Friday

Oh, the Economy...

Update:
Friday, March 20, 2009
We spoke with the nanny and were very candid about where we are at. The one thing I did not make clear in my original post was that to reestablish myself in a prior profession, I will be putting in a lot of hours per week, this is why I cut the days down to four and no less. The nanny has agreed to stay on even with a paycut. We are rearrange her hours so that she works 5 hours on Friday, 5 hours on Tuesday and 10 hours the remaining three days. We made it very clear that we respected her option to look for another position and told her that we would serve as super references for her. We also told her that if, down the line, she feels that she can do better and we are not in a position to change her pay, we will support her decision to began looking. As we go forward, I have her scheduled for the days and hours mentioned above, but it is unlikely that I will atleast initially need her for the full 10 hour days, so she'll probably be working closer to 7/8 hour days. The nanny's pay change will not be reflected until her April 24th paycheck and her new hours will be in effect starting Monday, March 30. Thanks to all who took the time to offer their advice.

Received Thursday, March 12, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN In December of 2008, along with several thoughtful gifts, we gave our nanny a bonus of $2500.00. She had been with us for 11 months. We pay her a salary of $850 on the books. The company I am working with is looking for some of us to go voluntarily with a great severance before they are forced get rid of more of us. Either way, based on my time and experience, I would be one to go and I am thinking of taking the earlier way out which will afford me more severance and options. I have the ability to do some freelance work in an entirely different field, but this will take a lot of time to get going again and make contacts. Due to this, I will need to rely on my nanny to continue working. At the same time, even with this severance, the nanny salary we are paying now will break us. The nanny is wonderful with our children, we have no doubts about her. We don't have an intimate relationship with her and so it will be hard to sit down and discuss the financials of this situation. I would like to propose that we lower the nanny's weekly salary to $600 per week and cut her hours by either one full day or 2 hours less of work each day, (her choice). If she can stick it out with us through December, we could offer to double her bonus to $5,000.00 for 2009 (out of my husband's bonus). There is a margin of error here of about 5%, my husband's business is on solid ground, but you never know. Before I propose this to the nanny, I would like to run this by other nannies and see what they think. The nanny has now been here for almost 15 months and has a very strong bond with both children. She also seems happy to be working with us and to thoroughly enjoy the job and seems happy to see the children every day. She is a live-out nanny and we do pay for her metro card. That would of course, not change. I just have to add one footnote and that is we tried to be generous with the nanny as things came up, for example when she went to Greece in July, we gave her a $500 Visa card just because. Things like these are also things we are cutting out, but any observer would notice that we have cut out a lot of things across the board, not just as relating to her. I do think that is relevant.

73 comments:

Portlander said...

That's a really big weekly paycut, and the doubled bonus obviously won't begin to cover the difference. Would you consider doing a nanny share one or two days a week? Perhaps if you could help line up something definite, either in a share with your family or not, for that lost day she'd be more likely to stick around?

Playdough Nanny said...

Portlander, to the tune of approximately $13,000.00/year, I agree that's quite a cut. $10,500.00 lost once the new bonus is figured in. But in OP's defense, OP did mention dropping a day.

$600/week is still a little more than $30,000.00/year as a live-in which is itself pretty darn good. Never mind the bonus or gifts. I think this is one of those cases where a cut is alright.

I would just ask OP to phase it in. Don't do a "Next week you'll be paid $250 less..." thing, do 2 to 4 weeks at the current $850, move to $725 for a couple weeks, then to the new $600. At least, that's what I'd do.

Portlander said...

I thought she said the nanny was live-out? I wouldn't stick around in a job with a cut that big if I could find something else.

In this economy the nanny may feel forced to keep the job but take the pay-cut. I think the employer should make a good effort to help her nanny find supplemental work if she wants to maintain a good relationship with her. I know it would be a huge struggle for me to lose $250/week after a year at that salary.

Chick said...

With a 30% paycut, her hours should be cut 30% as well, allowing her time to find another job to make up the lost income.

If your kids are not yet school age, maybe nanny could find an afterschool job with another family?

As a nanny who is facing the same sort of challenge, I can tell you that as much as I want my love for the kids to enable me to pay my bills, it doesn't work that way.

