The more experience you have the less you are paid??? - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   kaycee
    Historically the longer you stay in nursing(especially hospital) you reach a max in pay and never really advance much more. The new grads keep coming in at a higher rate and the more experienced nurses stagnate. Wonder why nurses leave the hospital in droves after they do it for a while. DUH
    I have 27yrs experience and only make a few dollars more then the new grads. Also merit increases mean nothing where I work. You pretty much get the same raise as everybody else no matter what type of worker you are. Our raises for the past 5yrs or so have been 1.5-2%. Wow talk about pi$$in in the ocean. They pretty much tell you you have to walk on water to get much more. Makes for a good incentive to do a good job don't ya think!!!!
  2. by   willie2001
    I just got done having my yearly eval. and am getting a 3.5% pay increase. The whole system is rigged against the employee. As someone previously stated, you would have to walk on water to get any more. I don't even know why they bother because you're going to get the same whether you are a great nurse or a mediocre nurse. I suppose I should be grateful that I got the 3.5%, but somehow I can't help but feel insulted and depressed about it.
  3. by   km rn
    We need to get the stagnation of pay issues out to the forefront of the nursing shortage issue. It is not unusual or surprising to find nurses who have worked at a facility for years to be making slightly more or the same wage of a newly hired, inexperienced nurse.
  4. by   Gomer
    You might look at other things when considering your compensation package. True, you may have maxed-out on your hourly rate and either get a lump-sum bonus or a very small %, but don't you have (1) more vacation/PTO/time off (whatever you call it) than a new employee? (2) don't you have more vestment in whatever retirement plan your company offers? (3) and in case of a layoff, don't you have senority (the lovely union word) for a little protection? Don't just look at your hourly rate (which the government takes in taxes anyway)...look at whatever your entire compensation package is.
  5. by   -jt
    <Would the additional compensation aside from the yearly raise be arbitrary? Would the amount be based on subjective criteria?>

    There would be no point in that because then you still have the core unfairness of a merit system. Rather its based on the RN meeting certain DEFINED criteria, as outlined in the clinical ladder level requirements. The additional compensation to be based on the level the RN achieved on the ladder - as indicated by documented fact of accomplishment - and not anybody elses arbitrary, subjective opinion.
  6. by   VickyRN
    Oramar wrote:
    One thing that pops out at me here is that in nursing it appears the more you move the more you get paid.
    HOW TRUE. Sad, but if you want a "raise" and "bonus" to boot, you need to change jobs every few years. I see nursing quickly evolving into a "free agent" type culture and economy. Simply put, the more you move, the more you make. This CRAZY system penalizes good, stable nurses who are the backbone of healthcare in the hospitals today.
  7. by   -jt
    <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..... unions are leaving a bad taste>

    If youre a nurse , you might want to try looking at a nurses union before judging. Its nothing like the chefs union. There is no "third party" doing the talking for nurses. The nurses speak for themselves.

    BTW, Not one full time staff nurse unionized with the New York State Nurses Association has ever had to pay for the health benefits of themselves or their family. We do not give a deduction from our paychecks for medical. This is a non-negotiable issue in our union contracts. We insist on free health benefits & get it. We provide the healthcare - we should not be paying for it too. Our part timers also have free hospitalization & pro-rated benefits - 70/30. They can pay the difference for the full timers benefits if they want to. And if they work extra days over the part time schedule amounting to a certain number of hours a year, they are entitled to free full time benefits as well.

    This is a standard in our contracts now but it didnt come easy. It took our union's nurses of the last generation to go out on strike to obtain free healthcare. Since then, every nurse represented by our union has benefitted from their winning that battle way back when.

    I realize the confusion of non-union people when it comes to trying to understand how nursing unions work, but comparing them to the bus drivers union doesnt do it. Its a whole different animal. It isnt a "third party" who speaks for the nurses in contract negotiations and other issues - its the NURSES themselves at that facility - with the resources, assistance, & training provided by the union to help them.

    The union doesnt decide our salary or anything else. And neither does the hospital for that matter! The NURSES who work at that facility negotiate it with the employer, decide what may be acceptable to consider & then vote themselves. The union cannot tell them what to do. If the nurses themselves vote to reject the hospitals offer, its back to the table & drawing board for everybody.

    I worked non-union early in my career and have worked union ever since. And will never again be a non-union staff RN. In 20 yrs we have never even had one strike.... only came close twice - but the hospital came to its senses & started talking fairly after we voted to walk, so the strike never had to happen.

    Id rather be at the negotiating table having input into the terms of my employment & compensation, having the opportunity to agree/disagree with what is being decided that will affect me, and the ability to accept or reject it, & then get what I accept written into a legally binding guaranteed contract - just like every other professional & executive in the place does - and not have to depend on luck or hope that my employer will treat us fairly.

