Pay raise advice!



  • So I know a number of you here manage staff. I'm after some advice in regards to asking for a pay raise.

    My Mrs works for a private medical practice Mon-Friday on rotating day shifts. Some years back all staff were asked if they would want to also be rostered on to a Saturday shift for double pay or for another day off during the week. Everyone else accepted and she declined as she loves having her weekends to herself so for the last 6 years she has not been on that Saturday roster. No real problem. Anyway she had a new boss come in a couple years ago who is a bit of a jerk to her and has been trying to get her on the Saturday shift with the word getting harder now to the point where just today after a lot of pressure she has verbally agreed to do it. I know she won't like the new work arrangement and more than that really kick herself for not standing up for herself, she is extremely mild mannered.

    So because she is a bit of a softy I'm helping her sort out a bit of a plan to negotiate. She hasn't had a pay rise for 6 years, which I think at the very least should be rectified before she agrees to do any favours for this business. What I'm thinking is to work out the CPI increase over the last 6 years working out what her salary should be now and then maybe adding on an extra 3% or so and have her go back to him saying she is happy with the Saturday roster but only if her pay is increased first.

    So what do you bosses out there reckon? What would work for you in regards to asking for a pay increase? I know she is an excellent worker, she's qualified as all hell and very experienced, her biggest downfall is just how 'nice' she is, she would easily be in the 99th percentile for agreeableness in a psych test so this is going to be extremely difficult for her.



  • @Rembrandt I generally tend to offer raises before they are asked for. I know things haven't always been easy but 6 years without a raise is rough. She should ask, but if you guys live in NZ she shouldn't be afraid to get a negative answer. Experienced medical staff are a valuable commodity in Auckland at least, there is always work around



  • @canefan Yeah I couldn't believe it when she told me. I worked for a rail company which didn't have a raise in like 4 years but that was during the gfc so understandable at the time, but not this. We're based in Melbourne too, don't really know what the market is like for her field here but the way I see it if they say no then she just needs to say no. They can hardly fire her over it.



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @canefan Yeah I couldn't believe it when she told me. I worked for a rail company which didn't have a raise in like 4 years but that was during the gfc so understandable at the time, but not this. We're based in Melbourne too, don't really know what the market is like for her field here but the way I see it if they say no then she just needs to say no. They can hardly fire her over it.

    I usually ask my boss what they want to see out of me to get a wage rise. Ive got a raise every time but none of them have ever said anything about extra responsibilities etc which is weird.



  • Might also be helpful to test the market and see what ball park she's already in. In the past I've emailed open jobs that are similar in tasks and experience and requested their pay bands.



  • @Rembrandt I don't know about her field but I think the Aussie market is generally hard to get a raise in without moving jobs.



  • First thing I would do is arm myself with every bit of knowledge I could about pay in the sector for her job, her quals, her level of experience. It's easier to be confident when armed with some cold hard facts.

    If the business has not adjusted her pay for 6 years, even for cost of living, they are ripping her off. You can bet other employees haven't put up with it. They'll treat her in the way she allows, so if she says nothing, she gets nothing.



  • Without getting into the obvious question of how the fuck did one of the most vocal posters on the (at least politics) forum get involved with somebody who is 99%ile on the argreement scale ... a few thing stand out here. I'm no expert but I've been hired / fired, and also hired/fired over things to do with pay ...

    @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    So I know a number of you here manage staff. I'm after some advice in regards to asking for a pay raise.

    My Mrs works for a private medical practice Mon-Friday on rotating day shifts. Some years back all staff were asked if they would want to also be rostered on to a Saturday shift for double pay or for another day off during the week. Everyone else accepted and she declined as she loves having her weekends to herself so for the last 6 years she has not been on that Saturday roster. No real problem. Anyway she had a new boss come in a couple years ago who is a bit of a jerk to her

    Is the boss being a jerk to her, or to everybody? If just her, is it purely around the lack of working Saturdays? What level is this boss? Middle to semi senior management who are jerks go one of two ways .. out the door quick, or fast track to the top. Very dependent on what their mandate is.

    and has been trying to get her on the Saturday shift with the word getting harder now to the point where just today after a lot of pressure she has verbally agreed to do it. I know she won't like the new work arrangement and more than that really kick herself for not standing up for herself, she is extremely mild mannered.

    What sort of pressure? I dont know anything about Aussie employment law, but I'm sure there is a line here which it sounds like the person is treading around.

    So because she is a bit of a softy I'm helping her sort out a bit of a plan to negotiate. She hasn't had a pay rise for 6 years, which I think at the very least should be rectified before she agrees to do any favours for this business.

    How replaceable is she? Does she like the job? Could she join somewhere else easily and immediately? First secret of negotiation ... know your own position first.

    What I'm thinking is to work out the CPI increase over the last 6 years working out what her salary should be now and then maybe adding on an extra 3% or so and have her go back to him saying she is happy with the Saturday roster but only if her pay is increased first.

