How long have you gone without a raise?

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tibbitts
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by tibbitts »

In the past nine years in my public sector job, we had one 5% pay raise, and then another raise that worked out to about 1% for me. Of course some individuals received larger raises through promotions or job re-classifications, but that was the case for the general employee population.

I'm not complaining because the pay is certainly not unfair even counting the losses to inflation, and for me at least it's all about the pension, and the ability (a soon-vesting benefit, for me) to maintain health insurance coverage during retirement. Plus we have not had to pay any additional amount for healthcare during that time.

The problem is for the younger employees, who have missed out on so many years of compounding that we took for granted years ago. In my previous stint in the public sector in the 1980s, we received at least cost-of-living and usually higher increases every year.
NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by NoGambleNoFuture »

I work at a 1,000 employee tech company you’ve likely never heard of...

On average our employees receive approximately a 10% raise on an annual basis (averaging out promotions, job changes with changed comp, and merit increases)...

And this doesn’t factor in for RSU refresh grants we give on an annual basis as well.

Absolutely look for a new opportunity... what do you do, maybe I can hire you :P
JGoneRiding
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by JGoneRiding »

I haven't got a direct raise in 2 years but that is totally a result of my reproductive choices (in a way I am.being punished for.mommy track yet at the same time I am.making less money for the company)

Because of these I refuse to work harder but I also don't care as I will soon have 2 under 3 at home. So i guess it's fair to us both. Your work sounds like they don't care if you work harder but you want and mostly likely deserve more. So you really only have one option freshen up your skill set, practice interviews with people that will give you honest review and see what offers come your way.
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seed4great
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by seed4great »

It is also important, where you are with respect to the pay range correspondent to current position. If you are close to the upper bound, then likely you won't see any raise until you get promoted.
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anoop
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by anoop »

During the dot com bust, I had 2 years with no raise followed by a job loss and a 30% reduction in pay followed by 2 years at the same salary. It took me 3 years and a job change to working for someone that knew me from a prior job to get back to my old pay.

Right now, easily go 2-3 years without a raise, and there is usually an accompanying reduction in benefits (lower 401k match, increased health insurance premium, etc).
visualguy
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by visualguy »

In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
anoop
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by anoop »

visualguy wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:19 am In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
Totally agree that it's really weird. I have seen this at every large company that I worked at since I started my career. They are sort of encouraging people to move on. It usually leaves the organization with a core of mediocre and/or unmotivated employees. Classic Dilbert material.
visualguy
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by visualguy »

anoop wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:26 am
visualguy wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:19 am In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
Totally agree that it's really weird. I have seen this at every large company that I worked at since I started my career. They are sort of encouraging people to move on. It usually leaves the organization with a core of mediocre and/or unmotivated employees. Classic Dilbert material.
Right, it's typically the more marketable ones who move on, and the logic in "encouraging" them to leave is not apparent to me, but it is fairly common in my experience for some reason.
ClaycordJCA
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by ClaycordJCA »

Employer capped base salary for my job classification about 7-8 years ago and I am at the top. Bonus opportunity is not great since I am part-time due to family medical issues. So, compensation has been more or less stagnant for that time. As I approach 60, I don’t really let it bother me. I am well compensated all things considered, rarely work weekends, don’t come in until 10:00 or sometimes 11 because I can, and fully intend to take advantage of our unlimited vacation policy. Money isn’t everything.
harrychan
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by harrychan »

Never more than 2 calendar years. I've had pay raises frozen due to poor market conditions but never consecutive.
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Fieldsy1024
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by Fieldsy1024 »

4% raise last October (2018) plus Colas quarterly.
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dogagility
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by dogagility »

Only you can truly judge your current situation. My only advice is this: the best time to find a job is when you have a job.
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Bacchus01
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by Bacchus01 »

fourkids wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:22 pm 4 years in a booming economy is absolutely too long to go without a raise.
Either your company or your indusrty is in decline, which is a sign to get out. Or your company is just being extremely cheap, which is also a reason to get out.

I went 2 years without a raise, but it was 2009 and 2010, the depths of a recession. In an economy with strong GDP growth, it is unacceptable.
Booming economy? How do you define it as a booming economy? I hope you don’t mean the DOW.

As for the OP, maybe the company can’t afford to give you raises. It does happen. You shouldn’t necessarily think badly of them. It may be the only way they can keep you employed.

