Received Friday, January 8, 2010
Hello, I am in a bit of a sticky situation and would like to hear some opinions on my position.
I have been working with my current family for a year now, as a live-out nanny. I work for a single well-to-do Mum, and my charges are 3 year old autistic twin boys. My salary is $925 bi-weekly, after taxes, for a 47.5 hour work week. (Over-time hours are paid under the table at $12 per hour.) Also included in my salary is my monthly transit pass (I need it to get the kids to their daily appointments) and I receive 2 weeks paid vacation a year.
My responsibilities (besides caring for the boys) include:
-ALL food preparation - I cook for the children all day, prepare dinner for the whole family each night, make the Mum's lunch for work, and also prepare meals for over the weekend.
-ALL household laundry - the Mum's, the childrens', bedding, towels, you name it.
-ALL the grocery shopping - I shop for fresh things in the neighborhood, and make the lists for all the other things which are purchased online and delivered for me to put away.
-ALL cleaning, done each week - It's a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home.
-ALL garbage/compost/recycling is handled by me.
Also I take care of going to each and every single appointment the children have, and they have a lot, as well as cutting their hair, fingernails, changing their diapers, attending speech therapy and everything else that goes into working with special needs children.
Here's my situation, though... It's been a year (I know my employer is happy with my abilities and how I work) and I need to know where (as in percentage, or dollar amount) should I begin the negotiations for a raise? I do feel I am being grossly underpaid, I work with TWIN TODDLER SPECIAL NEEDS children.... $9.74 an hour doesn't seem enough for that. I would have negotiated for more right from the start of my position, but the children have been diagnosed autistic within my past working year with them. When agreeing to the job I was informed they were typical, but slightly developmentally delayed due to being born so prematurely. Ideally I would like to initiate a conversation about how I'd like to receive a "raise" to bring me up to what I should be getting paid, and also lock down a fixed raise raise rate for the coming years. (I have agreed to stay 2 more years, at least-since planning ahead is important with autistic children, being that they need to be so routine.)
What are all your thoughts on; my current pay rate, what you think I should be paid, how much is average to " expect" as a yearly raise and any suggestions on good ways to bring this up? I have a great relationship with the Mum, love working with the boys and really don't want this to come to me looking for a new job, but I just don't think I'm getting paid enough for what I do. Thank you for all your comments!