I will be forced to make very painful decisions if my employers make certain financial decisions, and I hate to even think about leaving, but I would hate to lose my home or be pursued by creditors a whole lot more.

This economic situation is difficult for all of us, but we are all going to have to make decisions based on our own needs, not on the needs of our employees or our employers.

TC said...

Are you looking to cut the nanny's salary permanently or temporary? If it's temp then offer to pay her 'back pay' when you get another job. If it's a permanent solution maybe you can try a nanny share as another solution...of course with her permission

250 a week pay cut might be a deal breaker for her unfortunately so you might have to find another nanny.

I wish you luck

Blah said...

Honestly, I don't understand why anyone would give someone who hasn't even been there with them for a year a $2000+ bonus. It's beyond me. I'm sure she is great but I think $2K is too much. The way the economy is right now doesn't allow anyone to just give away money like that. You're quite generous though. Good for you

ericsmom said...

I don't understand the big bonus either. Wow it would be nice if all jobs gave nice bonuses like that. And the $500 for her to use in Greece..what was that about.

Can you cut her to three days a week? So maybe, she can find a job on those other two days?

Manhattan Nanny said...

Sit down with her, and be totally honest about the situation. You sound like a good employer, but no matter how happy the nanny is, and how much she cares for the children, this has to be an economic decision for her. Can she cover her rent, food, health insurance etc. on $600 a week before taxes? Does she have children to support? The cost of living in your area, and her personal situation will probably be the deciding factors. If she can find a second PT job, as well as stay with you PT, it might work out for both of you. Good luck.

Worth a Try said...

Perhaps you can ask around and find someone who wants a babysitter so she won't be out money. I work long, sometimes irregular hours and have an afternoon babysitter come in 4 days a week to guarantee my nanny can go home by 5. When my babysitter asked me if I knew anyone who might need a regular babysitter for the day she doesn't work for us, I sent an e-mail to some of the stay at home Moms I know through the PTA asking if they would want a regular babysitter once a week and I was flooded with responses. (She actually ended up with two Moms in a "bidding" war over her). You'd be surprised how many people would be happy to find a reliable regular sitter recomended by someone they know, even in this economy. Investigate that option before you talk to your nanny so you can lay out that option to her.

Gramercy Nanny said...

You sound like a good employer, however, I suggest that you talk to her be honest about your financial situation (she will understand) only your Nanny knows her financial her situation , that is if she could handle a $250.00 per week pay cut.

Expect it to go either way, she would probaly change jobs or stay on and find another family to work with , that providing you are prepared to give her the adequate time.

All the best.

Nanny Taxi said...

It sounds like a lot, but you have done a tremendous amount for this nanny. If it was me, I'd have no problem with it. Of course I would expect a cut in hours. Anyone can live off of $600 a week, if they give it some thought. I would just have to cut back on some things, but isn't that what the whole country is doing? Why, I had a job once where I had to live off of $300 a week. It can be done. Just as long as I'm not eating Hamburger Helper in the streets, I can overcome pretty much anything. I hope you both come to solution that'll be good for both of you.

seattle said...

600/week is more than enough to live on. nanny will need to cut back on things that simply aren't necessary. she may not want to, but it is absolutely doable.

lovechapstick said...

Your nanny is probably aware of the current financial climate, so it may not come as a surprise to her. But if she's accustomed to living a certain way, it may be a big adjustment. I'm running into this problem right now. I'm a new nanny, so I don't command that kind of salary and I haven't received gifts quite as opulent, but I wish that my employer would have given me a few weeks to get prepared for the pay cut. Now I'm starting to scramble to find a new apartment, roommate, parking spot, part-time job, babysitting gigs, etc. Hopefully she and I won't have to search for a full-time job...

The nanny share idea would be my personal preference, but you could also help her by asking around within your circle of friends/family to see if there are any other opportunities for her. Maybe someone might need a part-time office assistant or something? I would tutor or even (gasp!) walk dogs at this point.

I know it's really important for you to show your appreciation for your nanny. If she's happy, the kids are happy, the whole family is family. Your generosity is very admirable, but sometimes we need to be generous in other ways. Creativity typically flourishes in times of economic discord.

worlds best nanny said...