But, you have choices and you should use them. If you think you have a skill set that would work somewhere else and earn you more money, then go looking. This is business. Treat it like that.
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IcedDog
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by IcedDog »

After not receiving one last year (it wasn't "in the budget"), I was able to secure a 7% raise two weeks ago, which is apparently twice the national average, so I guess I can't complain much. I've been a QA analyst for 5 years as a contractor for a supermarket chain in the midwest, and while I'm making $20K more than I did at my previous job, I've had no benefits (including zero paid time off) during my tenure here, and the prospect of being hired in at this point is dim. I should probably look for other employment, but I hate job hunting/interviewing, and there are perks such as relatively low stress, easy commute, and can work remotely if needed.

As an aside, two years ago, I and a few members of my team actually signed contracts for a fantastic raise (25%) and an option to be hired-in as full employees after 6 months...the very NEXT day, the company inexplicably changed their minds and essentially ripped up the contracts we had just signed. Our contracting company recognized we got screwed over, and they were able to get us a 10% raise shortly after that fiasco, perhaps partly because what happened wasn't entirely legal. Has anyone encountered a similar situation?
StandingRock
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by StandingRock »

IcedDog wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:21 am After not receiving one last year (it wasn't "in the budget"), I was able to secure a 7% raise two weeks ago, which is apparently twice the national average, so I guess I can't complain much. I've been a QA analyst for 5 years as a contractor for a supermarket chain in the midwest, and while I'm making $20K more than I did at my previous job, I've had no benefits (including zero paid time off) during my tenure here, and the prospect of being hired in at this point is dim. I should probably look for other employment, but I hate job hunting/interviewing, and there are perks such as relatively low stress, easy commute, and can work remotely if needed.

As an aside, two years ago, I and a few members of my team actually signed contracts for a fantastic raise (25%) and an option to be hired-in as full employees after 6 months...the very NEXT day, the company inexplicably changed their minds and essentially ripped up the contracts we had just signed. Our contracting company recognized we got screwed over, and they were able to get us a 10% raise shortly after that fiasco, perhaps partly because what happened wasn't entirely legal. Has anyone encountered a similar situation?
That sounds like someone screwed up the numbers and didn't find it until it went through. I've never had the exact issue come up, but I've gotten job offers where the salary came in WAY below the advertised range. We're talking like 30-40% lower.

In my experience with raises though, it can also depend on the designated "bands". If you came in at the lower end of a range then they have more leeway. A lot of it is horsesh*t though lol, and to get a real raise you just have to leave.
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Texanbybirth
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by Texanbybirth »

OP here, just wanted to say thanks for the continued discussion/encouragement/realism. As some have pointed out that they receive comp bumps in other ways (bonuses, RSUs, vested benefits) that isn't the case here. I was talking about W2 total comp in my situation.
Bacchus01 wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:46 am
fourkids wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:22 pm 4 years in a booming economy is absolutely too long to go without a raise.
Either your company or your indusrty is in decline, which is a sign to get out. Or your company is just being extremely cheap, which is also a reason to get out.

I went 2 years without a raise, but it was 2009 and 2010, the depths of a recession. In an economy with strong GDP growth, it is unacceptable.
Booming economy? How do you define it as a booming economy? I hope you don’t mean the DOW.

As for the OP, maybe the company can’t afford to give you raises. It does happen. You shouldn’t necessarily think badly of them. It may be the only way they can keep you employed.

But, you have choices and you should use them. If you think you have a skill set that would work somewhere else and earn you more money, then go looking. This is business. Treat it like that.
You are right, and I think that's probably genuinely the case. I don't think badly of my company or my bosses. I actually think highly of them. The point of me starting the thread was to get a sense of how this situation appears in light of (anonymous) others' experience of the current business environment. There have been some really solid insights into the inner-workings of the company I work for from people who have no idea what I do. That's very telling. I will say that my sector/industry is very much directly tied to the S&P, so seeing it scream along these last ten years while we languish has been an unnerving experience. I'm getting to the point, however, where I'd really like to start doing something about it for my career and family.
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Luke Duke
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by Luke Duke »

The longest that I ever went was 3 years, but I got a 10% raise at the end of the 3rd year to make up for it. My last company didn't give raises unless you were promoted. There were several senior level people that hadn't had a raise in a long time. I was only there for about 1.5 yrs so it didn't affect me too much. Now we get standard COL+ annual raises.
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HomerJ
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by HomerJ »

fourkids wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:22 pm 4 years in a booming economy is absolutely too long to go without a raise.
Either your company or your indusrty is in decline, which is a sign to get out. Or your company is just being extremely cheap, which is also a reason to get out.

