The more experience you have the less you are paid???

  1. I work at a children's hospital in Chicago and they just sent out a notice saying that new grads would start at around $20 per hour. This is close to what I make and I have been there for five years!!! Not to mention that the rumor is they will adjust the pay for recent employees. but for the most experienced the pay will never reflect their years of experience. Some of the older RN's may not even get an increase at all. I guess they are "maxed out". What should we do? Call a massive strike for fair increases? This would never happen if we were union, right? I am so tired of this being acceptable behavior towards nurses.
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   2ndCareerRN
    What should we do? Call a massive strike for fair increases?
    Sure sounds like a good start!!

    bob
  4. by   fedupnurse
    It probably wouldn't happen if you were union. Another way to boost your pay is if your facility has clinical ladder type programs. I did mine as soon as I was eligible and if I hadn't done it way back when I started I would be making at least $4.00 less an hour. We get $1.00 per ladder level added to our base salary. So all of my raises for the past 7 years have been based on an extra $2.00 more an hour than if I hadn't done the ladder program.
    Unions won't come knocking on your door, you have to call one of them. Unions are only as strong as each member and it is the members that run the union local. You have to have a strong group that wants to unionize because the suits will blow literally millions of bucks on union busting campaigns.
    Best of luck and if you need any advice on organizing your hospital, let me know and I will try to put you in touch with the right people.
    I walked a picket line for 98 days thru 16 ice storms and I would still never work in a non union hospital. That should tell everyone something!!!
  5. by   oramar
    One thing that pops out at me here is that in nursing it appears the more you move the more you get paid.
  6. by   Rustyhammer
    When the suits start that "It's against policy to discuss your wages" talk. You KNOW the pay scale isn't fair and you better start talking wages.

    -Russell
  7. by   -jt
    <This would never happen if we were union, right?>

    Right. and it wouldnt happen if there were no such thing as a "merit" raise system either.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    We have clinical ladders also where I work and last year, I got a 13% pay raise! Personally, I go along with merit pay increases, because I work very hard, put in OT, sit on committees, go to meetings, etc. and I expect to be compensated.

    It's like any other career - if you put forth the minimum effort, you get the minimum raise!
  9. by   ceecel.dee
    It would not happen if you were unionized.

    Pose this question to them: do I have to resign, reapply, reinterview, rehire to be treated fairly?

    They may have to pay new hires alot more than when we started, but the whole staff wage scale MUST be adjusted! Is it any wonder why morale is pitifully low?
  10. by   -jt
    With merit raises, even if you put forth the best effort, you get only what the hospital decides it wants to give. If the budget is off, they can make it up on the RNs back by lowering the % they give on raises. If the best RN deserves a 6% raise but the hospital has decided its profits are down so they are only doling out 2% tops, the best RN gets 2% - instead of what she really "merited" - & the rest get less. None of them get what they deserve. And what happens when the hospital decides it isnt giving any raises that year because it wants to "cut costs". In that case, the RN doesnt even get a piece of what she merited.

    An RN may be putting in maximum effort & still not getting maximum compensation based on the cost to the hospital. Or she may be putting in maximum effort but cant work overtime, so her manager holds that against her & decides she doesnt "merit" the raise she actually deserves. Or she may be the managers pet, putting in less of an effort but getting a better raise because the manager likes her. Its great if youre lucky enough to have an administration that gives raises that people truly deserve, but thats rare. The merit raise system just cant be trusted. It depends too much on someone elses arbitrary opinion & on what the hospital feels like spending that year - things the RN has no control of, no matter how much effort she puts in.

    Personally, I prefer a guaranteed fair standard yearly raise for experience & longevity for everyone that you can depend on receiving, no matter what the budget is that year, & then ALSO being rewarded with ADDITIONAL compensation, aside from the yearly raise, for everything the RN chooses to do above & beyond - like all the participation in committees & clinical ladder work. Experience & longevity are valuable & should be compensated for as much as maximum effort should be compensated for. Why should we have to choose between the two? Reward the RN for both.
    Last edit by -jt on May 22, '02
  11. by   NurseExplorer
    -jt

    Would the additional compensation aside from the yearly raise be arbitrary? Would the amount be based on subjective criteria?
  12. by   eltrip
    Originally posted by fedupnurse

    I walked a picket line for 98 days thru 16 ice storms and I would still never work in a non union hospital. That should tell everyone something!!!
    Wow. Now that's a statement. My part of the country tends to be very non-union oriented, however, nurses continue to be treated as they always have Change comes very slowly around here...

    Thanks for your insight!

    happy Wednesday, ya'll
  13. by   LasVegasRN
    I'm still not so sure about nurse unions.

    Right now in Vegas the culinary union is striking and the city bus drivers are striking. The core basis of the culinary union strike is they don't want to have to pay for their health benefits. This is an issue the average Joe has a problem with because MOST jobs you pay a portion of your benefits out of your paycheck. So are the drivers. They want free healthcare.

    Most of us in the city didn't even know there was such as thing as free healthcare from an employer, so, not much sympathy going around.

    I would have a problem with a union official deciding my salary. Being used to merit increases based on my performance I'm not sure I would bode well with accepting a 3% across the board raise regardless of how the staff performs as opposed to basing it on individual performance. If I felt I deserved 8% and got 3% because of the union, hmmmm....................

    Some of the strip resorts are still non-union. Old timers from the mob era will tell you that work conditions were much better back then, but then again a lot of things were better "back then" depending on how you look at it.

    Also, when they show the culinary union strike rally on the news with the big banners and music and party atmosphere it would seem like the union officials almost "get off" on inciting these people to lose their jobs on issues that seem outdated and unrealistic in today's world.

    Unions are just leaving a bad taste in the mouths here... in my opinion...
    :stone
  14. by   Gomer
    I'm also Non-Union. I never want to have a third party speak for me. If I have a problem with management I want to go directly to them and attempt to work it out. And so far I've been lucky to have always worked for companies that listened and tried to treat all their employees fairly and with respect.

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