Wow! What sort of person doesn't know about our current economic situation? Someone living under a rock?
As a nanny if you signed a work agreement stating how much I would be paid weekly, then you try to renege, I would have to leave. I would also claim that you broke our contract and try to claim unemployment. The cold hard world is teaching you an economic lesson? Then so would I. Just because you are willing to be a doormat at your job don't assume everyone else will do the same. My job is probably very unlike the rest of the nannies here. I run their house. I arrange to pay their bills. I pay the other household employees. I make the kids MD appointments, I manage the family budget. I gas up the cars, take all the phone messages, clean, cook, and care for kids and pets. I have a signed contract by the parents, their lawyer, my lawyer and me. The is no way someone is going to mess with my contract.

Frequent Flier said...

You sound like a really kind employer and I think it's wonderful that you're trying to do the right thing.

As for people questioning the bonus or the gift card, WTF? Why would you complain about that like it's a bad thing? I've never been a nanny, but I've been an employee for generous people before and gotten large bonuses when I hadn't been on the job for a long time AND I've had bosses who gave me gifts just because they appreciated me - like the time they gave me airline miles to use for my honeymoon. There really are kind and generous employers out there.

NannyJ said...

Firstly, I think you are extremely generous, and if your nanny is a reliable and understanding person who has any knowledge of the financial situation, she should be willing to at least negotiate a pay cut. She should be aware of the fact that, since you are leaving your job, she is lucky that she is not being let go! Granted, you have spoiled her enough to make her comfy with the kind of money that she was making as well as extravagant gifts... but again, if she is reasonable and really likes your kids she will work with you on this. I mean, it will be an unfortunate situation for her, but at least she still has a job--many don't.

I don't know her situation, so this might be a totally unrealistic option, but what is her living situation? Does she live alone in an apartment? Roommates? Parents? Spouse? Kids? Depending on the situation... and your setup of course, would it be an option to offer her a live-in situation? Because in that case her expenses would be majorly cut down and the pay cut would actually probably work out to be more disposable income anyway. Again, not sure that this is a valid option... but you never know. Desperate times...

Anyway, you gotta do what you gotta do...

Manhattan Mamma said...

Everyone's cutting back and nannies are no different. In this economy, she's lucky to have a family willing to still pay her a living wage while you reorganize your life.

You have been very generous OP and still are being so. Sit her down and be candid with her. If she's smart, she'll recognize that she has it very good with you guys and she won't do something stupid like quit. If she does rest assured you will find no shortage of excellent nannies more than willing to accept your offer. Good Luck.

desperate times said...

I don't think it should be so awkward to talk to her about your financial situation, unless she's living under a rock (as someone else said).
I agree that her hours should be cut in proportion to her pay cut. And unless she is supporting children, $600 is enough to live off, even in NY. She might leave, but I doubt it.
Also, don't promise the $5000 bonus unless you are sure you can deliver.

Manhattan Mamma said...

I agree 100 percent, don't promise a huge bonus like that. If you are able to give it to her and wish to all the better.

$600.00 per week is a good job in this economy, there are not many of those out there anymore. It's more than she will collect on unemployment should you let her go.

Wicker Park Nanny said...

Wow OP, tough situation.

I was let go from a previous job because the father lost his and they could no longer afford me, I got no notice and one week's severance. So all that to say I appreciate what you are doing!

I think it is OK to sit down and talk to her about it. She can say no if she isn't comfortable with it or can't live off that. $600/month is a decent wage, especially in this economy when nannies are accepting jobs for $10/hour.

It sounds like you are being as generous as possible. Be prepared to look for a new nanny if she says no, for that salary you shouldn't have any trouble being able to afford a good nanny if necessary.

Let us know what happens!

wants to stay anon-- nanny here said...

Hi OP--

I think it is sweet that you are even thinking about her in the first place... and for that matter recognize the bond she has with your kids. Anhow, while it is a big pay cut, I think that you should just be honest with her.. you will be amazed how receptive people are to a little honesty! Also, it is nice to offer that hour cut and NOT just expect the same amount of work. I honestly would 1)go to her and put your heads together 2) offer a nanny share option to her... hell you may even be able to split costs further. Thanks for caring enough to ask! Please update us!

cali mom said...