I went 2 years without a raise, but it was 2009 and 2010, the depths of a recession. In an economy with strong GDP growth, it is unacceptable.
This. Time to start looking OP. It really is a good time to find another job.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
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HomerJ
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by HomerJ »

visualguy wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:19 am In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
This has been my experience as well.

Every big raise I've ever gotten has come from changing companies. Once you're inside a company, HR rules takes over, and they are limited to how much they can give you.

For instance, when I moved from desktop support to server support inside one company, I got a 10% raise, but that wasn't very much considering my low desktop support salary starting point.

Even after a couple of years, where my skills grew quickly, and I was worth much more, they could only offer me a promotion, and another 8% raise.

Instead, I had to leave to get the 30% bump in salary I was worth. But when the original company replaced me, they had to pay the going rate for someone with my skills as well, so they didn't save any money. Instead they lost years of domain knowledge, and had to train someone new.

It really doesn't make much sense to me... I guess not enough people actually leave, so companies still do better financially by not paying the going rate for most long-term employees, and just eat the cost for the few people who do leave.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
mattshwink
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by mattshwink »

Texanbybirth wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:02 pm
mattshwink wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:55 pm For about 3.5 years (January 2015-October 2018) I had the same salary, though I had no complaints. Changed jobs this past October for a ~15% increase (though the reason I changed jobs wasn't salary, just decided if I was going to make a change it had to be worth my while, which it was).
Nice, you got a raise when you weren't even seeking one. I'm guessing all other things were pretty much equal/better at the new company? I'm wary of the "grass is always greener on the other side" mentality creeping into my job evaluation.
So my situation is a little different from most as I work in federal contracting. I worked for a relatively small company and they rolled our [small seven person] prime contract into the larger O&M contract (roughly 100+ people). Even though my job didn't change, the micromanagement and some small things did. I could have stayed and I had a good enough reputation to brush off some of the "little things" (it is highly unlikely the prime contractor could have removed me). But I saw the writing on the wall and decided to try to make a move. It turned out to be pretty easy (even with my higher salary demand) and in the end it came down to two jobs. I choose the job with almost 100% remote work. The pros are the commute is really easy (down to my home office, I haven't been in the "actual" office since early January). The environment is fairly laid-back and collaborative (compared to what I was used to). I'm considered an expert and my opinions are valued (this was true in the old job too by upper management, but middle management was more squishy and there was always a lot more defense needed). Cons are I don't have daily contact with any of my management (they are geographically dispersed) and they are slow to move and make decisions and I feel that they aren't using some of us (including me) to our full potential.

I too was wary of the "grass is greener" mentality. That is one reason I wanted a higher salary, was that even though I had become unhappier because of recent changes, I was secure in my job. But once I secured that, it was an easy decision to decide to move on, and I have not looked back.

As an aside, I will probably move again within the next month. My old boss (leader of my seven person team) left the same job I did about a month before I did (as did another senior engineer, and another guy just put in his notice, so the seven is now down to three). Even though it's not a salary increase (lateral move, though the leave is twice as good) and I will have to commute again it's a good career move (I will lead a 12 person team instead of being just a project or task leader or product expert) and I will be working for someone who I worked for for seven years (and was the best boss I have ever had). And his boss was the guy that hired me onto that original seven person team (it changed over time, but I was the first hire and longest person on the project). And of the three other guys that left (or are leaving) that old contract we all have (or are) going back to work for him.
StandingRock
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by StandingRock »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:16 pm
visualguy wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:19 am In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
This has been my experience as well.

Every big raise I've ever gotten has come from changing companies. Once you're inside a company, HR rules takes over, and they are limited to how much they can give you.

For instance, when I moved from desktop support to server support inside one company, I got a 10% raise, but that wasn't very much considering my low desktop support salary starting point.

Even after a couple of years, where my skills grew quickly, and I was worth much more, they could only offer me a promotion, and another 8% raise.

Instead, I had to leave to get the 30% bump in salary I was worth. But when the original company replaced me, they had to pay the going rate for someone with my skills as well, so they didn't save any money. Instead they lost years of domain knowledge, and had to train someone new.