    I just wish nurses would find out more about what a nursing union does & what unionized nurses do, and how it all works before finding the concept distasteful - based on perceptions theyve formed from other unions and the last century.
    Last edit by -jt on May 22, '02
  8. by   LasVegasRN
    One of the hospitals here has a nurse union. I did not accept the job there because when I asked the manager, point blank, if I was going to be given a raise based on my merit or by what the union decided, and I was told it was decided by the union. Her frustration with the union was that she did not have a way of monetarily awarding her higher performing nurses because of this. One flat raise - period, based on the union, is what you get.

    If your nurses union works well for you, then I think that is great. I disagree that the union mentality and philosphy is that much different between Teachers unions, Teamsters unions, Nurses unions, Culinary unions, etc. - and I'm not saying that in a bad way at all, my mother, a teacher for 38 years, benefitted greatly from participating in a teachers union.

    My point probably should have been made that not everyone in a union agrees with the union decisions. The one nurse union here states that YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE about being in the union if you work at this particular hospital. That is something I do not agree with at all. :stone
  9. by   Curlytop
    After working at the same hospital for 11 years, I recently found out new grads are making $19/hr. The interns (nursing students) make $13/hr. I started out as a NEW RN @ 12/hr!! I now make $25/hr after three "across the board" raises totalling $4 over the past 18 months. And our crummy 'merit' raises are a pitiful 2 to 5%. And no matter what- I get 3%. I was told by my supervisor that the "across the board" raises were instituted to compete with other hospitals to recruit new grad-nurses. This was the first time such raises had occured. It kills me that the "suits" are so out of touch with reality to not do something about the ever DECREASING numbers of experieced staff (>5 yrs where I work). I'm a dying breed in my hospital. There is a an ever-revolving door of new nurses coming and going within a year or two. And they even have the NERVE to complain that their pay isn't enough
  10. by   fedupnurse
    I am glad that some of you that have posted here have been lucky enough to work for fair people.
    I don't know if it may just be a Northeast or "city" phenomena, but the business people running (ruining, really) healthcare in this area put profits before patients. They are ruthless. There is no way a non union worker can get a "fair and impartial" merit based performance appraisal in this general area. When I was non union in the same hospital where I work now our merit evals were very subjective and the HR department decided how much you got irregardless of your score. This is how they keep longer term employees wages down. After our strike, we developed an objective eval tool. If they are going to shoot us down for something they have to have documentation. Ever since then the suits have been trying like hell to get subjective criteria back into the evaluation process. If we were non-union, like our sister hospitals in our health system, we wouldn't have a thing to say about it. They could just do it. There is power in numbers. While I respect the opinion of those who don't believe in unionization, I also think you'd feel differently if you worked for the average health care exec who puts money ahead of all else.
    Last edit by fedupnurse on May 22, '02
  11. by   VictoriaG
    Without a Union I would surely be out of a job. I have caused so much upheaval in our hospital by reporting our incredibly unsafe working conditions to the state, that the CEO glares at me whenever she sees me. I wouldn't put it past her to take out a contract on me if she thought she could get away with it.

    Even if she were able to circumvent the Whistleblowers Act, she could not fire me for reporting her.

    I'm Union.

    Unions not only work to give us the best possible pay and benefits, they also protect us from unfair management decisions, like paying new employees disproportionately high wages. Unions were instrumental in enacting child labor laws and saved our grandfathers from the 10 hour six day work week.

    I know my strong Union sentiment has been directly affected by the fact that both of my parents are lifetime Teamsters and I live in Michigan. Still, we nurses in Michigan make LOTS more money than you all in non-Union states.

    I just do not understand non-Union sentiment.
  12. by   LasVegasRN
    Victoria - Michigan is historically a strong union state. And you have been raised by parents who benefitted well because of a strong and accepted union.

    It's not the case in other states.

    I can understand why some hospital-based nurses want a union and how it can improve working conditions - especially given the examples fedupnurse has given.

    I wouldn't disagree that in the hospitals, SNF's, LTAC'S (long-term acute care facilities) that are profit/corporate driven need a collective conscience for the nursing staff, or conditions will and can just continually get worse.

    Yet, there are nurses who want the individual ability to impact their own individual benefits, salaries, and bonuses.
  13. by   nursejer
    I agree with everyone here. We all know we should get paid much more for what we do, and the better job you do the better raise you should get. Thats how we separate apples from oranges, is it not? As far as unions go, I hope more facilities do not go union. That is a scary thing when our patients depend on us to take care of them,and the staff could strike at any time. I am in a facility where only LPN's are union. They have their decisions made for them, their pay scale and benefits. Worst of all if someone's job performance is causing a danger for patients, the union requires a million reasons why this person should be terminated, but yet the RN's can get fired for breathing the wrong way.
    Last edit by nursejer on May 22, '02