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Discussing salary with coworkers


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So I said in another thread that I have to apply to keep my job, but the good news is the permanent position will be a pay increase. Currently I’m the lowest paid member of my team, and there’s probably a $20k gap between me and the top earner, because we came from different departments and her department makes a lot more. So I want to bring it up to the other three members of our team, so that when we get job offers we can say “I know that other members of the team are making X amount of dollars, and I would like something close.” I know corporate America hates that, but federal law protects your ability to discuss salary. 
 

Does anyone have any experience doing this sort of thing? Any suggestions on ways to broach it? I’m probably just going to more or less say what I said above, but I’m sometimes direct to the point of being a jerk and I’m the only man involved, so I need to be more aware of the emotional side.

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I’ve never talked salary with people in my same position, only with people in totally different departments. Somehow the boomer mentality of never discussing salary got ingrained in me, to no one’s benefit but their own.

I’m so helpful 

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In my industry the union sets minimums, but you're still not supposed to talk out of school. There's been a lot of encouragement lately though to break that taboo because it's clear that women and POCs (shocker I know) are making less.

I have no problem discussing what I make with other screenwriters unless we're both booked on the same show and working together. That's when it can get kind of hairy.

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24 minutes ago, Tank said:

In my industry the union sets minimums, but you're still not supposed to talk out of school. There's been a lot of encouragement lately though to break that taboo because it's clear that women and POCs (shocker I know) are making less.

I have no problem discussing what I make with other screenwriters unless we're both booked on the same show and working together. That's when it can get kind of hairy.

After the contracts are signed, I feel like it’s a completely different story, so I get you. 

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It isn't illegal.  Keep in mind, I had a situation this year where teacher A told teacher B she was making 15K more than what she was actually making (or at least that's what teacher B interpreted teacher A as to saying).  Teacher B kept going on to staff about how some teacher's aren't placed correctly on the payscale even though I assured her everyone was placed appropriately.  I told her I can't disclose other teacher's salaries., but she should ask teacher A to see her paystub.  That ended that.

My point is that people lie. 

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3 hours ago, Fozzie said:

After the contracts are signed, I feel like it’s a completely different story, so I get you. 

I'm all for sharing-- but it can make the work environment weird when two people at the same level realize there's a big wage gap between them.

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2 hours ago, Hobbes said:

It isn't illegal.  Keep in mind, I had a situation this year where teacher A told teacher B she was making 15K more than what she was actually making (or at least that's what teacher B interpreted teacher A as to saying).  Teacher B kept going on to staff about how some teacher's aren't placed correctly on the payscale even though I assured her everyone was placed appropriately.  I told her I can't disclose other teacher's salaries., but she should ask teacher A to see her paystub.  That ended that.

My point is that people lie. 

I have a really good grasp on relevant pay scales, and I imagine I’m within $3k on each person based on my knowledge of the industry, and my companies pay scale, but I agree. At this point it’s more about encouraging honesty, verifying what I already know, and encouraging everyone to try to negotiate together.  
 

P has been with the company for 2 and a half years, she’s one level above me in terms of department. Knowing what I know about salary and raises, she makes 6-8k more than me. 
 

K has been with the company for 2 years, and was sniped from another insurer and she was given a raise and permanent work from home status to get her to join. She’s from a completely different department, but her salary is somewhere between 10-12k more than me.

 

M has been with the company a short time, less than a year, but comes from the best paid claims department - they make the same as front line managers for the entry-level team. She makes 20-22k more than me. 
 

If someone gave numbers substantially outside of those ranges, I would be shocked and not believe it.

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It’s also worth noting that the work is completely different now. Before I handled claims, now I have to explain to the CEO why we’re hemorrhaging money on claims that no other company would pay. And that’s not an exaggeration- I’m on vacation but when I come back there’s a meeting with the CEO and I have to explain how we came up with our numbers because I understand the scoring system better than anyone else, because I built it and I can read the actual formulas. 

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I am part of a union and they share all of our salaries. They don't put names up, but they break it down by age, type of engineer, supposed experience, etc. It's very useful data. It's also easy to figure out who some people are. One of my coworkers just got a promotion and shared with me what her new salary is because she knows I am next up for promotion, and she wants to make sure I don't get screwed. We both started as the 2 lowest paid engineers in our skill in the union, which was crap because I also had 2 years of experience under my belt and they claimed they couldn't meet my counter offer of like, $3k more. Once we realized this several years later, we teamed up to watch out for the other women in our skill and to encourage them to demand higher pay. I actually want to encourage the union to start breaking down the numbers by gender, because I think it will be a rude awakening.

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16 hours ago, Hobbes said:

It isn't illegal.  Keep in mind, I had a situation this year where teacher A told teacher B she was making 15K more than what she was actually making (or at least that's what teacher B interpreted teacher A as to saying).  Teacher B kept going on to staff about how some teacher's aren't placed correctly on the payscale even though I assured her everyone was placed appropriately.  I told her I can't disclose other teacher's salaries., but she should ask teacher A to see her paystub.  That ended that.

My point is that people lie. 

This is exactly why I don't discuss this at school. There's always lies and stupidness. But at hiring/contract time I try to go for more!

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