It really doesn't make much sense to me... I guess not enough people actually leave, so companies still do better financially by not paying the going rate for most long-term employees, and just eat the cost for the few people who do leave.
It's a dilemma. Especially in the IT world where technology trends seem to shift overnight. I've consulted for a couple of companies that were trying to move their primary application platform from mainframe to distributed systems. So you get into a situation where you have mainframe programmers struggling to learn .NET/Java/HTML etc. while the newer employees come in at a higher salary and there's a lot of resentment there. Then a couple of years later they are trying to switch to a Cloud Native approach and the latest javascript frameworks and CI/CD, DevOps etc. Guess what, now you're going to have to pay even more for the people you want. And as bad as the present situation sounds, the whole mess was set into motion decades ago and compounded over the years by a total lack of vision on the part of IT leadership.
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sergeant
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by sergeant »

My agency has gone a decade or more several times with no raises. I was fine as step increases and promotions were pretty consistent for me. When we did get a raise it was always substantial as they had to bring us up to average of surrounding agencies. The council only did this due to losing a huge percentage of employees to other police agencies that offered the better pay and benefits. This cycle was on about a 8-10 year schedule. Many of the guys and gals that went elsewhere did real well and are now high ranking members of their departments.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by DrGoogle2017 »

How about 5 years before retirement. It’s almost 30% paycut for both me and my husband. Then I went parttime, took even bigger cut. But it’s only money. The upside is I didn’t have to pay so much tax.
azianbob
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by azianbob »

It's amazing for you guys getting more than 2% a year for raise (not bonus). I took a look at my last decade and was sad. I have always worked in large companies and gotten above average (but not superstar) evals. I realized that other than my public accounting experience (they start you off severely underpaid and basically give you bigger raises every year you survive) I've always gotten around 2% give or take. My only real "increases" were when I jump to a new company and get a 10-20% bump.

2018 - current company - 1.75%
2017 - current company - 2.2%
2016 - prior company - 1.5%
2015 - prior company - 2.3%
2014 - prior prior company - 2.5%
2013 - prior prior prior company - 0% (company tanked after I joined, I got out months before they went under)
azianbob
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by azianbob »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:16 pm
visualguy wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:19 am In my anecdotal experience, it's fairly common for companies not to provide raises. They may provide occasional bonuses or RSUs, but not meaningful raises. I've seen it in tech, banking, and other fields. It seems like you need to move to another company to get a raise in those cases.

It's a strange practice that I never really fully understood because these companies lose good people. I guess it's still beneficial overall for these companies because many stick around for years even as inflation erodes their salaries. It takes a while for it to be painful-enough to motivate going somewhere else.

This creates salary inversion where people who joined recently sometimes make more money than old timers in the company even if they are junior to them.
This has been my experience as well.

Every big raise I've ever gotten has come from changing companies. Once you're inside a company, HR rules takes over, and they are limited to how much they can give you.

For instance, when I moved from desktop support to server support inside one company, I got a 10% raise, but that wasn't very much considering my low desktop support salary starting point.

Even after a couple of years, where my skills grew quickly, and I was worth much more, they could only offer me a promotion, and another 8% raise.

Instead, I had to leave to get the 30% bump in salary I was worth. But when the original company replaced me, they had to pay the going rate for someone with my skills as well, so they didn't save any money. Instead they lost years of domain knowledge, and had to train someone new.

It really doesn't make much sense to me... I guess not enough people actually leave, so companies still do better financially by not paying the going rate for most long-term employees, and just eat the cost for the few people who do leave.
I've wondered about this as well why people won't give existing employees raises to match market while they are willing to pay market + training to bring in the replacement.

If they bring everyone to market each year, its like a huge cost.

For example, if a company had 100 employees making $100k each, and everyone should be raised 20% to be brought to market, that is $2 million they need to spend. But if they give everyone a 2% raise then its only $200k they need to spend. Even if they have to spend 130k a replacement, as long as 65 or less employees leave (and thus need to be replaced at 130k) the company saves money. The company is banking on less than that leaving, or just spreading out the work over the remaining people.

I still think it is stupid, if they had just given everyone 10% they would still have a lot of happy people and less people that need to be replaced.
danaht
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Re: How long have you gone without a raise?

Post by danaht »

I found that megacorps do not always give raises. If they deem that you are making above your job title - then you may only get a bonus instead for good performance. Now if you are in a union - the "union contract" job usually demands a 2 to 3% raise (everyone gets a raise regardless of performance). I have never been in a union - but sometimes I am jealous of all the perks that a union worker gets. But the union worker usually has to pay a due as well.
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