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Started by melpomene on Jan 9, 2019 1:28:48 PM
How to write an email requesting a payrise

MrM works in construction, and has worked for the same firm for 4 years, and in that time has not had any increase on his hourly rate, or been paid a higher rate when he has sometimes done site manager type roles for them. He's brought this up (finally!) and they have asked for something in writing.

I'm public sector, so have no experience of asking for pay rises as we are on scales, so wondered if anyone could give me some pointers as to how to structure it? I've asked him to do some research into what the current pay rates in the sector are etc..

It may or may not be relevant that they are a pair of tight bastards who I wouldn't trust as far as I could trow them, he's also had a lot of tools nicked over the last few years athat they haven't replaced (yes I know, he should just leave, I keep saying this). Any help gratefully received.

Agaliarept - 09 Jan 2019 13:31:53 (#1 of 25)

I haven't ever done this myself so this is purely hypothetical but I would imagine you need some sort of leverage.

Having another job to go to would seem a good place to start. Something along the lines of: This firm is willing to pay me x, I would prefer to stay working here but I'm going to need you to match their offer.

Then presumably if they value your work and don't want to have to hire a newbie and risk not getting the skills you have, they accept the terms.

melpomene - 09 Jan 2019 13:34:11 (#2 of 25)

Hmm, there is that. Most work is through agencies, so on one level it is a good thing to work directly for a company, but on the other hand, not this one.

But yes, I have asked him to find the rates. He can get a job tomorrow through an agency but not with the security (or the van, not that we use it).

But they are definitely underpaying him for the manager style stuff. My feeling is they wouldn't want to lose him, but they have been reliant on his passivity.

dottie30 - 09 Jan 2019 13:34:29 (#3 of 25)

Evidence of being underpaid in the market helps.

melpomene - 09 Jan 2019 13:38:11 (#4 of 25)

It's more how to pitch it, we don't want to go in all guns blazing.

Maybe start with a summary of what he does, how long he's been doing it for and what they're paying, followed by what the sector rates seem to be, then how to wrap it up?

I want to include the stolen goods (aka his good will (or apathy as I call it) in not pursuing them), but it may be best left out here....

FrankieTeardrop - 09 Jan 2019 13:42:04 (#5 of 25)

He should get another job offer first. Then he is negotiating from a position of strength.

cozzer - 09 Jan 2019 13:43:13 (#6 of 25)

"nice building site you've got here. It would be a shame if something... happened to it"

OldLefty - 09 Jan 2019 13:45:14 (#7 of 25)

The one time I resigned to go to another job because they wouldn't give me a pay rise, the boss called me in and explained that purely by coincidence they were just about to give me a rise which was better than the job I had resigned to go to. No guarantee it works every time though.

melpomene - 09 Jan 2019 13:45:29 (#8 of 25)

Groundworkers mostly don't work for companies but through agencies apparently, so he could easily pick up work for tomorrow, but a tenured, as it were, job is harder to come by. He got this one through a friend who had previously employed the contractors, and it was never intended to last this long. But yes, I see what you mean, it's just not quite so simple.

There's a lot of building work going on near us at the moment that he might well get agency work for, which would cut the commnute, but it's not a great stick to beat them with, 'I can get another job tomorrow', is it. They may well say go on then.

I was more after your advice on how to structure the email based on the situation we have, thanks!

widenation - 09 Jan 2019 13:45:39 (#9 of 25)

Take your powder-actuated nailgun with you to any negotiations.

CarlosFandango - 09 Jan 2019 13:49:36 (#10 of 25)

If they are tight bastards, they will not want to consider this subject for a moment longer than they have to. And the longer they do, the more refractory they may become.

So keep it short.

By all means have a job up your sleeve, but keep your powder dry on that as it only sends them down the route of considering a replacement, which can lead them to the 'Huh! No bugger is irreplaceable - fuck him!' position

Evidence of being underpaid is important, and can also take the form of ads for less responsible roles being paid similar, as well as the same role being paid more.

I would leave the nicked tools out of a written-form thingmabob - they might see it as a tacit admission to a future liability, and in any case it will get their brains working more than you want.

Make it painless for them - aside from the extra dosh. Also, have a clear figure in mind. Whether or not you specify that now depends on what you know of them. I would tend to ask for it now.

airynothing - 09 Jan 2019 13:50:56 (#11 of 25)

Dear boss

Further to our conversation on Monday, this is to summarise my position vis-à-vis my salary.

As you know, I have been working for you for x years, including various periods amounting to y weeks/months acting in supervisory roles. In all that time, my pay has not risen. Meanwhile, the cost of living has increased by (whatever it is since he started) so that I am effectively earning less now than I did to begin with.

The standard pay for someone at my level is z, and for supervisory roles is w. I therefore believe it would be fair for you to increase my salary to q.

I look forward to your response.

FrankieTeardrop - 09 Jan 2019 13:51:52 (#12 of 25)


Cordelia - 09 Jan 2019 13:53:12 (#13 of 25)

I would go with an 'as discussed, compared to the going rate - as evidenced [here] i am generally underpaid by x%. In addition, on [these occasions] i have carried out [this role] which is paid at [this rate] as evidenced [here], so an increase of [x%] would be fair.

Cordelia - 09 Jan 2019 13:53:21 (#14 of 25)

Or indeed what Airy said.

melpomene - 09 Jan 2019 13:55:39 (#15 of 25)

Airy - that's great, thanks. I was wondering about the cost of living bit as he was going to put something in about rent going up, but I said that that was our issue not theirs. However a more general cost of living point is good if you think it's reasonable to put in.

airynothing - 09 Jan 2019 13:58:20 (#16 of 25)

I would avoid emotive words like "underpaid" (sorry, Cords) and definitely no reference to missing tools. Keep it completely unemotional and unapologetic and short - there's no need to tell them stuff they know already.

airynothing - 09 Jan 2019 14:00:48 (#17 of 25)

Oh, also, as he's already spoken to them and been asked for something in writing, now is not the time to talk about the possibility of going elsewhere. If they reply to the email with a no, that would be the next step (in fact, he should definitely leave at that point, as they'll have shown they don't value him).

melpomene - 09 Jan 2019 14:48:40 (#18 of 25)

Thanks, I'll pass this all on. And yes, if they say no, he's off.

Much appreciated!

brooklyn - 09 Jan 2019 15:20:23 (#19 of 25)

perhaps after saying what he deserves, he should do the butter-them-up part briefly:

"hey, I love it here. my kind of folks. great teammates. good challenges. I hope we can work this out."

CarlosFandango - 09 Jan 2019 15:23:40 (#20 of 25)

A good thought brooklyn, but this is Britain.

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