Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clarification about the annual performance review and pay raises

Today during the stand up meeting HR announced the annual performance review. While usually such review is linked to pay raises that's not the case with Lionbridge, especially for the Tier1s. We have heard about pay raises for the Tier2s in the past, never for any Tier1. We know some Tier1s asked for a raise and were laid off soon after and we know of Tier1s who repeatedly asked for raises but never got any, despite their excellent performance. Lionbridge's practice since the start of this lab has been to stick with the initial rate people were hired for and never give them a raise: people who started at $17 are still at $17 and people at $22 are still at $22. Of course since 2012 many prices have gone up, especially housing costs. That's why the union proposed a cost of living clause along with pay raises: Lionbridge did not want any of it as you can check from their proposal. Their attorney explained they were following the market and the market did no justify any pay raise. Maybe you read about studies showing salaries were up in our region (+5% in the last quarter of 2015): not for us. Meanwhile Lionbridge's financial results for 2015 are excellent, as they recently announced. Still, in face of Lionbridge persistent refusal of any raise, the reality for us, as demonstrated with the paid time off requirement, is that Microsoft is the market: only Microsoft can lift up our compensation (as they did in the past for some of their suppliers). Now if by miracle Lionbridge wanted to raise all Tier1 salaries or only a few, the union would obviously not object. HR sort of implied that no Tier1 could get a pay raise except via collective bargaining: been there, done that and Lionbridge's answer has been no pay raise for anybody. If they were to change their mind, the union would not object, even if the raises were selectively given to a few. You did get a raise partially thanks to our advocacy for paid leaves that had some influence on Microsoft's PTO decision. We keep pushing for more and who knows, maybe Bill Gates will put Melinda's preach into practice for Microsoft's suppliers employees?
As I close this clarification I want to suggest something those of you who have a 401k could do: I think it would be interesting if some of us were buying each at least one share of Microsoft stock, becoming therefore Microsoft's shareholders. Being shareholders we could, for instance, attend the annual meeting and express our wishes. It's called shareholder activism. Just an idea.

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