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Discussing salary with co workers

Nurses   (1,810 Views 32 Comments)
by Dawnkeibals Dawnkeibals (New Member) New Member

982 Profile Views; 16 Posts

In general what is everyone's opinion on discussing salary with co workers? I understand that some people are "worth" more than others due to experience and education, however if people are performing the same duties daily there should not be a huge gap. I was just curious if this is something most of you guys talk about at work.

Last week I brought up salary with a co worker and you would have thought I asked he to do something illegal. We have been at the company about the same length of time and have the same title. I didn't see any harm in asking,  I honestly think it's good to discuss. What do you think? 

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

511 Posts; 6,459 Profile Views

In a word? "Don't".

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,295 Posts; 12,076 Profile Views

On the one hand, I can see where employers would want to keep people in the dark about pay parity (or lack of it) and on the other hand I can see where workplace talk about this subject could cause bad blood.

I guess I come down on the side of keeping things private, but I wouldn't begrudge anyone doing things differently...

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Nurse.Kelsey has 0 years experience as a RN and specializes in Pediatric Home Health (LPN).

116 Posts; 866 Profile Views

People are too sensitive about discussing pay. Just dont lol

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BlueShoes12 is a BSN, RN and specializes in Stepdown ICU, Trauma.

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Just don't do it. 

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DextersDisciple has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

254 Posts; 3,659 Profile Views

HARD no. It is NOT “good to discuss”. 

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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I think pay scales for experience, seniority and education should be as a rule, transparent and fair.    These things matter! Too often, people are able to negotiate base pay that is unfairly higher than more deserving nurses of the same caliber and experience.  For example: I have seen men make more than women, who have the same other qualities other than gender---women who have not taken breaks for childbirth and child rearing (which is usually the reason stated that men make more).

Often through the years, I have seen situations whereby workers are aware of others' pay, how I am not sure.  But it definitely bombs morale when the pay rates are blatantly unfair.

 

I would not walk up to a coworker and ask their hourly wage,  ( I have no desire to make others uncomfortable)----but in any place of employment, I would definitely be worth more than a nurse just graduating with no experience or less education. This is one positive aspect of unionizing, IMO. I will stop there because I do not want to derail the thread into the argument for, or against, unions. It's just one thing I see that is good about having them.

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Thank you for the replies. I believe the secrecy most benefits the employer. If you and I do the same exact job and I have 12 years experience and you have 15 years experience. You make $18 per hour more than I do, or if I make $8 more than you, is that fair although you have "more experience" who benefits most from you and I not knowing this? I guess your "worth" only as much as you will work for?

Edited by Dawnkeibals

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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14 minutes ago, Dawnkeibals said:

"Thank you for the replies. I believe the secrecy most benefits the employer. If you and I do the same exact job and I have 12 years experience and you have 15 years experience. You make $18 per hour more than I do, or if I make $8 more than you, is that fair although you have "more experience" who benefits most from you and I not knowing this? I guess your "worth" only as much as you will work for?"

*************************

OF COURSE pay and benefit secrecy benefits employers (never staff). That is one major reason the word "union" uttered by staff leads,  often, to being terminated.  Low balling is the norm in so many institutions today.

 

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

6,269 Posts; 64,878 Profile Views

Nurses absolutely should discuss their pay rates, and nurse's who feel uneasy doing so should consider getting over it.

Particularly in non-unionized employment, one of the main things that facilitates unfairly low wages is when employees won't discuss their wages with each other, which is why employers sometimes have implied "wage secrecy" rules even though such rules are generally illegal.  If you want to empower your employer to keep wages low, don't discuss it, if you want to empower nurses to improve wages, discuss it.  

Why You Should Tell Your Coworkers How Much Money You Make.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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6 hours ago, Dawnkeibals said:

In general what is everyone's opinion on discussing salary with co workers? I understand that some people are "worth" more than others due to experience and education, however if people are performing the same duties daily there should not be a huge gap. I was just curious if this is something most of you guys talk about at work.

Last week I brought up salary with a co worker and you would have thought I asked he to do something illegal. We have been at the company about the same length of time and have the same title. I didn't see any harm in asking,  I honestly think it's good to discuss. What do you think? 

I think it's great to discuss, but discretion is also called for. I'll speak freely with people I can trust not to reveal me as a source. I've also used my knowledge of other peoples wages to negotiate a better deal for myself ...but without names and without exact numbers.

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Twice within the past year coworkers have brought up pay and I have learned what a fool my employer takes me to be. This is not the first or second time this has happened during my career as a nurse.  It has caused great uneasiness, outright anxiety, on my part on a daily basis. I have attempted to right the disparity to no avail.  The only time I felt on par was when I was with a union shop, decades ago.  Surprise!  Since I am compelled to work for my survival, I see no righting of the wrong until I can leave the workforce for good. Believe me, this will happen with certainty as soon as possible.

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