to be a certain percentage of people, usually 50,25,25. The slackers get nothing, the average folks get 3-5% and the people that are doing well get 5-7%. We also have very strict guidelines for pay vs title, so all that non-sense comes into play as well.

 

My wife on the other hand is a teacher in a public school. She's basically gauranteed a 3-5% raise for just showing up to work, merit and work ethic mean nothing. :bh Eight years on the job, and she barely makes what I did fresh out of college. :mad:

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My wife on the other hand is a teacher in a public school. She's basically gauranteed a 3-5% raise for just showing up to work, merit and work ethic mean nothing. Eight years on the job, and she barely makes what I did fresh out of college

 

She must not be a teacher in Pennsylvania.

 

West Mifflin, just south of Pittsburgh, is home for me. One of my best friends is a high school teacher at Steel Valley Highschool. He teaches woodshop, digital photography, and website design.

 

Makes 70k/year. He's 39 years old so, he hasn't been teaching for decades. My father, who is 85, pays a hair under $1500/year in school taxes alone. The teachers union is one of THE strongest unions in the state of PA and is driving people away that can't pay the taxes anymore.

 

I can't speak for the whole state but I know for a fact that Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh and many many other cities are situated, has a big population reduction going on. Not just due to school taxes mind you, but it's part of it.

 

To be honest, Dave and I haven't talked since we got into an argument about paychecks and I pissed him off saying that he makes 70k/year to teach kids how to build a birdhouse, take a picture of it, and stick it on the internet...you're overpaid.

 

Maybe I'll get a chance to say "sorry", at our 20 year class reunion, this coming November.

 

...it's really been 20 years since highschool???? :(

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Derrik, I think that situation is very unusual. I know a few people here that either teach public school, or whose partners do and they get paid very low wages. I don't have exact figures, but I know they do lot live at all like highly paid people.

 

I personally think teaching should be a highly paid position, and along with that it should be a highly scrutinized position to ensure high quality education. If the pay for teachers was higher, it would attract more skilled people who might choose to teach instead of going into fields where they make more money.

 

On an OT note, my family is all from Allegheny County, my mom was born in Aliquippa, and my Dad's family lives in Ambridge. I spent a few summers in that area as a kid.

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In public accounting, a good raise will probably run 7-10%, with other raises also coming when certain points on the career track are reached. If you're able to stick with it, it's not unusual for people who started out in the 40's to be making six figures in 7-10 years. I'm probably going to quit and go to law school next year though if I'm able to get into a top 10 program.

 

My wife started out as a retail assistant manager right after graduation. She got a 33% raise moving to head store manager, but performance bonuses mean she's earning almost double her original salary. Basically, she moved from 30k to 60k in a bit over a year.

 

Pay increases are going to differ a lot depending on 'why the company is paying you'. If you are doing something that doesn't bring in any revenue but is necessary for the company to run (ie: tech support), it will be hard to get a significant raise. The company wants to fulfill that function as cheaply as possible and is only giving raises to the extent that it's cheaper to keep you than it is to recruit/hire/retrain someone else.

 

Somewhere like an accounting or law firm though, you provide increasing amounts of revenue for the firm as you become more experienced, so there's plenty of surplus to be split between employer/employee. Performance based positions like retail management are similar. Make your goals and the company will love you and shower you with cash since your salary is probably much much less than the revenue you help bring in. Fail to make goals for an extended period of time and you'll be looking for a new job though.

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Not to drag this thread off topic, but I could easily argue both sides of the teachers overpaid/under paid equation. Teachers in PA are required to have a masters degree, I would never argue someone with a masters and 15 years experience is overpaid at 70k/year. :confused: On the other hand teachers usually only work 6 hour days, and get off at least 3 months of the year, so on an hourly rate they actually don't do too bad to their counterparts. ;)

 

I mainly take issue with the across the board raises based on years of experience vs using some form of a merit/bonus system.

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Derrik, I think that situation is very unusual. I know a few people here that either teach public school, or whose partners do and they get paid very low wages.

 

It is because I know that our teachers get paid $24k a year or so. It is VERY unusual for a teacher to get paid $70k a year. In fact they deserve it and more.

 

For where I work, we average 3-5%.

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Depends on our review but that sounds about the same as what we normally get. I'm a contractor/temp worker. In reality I'm a permanent here, 80% of us are Kelly contractors (IMO just a sham to pay us less and not pay for the great benefits (like unlimited sick days, great healthcare for like 5% of what we pay, etc... what "real" Dow employees get). I work in I/T, low level VMS monitoring & problem handling. The one year, the health benefits jumped more than the pay increase increased our pay. So a lot of people's paychecks went DOWN after the raise. :( Everyone bitterly joked that year that we got poorer every year we worked here :(

 

Dow Chemical had a rough few years, we got our pay cut 2 years ago by 6% and that was rough. The next year we got no raises. Health care costs continued to increase - I never signed up for it - $85-$120 a week I couldn't afford. But then of course now we are having a baby and I didn't have the health care in place yet - so we're paying mucho $$ out of pocket. Then again the Blue Shield @ $120 a week * 52 weeks = $6,240 a year out of $35,000 or so. :(

 

Normally we got 3%, but the one year we got cut 6% and the year after that we got no raises. This year we got bumped like 20% though to make up for the pay cut, industry standard pay adjustment, etc! That was awesome! And then we got our normal 3% or whatever raise.

 

 

 

-------------------------------------

Longer explanation.

 

So I went from $13.65 - 1.5 years with no raise (bad timing when I started), then a raise of 3% or so. Then the new starting wage but bumped up, I was training an incompetent noob making like $1 more than me :(. Eventually we all got bumped to the new starting wage of $15.

 

After less than a year at that we got our pay cut by 6% so I went back down to $14.10 (that was rough, we'd just started renting a house instead of an apartment). Then the next year with no raises.

 

This year they gave us back the pay cut, bumped us up to the new job description/industry level pay, and we got our normal pay review increase of like 3-4% (depending on your review).

So from a 6% pay cut level of $14.10...we got paid that for 2 years with no raises. Then this year raises, etc came back and the pay cuts taken away. I got bumped to $17.00 or so and then to $17.45. This has been a MUCH easier year, the extra wages really helped, and overtime money is mucho $$ now.

 

 

----------------------------

 

So I would say yes, 3% is pretty average. And it does suck. Luckily our pay rate has been adjusted a few times. I think turnover after the pay cut went WAY up, that made a difference. Our job has a 12-week training period, you're considered pretty much self-sufficient to speed normally in about 6 months, after about year you're normally TRULY trained. So they can't afford a LOT of turnover.

 

At least until they move our jobs to China, kinda like most of the NT Server & network support was outsourced to IBM, who moved it a center in Brazil that services multiple companies. Man am I glad I work in a technology that nobody knows what it is! :D

 

 

PS - Teachers making 70k a year? No way! I make more than my high school teachers, my HS band teacher was so poor he was using coupons at McDs on band trips. Those of us that talked to him a lot found out that he made like sub-$30k, like $25k or something.

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PS - Teachers making 70k a year? No way! I make more than my high school teachers, my HS band teacher was so poor he was using coupons at McDs on band trips. Those of us that talked to him a lot found out that he made like sub-$30k, like $25k or something

 

You're right: they make up to $90k/year.

 

Did a little research to see if I was being bullshitted by my friend.. Didn't think I was due to the assinine Pa school taxes.

 

For anyone that's currently a teacher, and anyone conteplating being a teacher, move to Pa. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_352913.html

 

Pay special attention to the last 2 paragraphs.

 

I agree that there should be scrutiny on how talented teachers are, and I agree that it's an important job.

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