    So what do you bosses out there reckon? What would work for you in regards to asking for a pay increase? I know she is an excellent worker, she's qualified as all hell and very experienced, her biggest downfall is just how 'nice' she is, she would easily be in the 99th percentile for agreeableness in a psych test so this is going to be extremely difficult for her.

    from what you are saying, your positions above seem at least fair. I guess it depends on what the boss's motives are and where they are getting pressure from.



  • I’d avoid the CPI calculation because anything like that is possibly going to be difficult if your wife is of the type to avoid confrontation at all costs. Keep it purely transactional. Find a number that she is comfortable with defending because her personality type will find it easier to negotiate if she believes it is about fairness. If she can find out what equivalent market rates are then start there. Then leverage the roster change, based again on it being transactional, a quid pro quo. I’d learn a script like this:

    You know how important my weekends are to me . I’d rather not give them up as I’ve stated many times before. Despite feeling pressured into accepting the change in rosters, I can see from your point of view that it is important for you to standardise the shift rosters. My expectation is that you recognise the compromise I am making by adjusting the salary to reflect that. I’m looking for an adjustment of x but I’d be happy to accept a different figure if it’s based on an independent market review. If you can make that happen we have a deal.



  • @Nepia She's said this as well. Her colleagues have had raises however. The difference is she is one of the more highly paid there but also the most highly qualified. The way I see it (and I don't know bugger all about hiring) but I'd think if you hire someone at a particular rate then you would have already considered that that rate will go up at some point in the next few years.



  • @MajorRage said in Pay raise advice!:

    Is the boss being a jerk to her, or to everybody? If just her, is it purely around the lack of working Saturdays? What level is this boss? Middle to semi senior management who are jerks go one of two ways .. out the door quick, or fast track to the top. Very dependent on what their mandate is.

    To everyone. Bit of an anger problem. He manages the clinic which is part of a larger franchise, but he's also very lazy and shirks his duties and everyone is aware of it.

    What sort of pressure? I dont know anything about Aussie employment law, but I'm sure there is a line here which it sounds like the person is treading around.

    "You're not pulling your weight, everyone else has to work Saturdays, you aren't doing your share and its unfair to the other staff"
    Bloody manipulative to use on a people pleaser. They want her to work Saturdays so they can increase their patient load and therefore income, clientele include big name sports stars so these aren't charity cases by any means.

    How replaceable is she? Does she like the job? Could she join somewhere else easily and immediately? First secret of negotiation ... know your own position first.

    The feeling is he wants to offload her anyway, she does like the job and everyone there except him (other staff feel the same). Unsure of the job market. The way I see it turning this into a pay raise in return for the Saturday work request turns it into a win - win regardless of outcome. He could of course become more of a jerk but no guarantees that won't happen anyway.



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Nepia She's said this as well. Her colleagues have had raises however. The difference is she is one of the more highly paid there but also the most highly qualified. The way I see it (and I don't know bugger all about hiring) but I'd think if you hire someone at a particular rate then you would have already considered that that rate will go up at some point in the next few years.

    Maybe they feel she's hit the ceiling? My most experienced auxiliary is paid much more per hour and has been frozen there for some time, although she is winding down now. What does Mrs Rembrandt do? Nurse? Is it a general practice or specialist?

    A friend of mine is a vet. Not very confident she took it from her arsehole boss for years. Finally she got sick of working weekends, started looking around and ended up getting more pay for less work somewhere else. The boss came back with a counter offer but she left. Should have valued her enough to give her the raise earlier 🖕🖕🖕



  • @JC said in Pay raise advice!:

    I’d avoid the CPI calculation because anything like that is possibly going to be difficult if your wife is of the type to avoid confrontation at all costs. Keep it purely transactional. Find a number that she is comfortable with defending because her personality type will find it easier to negotiate if she believes it is about fairness. If she can find out what equivalent market rates are then start there. Then leverage the roster change, based again on it being transactional, a quid pro quo. I’d learn a script like this:

    You know how important my weekends are to me . I’d rather not give them up as I’ve stated many times before. Despite feeling pressured into accepting the change in rosters, I can see from your point of view that it is important for you to standardise the shift rosters. My expectation is that you recognise the compromise I am making by adjusting the salary to reflect that. I’m looking for an adjustment of x but I’d be happy to accept a different figure if it’s based on an independent market review. If you can make that happen we have a deal.

    That's a great script, thanks for that, that will help. I'm working out the CPI to help her work out a figure and if challenged on that figure she can back it up, will also take other posters advice about checking job market and see what she could be on.



  • @canefan said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Nepia She's said this as well. Her colleagues have had raises however. The difference is she is one of the more highly paid there but also the most highly qualified. The way I see it (and I don't know bugger all about hiring) but I'd think if you hire someone at a particular rate then you would have already considered that that rate will go up at some point in the next few years.