I think that sounds like a fair proposal, and she can either take it or leave it. You are not asking her to do the same amount of work for less pay as MANY employers are asking for now (non-nanny employers, companies). You NEED to cut back, out of necessity, so you're not being unreasonable, and I think she would be unreasonable to think badly of you for having to redefine her position.

cali mom said...

World's Best, I have to wonder, what would all those lawyers say if you got busted in your favorite habit of stealing from your employers and getting high on the job?

Oh yeah, you're a good liar so you're sure that would never happen.

Sure, you could stalk out at the mention of taking a pay cut. And then find yourself cutting back even further on the unemployment check you'd get weekly. And watch as your former charges got shuttled around town by a new smiling, loving, nanny, who was ecstatic to finally have found a new jhob after being unemployed for 6 months.

And then maybe you could try again to call your lawyer.

Playdough Nanny said...

Portlander, you're right, she did say live-out. I wonder if OP would consider live-in to reduce rent costs for the nanny?

50/50 chance! said...

You sound like a great employer. Don't listen to all the Moms on here who say her holiday bonus was too big. At least you appreciate a good nanny when you find one and don't act completely cheap and stingy!

Anyhow, my advice would be that when you tell her your new situation, tell her upfront and before you go into detail that you don't want an answer right then and there. You don't want to put her on the spot and have her give you a dishonest answer because she feels bad for you.

If she can afford the cut in pay, that's great, but still try to give her perks whenever possible to make up for it. Do be prepared though for her to quit.

This same situation happened to me. I was working very very part time for a family making $200 a week watching their infant son. The father won custody of his two older children from a previous marriage (they were still in grade school though) and they were coming to live with them. So, keeping my same hours, they bumped me up to $400 a week just for the extra work that came with the extra two kids. I was thrilled!

Come two months later the Mom decides to go back to school part time and cut back at work. They also wanted to move to a bigger house to give the oldest girl her own room. So they asked me if I could 1) Increase my hours by 15 hours a week, and 2) take a $100 a week pay cut.

I couldn't in my right conscience do this! Work more and make less? NO thanks! They were really sad to see my go but I gave them my 2 week notice and found another job. They put their kids in daycare and I work for them for date nights and overnights and such. It happens! Your nanny has to do what is right for her, just like you are doing what is right for you and your family.

Good luck!

kc said...

You sound like a great employer who is truly concerned about the situation. However, like some others have said, don't be surprised if she's forced to find another job due to financial difficulties of her own. It doesn't really sound like you have much of a choice here so I would just sit down and explain this all to her and see what she says. In my personal opinion, if it was me (and I'm a nanny), if I needed that portion of my paycheck to pay the bills I would try my best to find another job but if I didn't, I would cut back my own spending and suck it up like most people are doing these days. I guess it just all depends on what kind of a situation she's in right now. Best of luck!

Nanny Sandy said...

Your financial situation is completely understandable OP, however if you want my honest opinion...if I were the nanny either I would not agree to it, or I would agree to it, however I would seek higher-paying jobs and give you proper notice if I find one. Since you say you are not on an intimate level with her, she may do the latter. If so, just be prepared to have to hire another nanny.
I like the idea of a nanny share. That way, she can stay at her salary and you can keep her.
Good Luck to you and your family.

MTS said...

First, let me say, if the nanny is truly GREAT, then you should hold on to her with everything you've got. You have about a 1 in 1,000 chance of finding a great nanny. I've had two great nannies and one that was simply the best. I would have not wanted to tweek her salary even if I had to. Fortunately, I am one of the blessed and the economy has thus far been good to me. (Invest in fertilizer, gold, natural gas and research companies when they first go public.)

Having said all of this, you did say, you don't have a personal relationship with the nanny. In my experience, a great nanny is one that you are attracted to knowing more simply because she is vivacious or funny or smart or charming. You want to know her. Yet this seems lacking with your present nanny.

If it were me and I had to make a change due to the economy, I would do it like this. I would tell the nanny that the you are losing your job and you are no longer able to afford her. Tell her how much you appreciate her service and then tell her you have figured out your finances and you want to start your own business. You will need five full days of work and will be able to pay six hundred dollars on the books to her. I would also cut the transportation costs and absolutely do not mention back pay or bonuses. Your life has changed and you can no longer afford her. Tell her that you want to give her time to find another job so you will give her four weeks notice.

In this economy, you will be able to get a great nanny for $600.

