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Why Wages Are Stagnant

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smartnurse1982

Has 7 years experience.

I wish my pay was stagnant at this point!

It has actually decreased!

It was not like we ever got a raise to begin with.

Whoa hoo!

Ffffffun times ahead in PDN!

OC_An Khe

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED. Has 40 years experience.

Chuckster

thanks for the link, excellent article that should be read by all

OC_An Khe

Specializes in Critical Care,Recovery, ED. Has 40 years experience.

Everyones compensation has been shrinking for decades. Not only in direct wages/salaries but also your indirect compensation with regard to pensions healthcare costs etc. Yes I would take stagnant.

My question is this: If they raise the minimum wage to $14 an hr, are all positions going to get an increase? Cause if fry cooks make that much and I make $22 an hr as a nurse(with a degree and all the responsibility), I'm quitting to go work at Burger King

Everyones compensation has been shrinking for decades. Not only in direct wages/salaries but also your indirect compensation with regard to pensions healthcare costs etc. Yes I would take stagnant.
This is not quite true. In relative (rather than absolute) terms, total compensation for the broad middle and upper-lower classes, which had been increasing since the end of WWII, began a precipitous decline during the Reagan years. The decline flattened somewhat under later administrations, notably Clinton's, but continues to this day. On the other hand, those on the upper end of the income spectrum saw both significant compensation increases and substantial income tax decreases, over the same period. Those gains accelerated under the most recent Bush administration and have increased even more under Obama. The article that's referenced provides some insight into this phenomenon, and no one should expect that this situation will change any time soon, regardless of which political party is in power. Once begun, the drift toward plutocracy is extremely difficult to slow, much less stop.

My question is this: If they raise the minimum wage to $14 an hr, are all positions going to get an increase? Cause if fry cooks make that much and I make $22 an hr as a nurse(with a degree and all the responsibility), I'm quitting to go work at Burger King
Short answer: No. In fact, with respect to RN's, given the significant oversupply of nursing labor, you should expect just the opposite, namely that that nursing wages and benefits will experience continued downward pressure.

Edited by chuckster

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

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

My question is this: If they raise the minimum wage to $14 an hr, are all positions going to get an increase? Cause if fry cooks make that much and I make $22 an hr as a nurse(with a degree and all the responsibility), I'm quitting to go work at Burger King

If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with inflation over the years, minimum-wage workers across the country would be earning more than $11 per hour today.

In addition, I find it troubling that a college-educated RN could earn $22/hourly or less in 2014, even in geographic areas with low costs of living. The bleak reality is that nursing wages have not kept up with inflation.

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

In addition, I find it troubling that a college-educated RN could earn $22/hourly or less in 2014, even in geographic areas with low costs of living. The bleak reality is that nursing wages have not kept up with inflation.

Reality is that nursing wages haven't kept up with the mounting responsibilities either.

As for not keeping up with inflation, call pay (wages just to carry the pager) in my OR has been at $2/hour for at least the last 10 years. In my opinion, being tied to that pager with the possibility of being called in at any moment, with a maximum response time (dressed and in the OR itself) of 30 minutes, is worth far more than $2/hour when taking into concerns the limits of where I can go and what I can do. And let's not get started on the so-called merit raises- this year (the first that instead of a hospital wide percentage based on review points, each supervisor got so much and distributed accordingly) was the first that I've seen more than a quarter (yes, I do indeed mean $0.25) for a stellar, far above average expectations, annual review. Haven't had a cost of living increase since 2008, and goodness knows that costs of living have escalated exponentially. Even 5 years ago, I never would have had to touch a credit card, regardless of what I was purchasing (airline tickets, laptop, etc.). Now, I'm using the credit card frequently.

Not_A_Hat_Person, RN

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

In addition, I find it troubling that a college-educated RN could earn $22/hourly or less in 2014, even in geographic areas with low costs of living. The bleak reality is that nursing wages have not kept up with inflation.

It's even worse when a college-educated RN makes $22 or less per hour in an area with a high cost of living.

SubSippi

Has 2 years experience.

People are paid according to how easily they can be replaced, not much they know, or how hard they work. These days, having a college degree is nothing special...shoot...it seems like it's even hard to impress people with a Master's degree!

In my home town some places are requiring a four year degree to be a bank teller or a manager at a department store!

While the abundance of ADN programs has provided many hard-working, smart people the means to become nurses, they haven't done much in the way of establishing the RN as a commodity. It often seems as though we are just as disposable as the average service industry employee.

Come to think of it, I received more frequent (and more substantial) raises when I was a barista.

No Stars In My Eyes

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

I agree with SubSippi. Back in the 1990's I watched my company call in a 'trouble-shooter' who systematically winnowed out really, REALLY GOOD RN's to cut the budget. Seniority and efficacy had nothing to do with it. Those good, conscientious nurses with seniority and experience ( read: higher wages ) were squeezed out. Now the company is operating on a skeletal in-office and field staff crew, who must do multiple jobs. Not happy? Resign. They can always get a warm, breathing body to fill your slot, if they decide to fill that slot at all.

We used to have a reputation for excellence, but even excellence is expendable, it would seem.

toomuchbaloney

Has 43 years experience.

I agree with SubSippi. Back in the 1990's I watched my company call in a 'trouble-shooter' who systematically winnowed out really, REALLY GOOD RN's to cut the budget. Seniority and efficacy had nothing to do with it. Those good, conscientious nurses with seniority and experience ( read: higher wages ) were squeezed out. Now the company is operating on a skeletal in-office and field staff crew, who must do multiple jobs. Not happy? Resign. They can always get a warm, breathing body to fill your slot, if they decide to fill that slot at all.

We used to have a reputation for excellence, but even excellence is expendable, it would seem.

They were probably the most company loyal employees as well, until they were shafted for pursuit of financial gain for the organization and financial bonuses for the executive suite. The consultant then left the new, overwhelmed, over worked, less experienced, and fickle nurses to complain and poorly represent their "brand" to the community.