It’s Not Fair!!

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about pay for RN:

I began at my present job approx 4 years ago,and with every one I was given a yearly raise. My hospital’s pay scale was not up to par(not even in the 75th percentile) with the other Hospitals in the area so the management said we have to fix this. So they gave all the nurses based on years experience a very hefty raise, I’m talking up to an 8$ an hour raise! I began my career as a LPN worked 18 years then went back to school and received my degree and became a RN. When I applied for the job, this hospital said we will give you 9 years credit as an LPN towards my RN pay. Half of my 18 years. And they did and have. I respected this Hospital because they recognized some of my hard working years as an LPN and compensated me. Those years were my basis of my nursing career.

So, when they gave those hefty raises they paid me according to 20 years experience not the 10 or 12 it was supposed to be as a RN. 8yrs as an LPN, and 2 yrs as a RN. I had no clue, everyone got dollars, as I have said. There was a raise given in May 2006 to most nurses. My manager went around pulling people into unoccupied rooms to ask what their experience was and how long they have been a nurse! I really thought it was so unprofessional of the management team to go about it that way. My boss said I may not get a raise, because I already make too much, but she said she will look into it for me. She never got back to me, so when I received my check I had received a $2 dollar an hour raise!!! I thought that was great!!

Now (I will tell you my evaluations at this job as a nurse are extraordinary! ) Every raise I get I deserve!I went to my boss and thanked her for looking into the raise. Her reply was “You were not supposed to get a raise,” She then got on the phone and called HR and the next paycheck my raise was gone. I spoke to the HR person and she stated she had made a mistake,they gave me $100.00 AM Express check and that was that. I got over that, but I was steaming! So was my husband. I do understand people make mistakes. So now I have been in the interim role as like a head nurse, I’ll simplify a bit so you can understand better. Since September of 2006, I received a 2 dollar an hr. raise for doing this. The person whose job I took over is not returning, so they want me to take the job. Now we the nurses were just evaluated (end of year review), I received my evaluation and I am due a 5% raise. My boss tells me that is based on my base salary before I became the “head nurse”. I understand that. HR does not want to give me another 5% raise when I take the job that is a promotion officially. She said they want to take away the $2 dollar an hour I received when I took the job temporarily. I am very upset about this. They are trying to do this around eval time to lump this all together.I love the job, but I really don’t want to work for a hospital That is unfair to its employees. What do you think? I’m supposed to meet with HR and settle this by the end of next week. Please let me know your thoughts. I’d appreciate it so much.

Signed, Want What’s Right

Dear Want What’s Right:

Dear Nurse, The details of your situation are rather complex. It appears that you were at one time overcompensated due to error and that increased salary has been withheld since that time. Simply put, you qualify for compensation equal to that which other peers receive. If this does not occur, you are probably a victim of workplace discrimination. This fact is difficult to determine at a distance. However, two agencies come to mind that could assist you with this determination.

First, list the sequence of events you relate chronologically and make an appointment with your local labor department. Counselors there can assist you immediately.

Second, you may wish to contact your state Office of Equal Employment Opportunity. The latter will take longer to implement but this office can certainly give you a definitive opinion. In the meeting with your Human Resources Director, present you chronological list and question why you are not being treated, as it appears, equally. (You might use the phrase “victim of discrimination” in this discussion). I recommend that you not attend this meeting alone but that you also have a witness with you. This person could be a relative or acquaintance. They, however, should be a silent partner not a participant in the conference.

Keep in mind that RN’s are in great demand. Hospitals in my area are offering hefty sign on bonuses to nurses. If you are not comfortable with the resolution offered by your current employer, look elsewhere. Your training and experience should bode you in a job search. You do not have to remain in a working situation that is uncomfortable. Also, investigate the grievance procedure that should be in place in your workplace. After the HR conference, you can follow this procedure you if action is not satisfactory. Good luck and advise us relative to the resolution to your problem. Please keep us posted about what you do. Prepare a succinct written copy of what you want and what you think is unfair and have this with you when you meet with H.R. Keep your cool and speak firmly. State your feelings and make your case. If the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, say you want to meet with those above.

Barry Hester