Nanny from Fargo said...

If you cut her rate by 30%, her hours should also be cut by 30%. She should not be expected to work for less pay!

So, if she agrees to it, then it would work for you. She would be able to get a second job. HOWEVER, try not to resent her if she tells you she will need to look elsewhere 100% and can't work for you anymore.

You sound like lovely people, but who knows what her expenses are?

As far as the bonus- believe it or not, it is standard to pay a holiday bonus of at least one week's pay, up to one month's pay. True story!

So the generous bonus coincides with the generous weekly pay. HOWEVER, we know nothing of the location, hours and demands of this job, so it may be perfectly fair and suiting.

OP, I am sorry about your situation . It will be okay! Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and just be fair!!

Anonymous ny said...

OP,
You sound super nice. Now is the time to look out for you and your family. I would let her go, give her 2-3 weeks to find a new job. Don't give her specifics, let her know you are struggling. Give her the option of leaving earlier because the last thing you want is some entitled bitch of a nanny still punching the clock, that's how emeralds get stolen, my love.
I resent the implication that you owe the nanny any more than any other employer owes his/her employers that are getting pinks slips. *over 600,000 last month. If nanny thinks she can get a better job, let her fly. But she better be one hell of a nanny because those are the only ones that are holding on to the high wages and even some of them have been cut.

nannyneedsanap said...

I can't believe anyone thinks your nanny will go for this. I would absolutely not take a paycut. Be prepared to find a new nanny.

nyc mom said...

Unless I'm miscalculating, OP is proposing a weekly paycut of 30% and a cut in hours of 20-25% (depending on what her weekly hours are). With the guaranteed increased bonus, it is actually a paycut of only about 23% (annual $46700 down to $32600) which may be exactly equivalent to the total cut in hours. That doesn't sound so bad in this economy! If nanny opts for one day off a week and OP helps her find someone to fill that day, she should be just fine. I know so many laid off nannies and so many people in other industries who have been either laid off or taken pay cuts.

I agree with others that your nanny is unlikely to take this pay cut, simply out of pride. However, I also think she will be unlikely to find another job that pays as highly as $600/week for four days work either. You will most likely need to move on despite your fair offer. I also believe you will have your pick of tons of qualified applicants to fill the spot. GL.

Vanessa said...

I have to add that there is absolutely no need for you to give her a $5,000 bonus. Are you kidding me?? You say you're struggling with her wage yet you want to double her bonus? I think the fair thing to do is to talk to her, ask her what she thinks of this and if she needs a full time thing, help her find something for the one day you don't want her to work. You are a very generous person and that's great. If your nanny likes you as much as you do her, she'll try to help you out too.

Soho said...

You won't know until you chat with her. Give her the choice of all you put out there, pay cut, less hours for the same pay, etc, etc.

It never fails to amaze me of the comments some nannies make here and they have the audacity to throw their nose up in the air about taking a pay cut to keep their job in these economic times. Some of you need to wake up and smell the coffee because you are woefully mistaken if you think your employer isn't already suffering or agreeing to take a pay cut or freeze to keep their job. If they aren't employed, guess what? Neither are you. I don't think it is right to bully a nanny to take less just for the sport of it, but neither do I believe it is okay for a nanny to assume you have more than you do and make demands for pay raises and complaining about their bonus this past year.

Good nannies are hard to find, OP, and if you have a down to earth, realistic one without airs of self righteousness, you really do need to sit down with her and try to work something out. If not you could do what someone else suggested and find a time share nanny situation. All the best to you.

UNOME said...

OP, I'm a nanny and I can tell you the bonus your nanny received was beyond generous. I also agree with those who advise you not to promise a large bonus.
You never know what the future holds.

If my employer came to me with the with the type of offer you are making - I would accept it. My husband's currently doing the job of two people at his office for the same salary he was making last year. He's recently been informed there'll be no pay increases this year. They also cut his hours and salary accordingly last year. He's just happy he wasn't one of the 200 people they let go.

I have a professional relationship with my employer, it's strictly business for us. I would understand if she had financial changes in her life. I know of very few people who aren't these days.

You sound like a great employer and I wish you the very best.

Job Hunting Nanny said...

