Thursday, June 2, 2016

Assessing our compensation today

The law gives the union the right to know the compensation of each employee part of the represented unit.
We asked for an updated document including the most recent hires and here are some of the data we want to share with you as we want to make negotiating a pay raise part of the next collective bargaining meeting.
We are presently 34 Tier 1 employees.
Here are the various hourly pay rates and the number of people at each rate:
$23: 2
$22: 5
$21: 1
$20: 11
$19: 1
$18: 9
$17: 5

As far as we know only one person ever got a pay raise as a Tier1. She threatened an age discrimination charge because she was paid $2 less than what people hired later with the same qualifications were making. The pay raise was awarded because the "performance had improved".
We know of people who repeatedly asked for pay raises and never got any. Some people did not ask for fear to be fired. The argument that no pay raise could be given because of the union is bogus: if Lionbridge wanted to give a raise selectively or to everybody, they could just ask if the union " object", like they did to implement the PTO, and obviously the union would not object. 
Even when there was no union Lionbridge did not offer pay raises. People pay has remained at the rate it was when hired. If you complained individually the answer was no and you did not bargain better when you were hired, you accepted this rate, etc.
At the collective level, the first thing we did was asking for raises and the answer was no to any type of raise: Lionbridge abides by the market rules and the rates we propose are in line with the market.
So nobody ever got a raise from the initial rate they were hired at years ago.
What is even more shocking is the very significant differences in pay for people doing the same job and also the facts that new people can be hired with less experience and paid $3 or $2 more than people with several years on the job with an excellent performance record.
There are also strange inequalities between languages spoken but let us accept they could be explained by supply and demand although some biases are suspicious.
Bottom line: we all want some pay raise and the union is especially concerned for the people still making now $17 or $18 who have worked for years at this rate. We are working on a proposal to make to Lionbridge at the next collective bargaining meeting, hopefully sometimes next week and we want at least two things from you:
1. Tell us how much you would like to make
2. Come to the next bargaining meeting and tell the Lionbridge representatives how you feel and what you want.
If some of you want to see the detailed list of who makes how much, we are still evaluating the eventual privacy issues. It's not that we don't want to share this information with each of you but how to have it remain "private" as we don't feel it would be OK to make this info public to the whole world. Let us know how you feel and we can always talk about it.
We know there has been some frustration among people in the swing shift that they were ignored by the union people. The reality is that people who start at 6 AM want to get home or to a second job asap. Still if you want to meet, get in touch and we'll stay a bit longer so we can talk.

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