    Maybe they feel she's hit the ceiling? My most experienced auxiliary is paid much more per hour and has been frozen there for some time, although she is winding down now. What does Mrs Rembrandt do? Nurse? Is it a general practice or specialist?

    It's possible but you'd think at the very least salary would go up with cost of living. Their fees certainly have gone up. She's earning now significantly less than she started just taking CPI into account. She's a radiographer.



  • Thanks all, really great advice there, much appreciated.



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @canefan said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Nepia She's said this as well. Her colleagues have had raises however. The difference is she is one of the more highly paid there but also the most highly qualified. The way I see it (and I don't know bugger all about hiring) but I'd think if you hire someone at a particular rate then you would have already considered that that rate will go up at some point in the next few years.

    Maybe they feel she's hit the ceiling? My most experienced auxiliary is paid much more per hour and has been frozen there for some time, although she is winding down now. What does Mrs Rembrandt do? Nurse? Is it a general practice or specialist?

    It's possible but you'd think at the very least salary would go up with cost of living. Their fees certainly have gone up. She's earning now significantly less than she started just taking CPI into account. She's a radiographer.

    Lots of practices over there. I would at least explore her options. Being worried about leaving is not a very strong bargaining position when the boss is not very nice. My brother in law is a doctor, got sick of eating shit from a lazy toxic boss so he quit. Not worth it for your mental health



  • @canefan Yeah definitely, been through it too with bad management. You soon see the signs so I imagine this won't be the end of it



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @canefan Yeah definitely, been through it too with bad management. You soon see the signs so I imagine this won't be the end of it

    If she asks and gets knocked back, and she stays the boss feels like he owns her
    If she agrees to the extra shifts, with or without extra money probably the same but slightly less

    If the boss is a prick he's a prick. Blaming those under him and all the while hiding his laziness, unless he is let go it's pretty tough



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @canefan said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    @Nepia She's said this as well. Her colleagues have had raises however. The difference is she is one of the more highly paid there but also the most highly qualified. The way I see it (and I don't know bugger all about hiring) but I'd think if you hire someone at a particular rate then you would have already considered that that rate will go up at some point in the next few years.

    Maybe they feel she's hit the ceiling? My most experienced auxiliary is paid much more per hour and has been frozen there for some time, although she is winding down now. What does Mrs Rembrandt do? Nurse? Is it a general practice or specialist?

    It's possible but you'd think at the very least salary would go up with cost of living. Their fees certainly have gone up. She's earning now significantly less than she started just taking CPI into account. She's a radiographer.

    There is no legal obligation for an employer to give pay increases unless you are on an award rate or on the minimum wage where increases are mandated through the annual minimum wage review.

    As long as your Missus rate never falls below the relevant award rate for a radiographer then she could be on that salary rate for a long time.

    On the “pressure to work Saturdays”, an employer can’t coerce someone to change shifts. However an employer can change shifts with sufficient notice due to ‘operational requirements’. If she has been working 6 years without a shift change I’d say the employer would need a good reason beyond “we want her to work on Saturday” to justify the change.

    In terms of a strategy I like @JC approach. As someone who has managed people, if someone came to me with that sort reasoning, it would probably resonate more than the ‘emotional’ approach which many people fall into the trap of IMO.



  • In terms of demand in her field, I would think the more machines she is qualified to operate the better. If she can take standard radiographs is one thing. If she is proficient in taking CT, or more significantly MRI, then I would suppose that staff like her are in even greater demand. Sounds like it might be time to at least see what the going rate is for someone of her experience and skill set



  • @Rembrandt said in Pay raise advice!:

    I'm working out the CPI to help her work out a figure and if challenged on that figure she can back it up, will also take other posters advice about checking job market and see what she could be on.

    The latter will probably be the driver for her employer. CPI is a "nice to have" figure but market forces are what will dictate wages.

    All of my staff are on above average wages for the job (the ones I want to keep anyway). CPI increases have little relevance to me as the staff don't leave if they have to take a pay cut to go elsewhere. They are all very loyal because of it as well. Working Saturdays is definitely an issue for all of them and is actually a reason I pay above the norm, so yes, a bargaining chip of sorts.

    So basically, from an employers point of view, I think @JC has it about right.



  • You don't mention it but I assume she's getting double time for Saturday as per her peers?

    Confirmation of that would be my starting point. Then lead into the question of a rise.

    What do her colleagues earn? In my experience (unfortunately from an employers perspective) staff generally share pay rates. If she learns that she's effectively giving her Manager very little wriggle room. Coupled with a bit of research on the broader market for her role and really she holds all the Aces.

    Good luck



  • when we do our annual rem reviews, we are asked 2 things:

    1 what we'd like to see our salary move to
    2 justify the pay increase


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