As a nanny who was let go because of my boss getting laid off with no notice and no severance I would definitely take the pay cut and the extra day off. I would just find s job on that day to cover the loss or at least some of it. This economy is horrible and having a job right now is a luxury. I live in North Carolina and even though our economy is better then most, I am having a very HARD time finding another job that pays a living wage, and I have over 10 years experience. SO if this nanny is smart she WILL accept your offer OP.

mom said...

All you can do is ask. Your prior generosity will probably come back to help you now, as she will definitely realize that you are not simply being cheap.

Offer to work with her somehow so that she has an opportunity to make up the extra money she will be losing. I doubt her budget allows for a 30% pay cut. Most people's just don't. Maybe you can do a temporary share situation...in which she might even be able to make a little bit more than she does now. That seems the most feasable for both of you since her working hours with you probably would interfere with having a part time job on the side...not to mention making her exhausted all the time.

Just be sure to stress that this is as temporary as possible, until you start earning again. I wouldn't promise her the big bonus unless you are absolutely 100% SURE it will materialize. That would be devastating for her to be planning for that and then have it not come through. And she would be mad at you and probably quit then anyway.

Just curious...if you're going to be home now and money is really that tight, do you even need a nanny anymore?

socalnanny said...

Let me only add this...no one knows more than the nanny about where families waste money....we see it since we are in the house. If I was asked to take a pay cut and then the mom came home with $1000. hair extensions and a new $1000. purse I would be more than upset. If you cut her pay and a day (she goes to part time)..getting a job to fill that day is the best solution. I work for 3 families all part time. I personally couldnt afford to live on less than I do now. I pick up work from my families whenever I can to make more. Only this nanny knows what she can afford to make and still pay her bills.

chick said...

I forgot to add, do NOT promise bonuses you can't be 110% sure you will be able to pay. No better way to foster bad feelings than to promise what you can't eventually deliver, KWIM?

I would also consider whether you could either use her just 3 days (I would guess a 2 day job might be easier to find than a 1 day job), or use her 8 - 2 every day, so she can find an afterschool care job.

Good luck to you all.

NY too said...

Anonymous NY,
Where in OP's post does she imply that her nanny is an " entitled bitch"? OP. "The nanny is wonderful with our children, we have no doubts about her."
G@d forbid someone treat a nanny well, because that makes employers like you look bad.
If you are hiring a bottom of the bucket faux nanny on the cheap, put you emeralds in the safe.

macaroniandcheese said...

i think you should be honest about your financial situation, that you'd love her to stay if she could, what you would be able to offer etc. with your nanny. perhaps she would be willing to compromise. if not, you could pay her her current salary for another month while you look for a new nanny?

sloper said...

I wish u were my boss I would help u out in any way I could because you sound like a wonderful person to work for.

I have worked for a mean person for more than 7 years and the only kind of bonus I get is barely 150 and I do everything fo rthem. I have been there to help her through so much and she has never seen fit to do any of these nice things u are doing. Right now I make 120 weekly.

Your nanny does not know how great u are and how damn lucky she is. Please let me be your nanny.

Philly nanny said...

MTS:

1 in 1000 chance of finding a great nanny and you've had 3!?

Interviewing 3000 people must have been exhausting.

WTF? said...

OP, you sound very nice. Be honest with your nanny about how your needs have changed, but expect that she'll begin to look for other employment. If she wanted a part time job, she'd already be working at one instead of working full time for you.

why the hell is it.. said...

that some perfectly lovely person writes in needing an opinion of nannies, and the cadre of nanny-haters start spewing their venom about entitlement????? Maybe Anonymous NY 2:34 can help me understand this quandary? I would spew *MY* venom at this point.. but it is not worth it.

mill said...

I think that the nannies tend to want it both ways. They want us to realize that a nanny is a paid professional when that is convenient and then when we need to downsize, we are expected to kiss the nanny's ass, coddle her, hold her hand and make all kinds of ass backwards amends. The fact is, it is a job. Job's get lost. People replace expensive employees with less expensive employees.

mill said...

Case in point all the comments about how big the paycut is. Forget that she is a nanny, there are a ton of people who lost their jobs and would have taken paycuts instead. I mean she could collect unemployment, but she would be collecting about 350. So it is 350 and some sense of job security or unemployment (and the knowledge that you are just another leech parasite sucking on the sagging, depleted tit of the US)

cali mom said...

