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Why Wages Are Stagnant

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. . . most middle-class workers aren't even aware that they're being ripped off. But I know. And a lot of other business owners know. We just don't talk about it. You see, we capitalists will never actually ask you to work overtime. I don't even track your hours. I just make it clear that I trust you to get your job done in the time allotted. And then I hand you twice as much work as you can reasonably do in a 40-hour week. But this downward pressure on wages doesn't end there.
Interesting article on wages from a frequent contributor to Politico. The thrust of the article, is toward hourly, rather than professional workers, but it provides a good explanation of wage stagnation in general. It also goes a long way toward explaining why the velocity of money (M2) is at a historic low.

Whatever Happened to Overtime?

Link to full article: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/overtime-pay-obama-congress-112954.html?ml=m_t1_2h#.VGt0oGOGpps

Another thing that is happening for most workers. Workers pay was cut and many layed off to save the company. Pay cuts and cost they seen cost of living increases go away. Now, a pay raise equals to or is less then the cost of living increase. Making pay stagnate or on the decline. The CEO's didn't loose a dime and still received pay raises and bonuses during this time. As things returned to normal, the workers pay still hasn't increased and the CEO's are still getting increases and bonus. Making the gap even wider. People who picked up the slack of work from those departing, just to help out the company for a little while, have found it's a permanent exception of their job duties.

A major employer decreased pay because medicaid reimbursements were being cut back. That never happened, but the employer left the wages lowered, until one of their employees talked to a representative of the state medicaid agency. For some strange reason once that person got involved, the employer found it necessary or convenient to restore the wages back to where they were before. Of course, there was no payment of all the wages that had not been paid to the workers.

This goes to show that an employer will take advantage of a workforce that does not remain awake or alert.

wannabecnl

Specializes in PACU, presurgical testing. Has 4 years experience.

The scuttlebutt at my hospital is that we will no longer be paid time and a half for critical overtime (i.e., I stay to provide direct patient care, not to finish documentation or fulfill other duties). This makes me crazy. We work in an unpredictable field where patient care has to be provided safely and in a timely manner. Some days we just get the wild post-op--after hours, of course--who takes an RN and our LNA to hold him down and another RN to administer meds and other interventions (not to mention a third to page the surgeon/anesthesia, answer the phone, and take care of other pts, too!), and we have to stay longer. As long as I'm there because I am needed to provide care (again, not because I was slow that day and didn't get finished with everything), I think the hospital needs to recognize that staying after my shift is a burden by paying me more for my time.

We do get time and a half for worked call hours; if that ever goes away, I doubt there will be any staff left.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Stagnation of wages can also be the result of an oversupply of workers in certain sectors. For instance, an oversupply of nurses exists in the metro area where I live.

The new grad starting pay rate was $23 hourly at most hospital systems in my city of residence back in '07 and '08. Now we're heading into 2015, and the new grad starting pay rate is still hovering in the $23 to $24 hourly range.

Since 300+ candidates are applying for each new grad position, the hospital systems have no incentive to raise the pay. After all, more than enough new nurses will willingly work for the scraps they're currently being thrown.

Pervasive through the article is the fundamental and dramatic shift in power from the working class to the executive class, which correlates very well with the systematic and deliberate gutting of the unions.

In the absence of solidarity and collective bargaining, commodity labor, such as nurses, will see an ever-smaller piece of the revenue pie.

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

What's a pay raise? What are benefits?

Ours are down the toilet.

Permanent retrograde.

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

My employer eliminated overtime back in July. Now we are finally getting a pay raise, but they're eliminating shift differentials. We're already significantly underpaid, and staff are stretched very thin. I don't think this will help staff retention.

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

My employer eliminated overtime back in July. Now we are finally getting a pay raise, but they're eliminating shift differentials. We're already significantly underpaid, and staff are stretched very thin. I don't think this will help staff retention.

All smoke and mirrors, ain't it?! Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Giving a raise and taking away shift differentials is ridiculous; like, they think that you might think this is a step up or forward? HA!

If you end up with a situation that might require overtime, can you just punch out and go home without hearing any grief about it? Double HA!

brandy1017, ASN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care.

Interesting article on wages from a frequent contributor to Politico. The thrust of the article, is toward hourly, rather than professional workers, but it provides a good explanation of wage stagnation in general. It also goes a long way toward explaining why the velocity of money (M2) is at a historic low.

Link to full article: Whatever Happened to Overtime? - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine

The problem is both democrats and republicans are in bed with big business, but democrats pretend to care about the working and middle class yet they don't do anything to raise the minimum wage or bring back overtime protections. The democrats only claim to care about the poor but instead of raising the minimum wage they want to take from the taxpayers to give handouts for votes if you ask me! Why not improve working conditions for all instead of raising taxes that benefit the few. Besides they are only cooperating with Walmart and big business by subsidizing the sub standard pay with food stamps and T19 allowing the corporations to profit at our expense as well! So the Waltons can be billionaires! I'm disgusted with both parties!

cd365c

Specializes in none.

I wonder, in general, if nurses make more in the private care setting/ home health versus the actual hospital.

No Stars In My Eyes

Specializes in Med nurse in med-surg., float, HH, and PDN. Has 43 years experience.

Speaking from personal experience, over the years there have been fewer PDN cases willing/able to pay for nurses 24/7. More PDN cases go to CNA's with the nurse coming in just to fill medisets, change catheters, do treatments not within CNA's scope of practice.

It also depends on the agency whether or not the nurse's pay is better than at hospitals/LTC's. But then you have a problem if the case census is down, and it DOES fluctuate. Some nurses are signed up with several agencies for that very reason.