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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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asking for a pay rise

I've never done it.

I'm now considered a 'senior' postdoc fellow but am still only on the lowest grade in terms of pay after two years in my current job (and two and a half years initial postdoc experience with another employer just after passing my PhD).

Its been suggested by a former work colleague that I should ask for a rise but I've never been in the position to ask before.

How have other people gone about it? Any comments and tips appreciated.

"FIV != PTS"
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:33 AM
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I have done just this very recently. I did it my appraisal and I asked for a "review of my pay grade" and listed the reasons why.

If you're doing the same job as someone else but they're on a better grade than you, then you should ask for a review.


Oh and I haven't heard back yet
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:35 AM
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I'm in HR here at work, so I can tell you a little about how it's gone here. I think in general, you want to take the emotion out of it. The people who approach it with logic and statistics are way more likely to be paid attention to than the ones who approach it like, "I feel slighted because...." So whatever ammunition you could gather about salaries in your job and in your market area, etc., would probably be the biggest bang for your buck.

For whatever it's worth, I don't know of a single case here at work where someone asked for a raise and didn't get it. It may not have been immediate -- sometimes they choose to wait until the person's regularly scheduled annual review date -- but it does eventually come. Good luck with it!


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:38 AM
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Along with the statistics about comparison salaries have a listing of what projects you've done, where you gone above and beyond to help out, etc. While you might not want to hand them this you should definitely bring it up in your conversation to "prove" your worth.

Good luck to you.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advce so far!

A little background: I'm the senior postdoc in my group but I know that - other than one other person - I'm actually the least well paid. Being female might have something to do with it unfortunately, but we all know that happens. I am the only woman in the office (other than my boss).

I'm curating one of the best known and important biological databases in the world (it only has one other major competor - also British) so as you can imagine its a very responsible job and I am effectively in charge of a group of people who all (apart from the one other person) get paid more than I do.

I know that I dont want to sound like i'm whining though so I guess I need to draw up a list as to why I should go up a grade. Since being here I've written two book chapters, co-authored a paper (and about to submit another and start on a third) and created a very useful teaching tool (which is on sale now actually). I've also done a fair bit of teaching and trained up and managed a couple of curating assistants over the last year. And then theres my curating duties which take up about 50% of my time.

I'm not entirely sure I've gone 'beyond' my call of duty but my boss did say one time that I'd been able to get my work colleagues to help with the curating when no other curator had been able to do so before. Basically I asked, rather than demanded in military style.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:48 AM
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Allie...you need to go up more than one pay grade!!

Oh, and never do the "if I don't get a raise I'm leaving" thing unless you plan to back it up. If you say and and don't follow through they will never take you seriously again.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leazie
Allie...you need to go up more than one pay grade!!

Oh, and never do the "if I don't get a raise I'm leaving" thing unless you plan to back it up. If you say and and don't follow through they will never take you seriously again.
Not sure about that - one grade level would be fine. I'm not pushing my luck. But no, I have no intention of threatening her with leaving.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

Toby - waiting at the rainbow bridge (2002-2011)
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-02-2008, 08:09 PM
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Good luck to you I've been where I am a year, been promoted twice, am a supervisor, and I don't even make a dollar over starting wage. I don't even make $10/hr, and they told me I'd make $20 within two years. My uncle's mad because I WON'T tell them I'll quit if I don't get a raise.

Knowing you make the least...may I ask why you bother staying? And is it legal where you are to talk about your wages with coworkers?? Everywhere I've been we had to sign forms saying we wouldn't talk with anyone about our pay (yeah right lol).


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrinityQuiet
Good luck to you I've been where I am a year, been promoted twice, am a supervisor, and I don't even make a dollar over starting wage. I don't even make $10/hr, and they told me I'd make $20 within two years. My uncle's mad because I WON'T tell them I'll quit if I don't get a raise.

Knowing you make the least...may I ask why you bother staying? And is it legal where you are to talk about your wages with coworkers?? Everywhere I've been we had to sign forms saying we wouldn't talk with anyone about our pay (yeah right lol).
There are three major reasons for staying. (a) I'm working on one of the most important biological resources in the world (b) I enjoy it and (c) unlike most postdoc jobs, my contract is not 'fixed'. Most postdoc contracts are only for three years after which you need to find a new job. Mine is a 'open ended' contract which means as long as the funds are there from somewhere I have a job. Theres virtually no job security in academia until you get to lectureship (assistant professor) level in the UK. 'Open ended' contracts are like gold dust for postdocs.

And its not as if I am struggling too much for money. As for talking about wages - no, didn't have to sign anything. Things like that just don't happen in academia. Its just that I don't think its entirely fair to be on less than almost everyone else when I'm the most senior person in the group!

I really do think that some of it is due to me being female - which is reason enough in my opinion to make a noise.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

Allie and Ridley

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2008, 06:31 AM
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well whatever you do don't say that to them...

Look, there's one guaranteed way of NOT getting this, and that's not asking.
So ask.


TQ, I would be horrified if it was illegal to discuss wages with coworkers. Your company sounds really dodgy.
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