Yep. I know people who have taken on many extra duties with no pay increase, and MANY people have had to lose some pay one way or another. It just amazes me how some people cannot do the math, and proclaim on the one hand that nannies are a "luxury item", yet also insist that a nanny should turn up her nose and walk away from a steady job if 99.99999999% of EVERYTHING about it isn't EXACTLY to her liking. As if nanny jobs will always be plentiful, despite the fact that nanny EMPLOYERS are getting laid off in record numbers and cutting back in every direction. I wonder how many of those advocating nannies walk off the job if someone looks at them funny are even getting paid on the books and could collect unemployment if they needed it.

Portlander said...

That's a really cruel thing to say about people on unemployment, Mill. I hope you're lucky enough to never lose your job.

I don't think anyone here is saying that this employer should try to continue paying the nanny her regular salary if she can't afford it. This IS a big paycut. Despite the lost wages I wouldn't leave this job without having something better lined up, and if this nanny is able to do that, despite the economy, that's her right. As strange as the nanny advocates seem to you, it's strange to me that people think someone should take a huge salary cut without advocating for themselves. It sounds like this employer is willing to work out a good arrangement with reducing whatever hours work best for the nanny; I'm not sure why so people are assuming this nanny is so "entitled" that she would reject this.

Yaya said...

That wouldn't fly with me. I would be out of there in a New York minute.

cali mom said...

So, you are one of those who still believes that you could have a better paying job lined up in a new york minute?

UNOME said...

My husband didn't want his hours cut last year. He definitely didn't want his healthcare benefits cost to increase. He didn't want his schedule to change so he has to go to work Saturdays and have a weekday off. He's not happy doing the work of two people after being told there would be no salary increases this year. However, as his choice was accept these changes or resign he accepted it. He's been looking for another job the past six months with no success. He feels fortunate he was not one of the 107people laid-off two weeks before Christmas.

My best friend would have gladly accpeted a cut in pay or hours or a lower position in her company when they let her go last October. She's also been looking with no results despite her college degree and experience. Even though she has plenty of unemployment left she doesn't want to run it down to the end. Next month she plans to apply to places like Target and hopefully she'll find a full and part time job. In NJ unemployment maxes out at $480.00 per week regardless of what you've earned. Most states have similar cut offs.

I say again, if your nanny quits after you are upfront with her she is a fool. There are loads of well-qualified, excellent and loving nanies looking for work out there. You will find another.

Portlander said...

Cali mom, I'm sort of baffled by a statement you made a few comments up. This comment: "yet also insist that a nanny should turn up her nose and walk away from a steady job if 99.99999999% of EVERYTHING about it isn't EXACTLY to her liking." Do you feel like this statement is relevant to the situation the OP is posting about? It's not as if a nanny has posted asking if she should quit or not because her employers brought her the wrong kind of bread or something; this OP is asking for advice on how to approach cutting her nanny's salary by $1000/month and reducing her hours by around 20%.

cali mom said...

Portlander, in this thread, and on this blog in general, there are frequently people advising nannies to quit their jobs at the drop of a hat if they are asked to consider a reduction in hours AND pay, don't get a raise, don't get a big enough bonus, have to work OT too often, feel their bosses are too picky about what the kids wear, eat, or if the boss is generally a pain in the butt, etc. And frequently, FREQUENTLY, it has been declared here in so many words that "nannies are a luxury item", but this recurring advice to quit the job immediately, and "find a better job" never seems to stop, despite the fairly obvious fact that ALL jobs are in scarce supply right now, and becoming scarcer every day.

Portlander said...

Cali mom, I don't see a ton of people in this thread saying the nanny should quit. I'm not going to disagree that that isn't a common theme on this blog, but I honestly thought your comment, in this context, wasn't apropos. The nanny isn't on this thread, so we have no idea what she would do, but I think comparing someone quitting their job over their bosses pickiness, and quitting their jobs because their job has been cut from full to part-time, is a little silly.

I'm not going to speak for the other nannies on this board, but I know that I probably would still keep this job even with the cuts. However, the employer asked this board how to approach this situation before confronting her nanny, and I don't think the advice given has been out of line. Even in this economy there are still some great nanny jobs out there, and if this nanny is so great that she has been able to earn $850/wk, huge bonuses and other gifts she may not have trouble finding one.

