Re: Sharing your salary with coworkers

December 28th, 2018, 5:29 pm

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slippyfish
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NURB wrote:
December 28th, 2018, 4:01 pm
I'd never openly share mine with a coworker.
However, I was persuaded to in an odd situation a few years ago with another coworker. Knowing what he made compared to what I made at the time made me respect him quite a bit less, compared to the amount of work we both did.
Right??
No good, either way.
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Mr-914
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I've tried to be more open about my salary, even with co-workers. If asked, I will tell, but I don't volunteer it. The thing is that this information is that keeping it secret ONLY helps the employer. Maybe if the average worker was more open about it, we would have the kind of wage growth that we've been lacking. As a side note, I think people in rapidly developing countries do share their salary and that's one of the drivers to wage growth.

As an aside, Ontario passed the Public Employee Salary Disclosure Act in 1996. This requires that the government of Ontario publish the salary for every provincial position. This includes by name for people who can negotiate their salary. The result has been huge salaries in the public sector there because everyone now does go to their boss and say, "I need more than Mrs. X because ...".
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New York publishes the salaries of all state employees, but in my experience (especially with a wife, mother and sister who are all public school teachers) it tended to have the opposite effect. 1 - Public workers are mostly unionized, which means their wages are almost completely gated by long, grueling contract negotiations and tenure, rather than individual contributions or performance. 2 - Tax payers now have ammunition to scold teachers, police and other state workers for being "over paid".

I don't think disclosing salary really is an inhibitor to wage growth, I think it's just capitalism at work. There are just not enough ID jobs, and those in ID jobs face a perpetual influx of high quality new graduate talent that keeps the median costs lower. Combined with more and more offshore designers who can work closer to the factories where stuff is made, the value proposition in a lot of industries is to have a couple of good workers stateside and let the rest fall over into Asia for 1/3rd the price. I think I was paid well as an Industrial Designer, but basically doubled my salary after switching to UX.

Re: Sharing your salary with coworkers

January 14th, 2019, 12:53 pm

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So, inspired by this discussion, I traded some salary history with a couple of close friends... now in all 3 cases these were friends I have known for over 15 years, and none of us work together now, though I used to work for one of them, and the other used to work for me. The one that used to work for me I've known since design school, so lots of trust. All three of us have worked in house, and as a consultant, and all three of us have worked at the exec design leadership level. Here is what I learned:

1) I was getting paid at just about the right level (I thought I was paid higher than average, but based on my sample set, either all three of us are outliers, or what we were paid was about normal)

2) I charge about the right amount for my level of experience.

So, while it may have eliminated a little bit of that "I'm ahead of the game" feeling, it also eliminated that "what if I'm not getting paid enough" feeling which was worth it.
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That's great to hear!
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Mr-914 wrote:
January 4th, 2019, 8:16 am
I've tried to be more open about my salary, even with co-workers. If asked, I will tell, but I don't volunteer it. The thing is that this information is that keeping it secret ONLY helps the employer. Maybe if the average worker was more open about it, we would have the kind of wage growth that we've been lacking. As a side note, I think people in rapidly developing countries do share their salary and that's one of the drivers to wage growth.

As an aside, Ontario passed the Public Employee Salary Disclosure Act in 1996. This requires that the government of Ontario publish the salary for every provincial position. This includes by name for people who can negotiate their salary. The result has been huge salaries in the public sector there because everyone now does go to their boss and say, "I need more than Mrs. X because ...".
i don't know if the bit about wage growth would necessarily follow but that compensation is so opaque and in some workplaces explicitly prohibited (as i found out at my 1st job out of school when i told a temp designer who used this info to negotiate their salary for full-time hire) is only to the benefit of employers really...voluntary wage surveys only go so far & may not be fully representative of a specific workplace
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