Portlander said...

Also, Cali mom, not to nitpick, but nannies aren't "items." Maybe this is just a poor word choice, but I don't think it's helpful to objectify people based on their profession.

kudos said...

Thank you Potlander----

seattle said...

portlander,

i think you should re-read her comment then. because she didn't imply she felt that nannies were an item, rather, it sounds like she is giving an example of how OTHER PEOPLE on here view nannies.

i think you know you are nitpicking, but enjoy it.

Portlander said...

Seattle, there are more tactful ways to phrase it. All one needs to say is "it's a luxury to be able to hire a nanny." Although Cali used quotation marks I don't see whom she was quoting, so it seems to be her word choice. If you feel that you are an item then you can refer to yourself as such. It bothers me. I'm a person.

Indignant indeed said...

Mill,
"I think that the nannies tend to want it both ways............. The fact is, it is a job."

Employers want it both ways too. We are supposed to love their children like our own, set our own lives aside whenever they need us to come early, stay late, stay overnight, travel. We are "a member of the family". Until they don't need us anymore. Then "it is just a job."

And, FYI, unemployment INSURANCE is exactly that. An insurance policy that both employer and employee pay into. You can't collect it unless you have paid for it. If you have an accident, or your home is burgled wouldn't you collect your insurance?

cali mom said...

Portlander, if you really are a newcomer to the board and haven't seen all the times that that exact wording about "nannies are a luxury item" has been used, I am not going to dredge up every old link for you. If you choose not to believe me and want to argue just for the sake of arguing over that wording...

Have fun entertaining yourself.

And yes, unemployment is not a handout. If haven't paid in, you can't collect. Pretty simple.

Portlander said...

I've been reading this board since it's inception. I'm not trying to pick on you, or ask you to defend yourself to a stranger on the Internet. Of course I don't want you to prove yourself through links. Maybe I can speak more generally, then, if nannies have regularly been called items by more than just you. Wouldn't it help the often antagonistic relationship between nannies and non-nannies on this board if we could be a more little thoughtful with language, and realize that nannies and parents alike are people?

junior soprano said...

I would love to attend a parade. I loathe parades, but I would love to attend a parade where every float was ridden by nannies. And the floats stopped in front of me and the nannies all one by one apologized for their misdeeds and I pelted them with rotten tomatoes and soft shelled eggs.

lovesthegirls said...

Junior--

I should not give you the satisfactionof knowing this, but your hateful, cruel staement has hurt my heart. You make me ashamed to even be on the same blog as you. :***( That being said I hope you find the joy you are searching for through tearing down people you have never even met.

Portlander said...

okay okay, point taken.

Beezle said...

Eric's Mom, you've made some valid points in the comments section of this website from time to time, however, your comment regarding the bonus and vacation gift have been irking me since I read them. Is it so wrong for a parent to extend GRATITUDE and appreciation to the person responsible for the physical and emotional well being of their child? No, I don't think so. I think the gift card was "about" saying "thanks for the insuring that my child is thriving and safe in your care."

To the OP, you sound like a reasonable, fair employer. If you honestly present your situation, I'm sure your nanny can negotiate some sort of hour/share situation. Be prepared for the potential loss of her, though. Most people are living paycheck to paycheck these days. I would have a back-up plan in case she departs.

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Lisah said...

OP, you are wonderful! Thank you so much for letting us know how it worked out. It sounds like you've created a win/win situation. Best of luck to you!

lovesthegirls said...

HOOORAY! I am so glad! I have been thinking about you all week. I knew a little honesty would go a long way. Sounds like you got a nanny-keeper for life. Thank you for being such a wonderful, empathetic employer!

Wicker Park Nanny said...

Fantastic OP! I'm thrilled this has worked out for you and for this nanny. In this economy no one, not even nannies, should be taking their positions for granted.

AC said...

$2,500 bonus or 5,000 even..wow I got nothing as a live in governess..only thing I got from my family was a $20 regifted Applebees card for my birthday..talk about cheapos, I know!! They had no money to pay a governess that worked 24/7(not a joke), but had enough money to put $50,000/year into their 2 month and 3 year olds college funds. I would be happy to find generous people like you!