Monday

Selfless Nanny Wants Raise From Money Conscious Family

opinion dec
I need some advice! I’ve been working as a full-time nanny for a family for the past eight months. I love them, they are wonderful, and we have become like family. I signed my contract at $12/hour, which I knew was a little low but I really wanted the job and I figured I would just ask for a raise later on. My fiancee has been nagging me a lot for the past few months because I work too hard and don’t get paid enough. Essentially, I am also their maid – I clean the entire house, laundry, dinner prep, have to clean up after them in the kitchen each morning, etc. I would like to ask for a raise to $15/hour, which I believe is fair and is what I deserve for the amount of work I’m doing. The family is very money conscious, so I’m a bit nervous about this.

Here’s the other thing – I work 55 hours per week. With what I’m making now, I could be working a minimum wage job and be making the same exact amount of money with the same hours. Do you think it’s too much for me to ask for a raise of $15/hour PLUS overtime? I commute a half our each way to work. I have to get up at 4:15am if I want to go to the gym. I literally have 2-3 waking hours each day where I’m not at work. I don’t have time for a life outside of their life. I think I should put a price on the amount of personal time I sacrifice. For example – all of my own errands, laundry, cleaning, etc. has to be done during the weekend because I don’t have time during the week – so even my days off are catch-up days for myself. I know I might be essentially quitting with asking for such an increase in pay, but I really think I deserve it. I’m going to honor my contract either way for the next few months (it’s a year-long contract).

Should I wait until the contract is up or tell them I’d like to talk about it in the next few weeks? I just don’t want to wait until the last minute and then they only have two weeks to find a new nanny. It would also give me more time to find a new job if we were to sit down earlier. And even if they say no, I’m still going to honor my contract. I need some advice from more experienced nannies! I feel torn because I love this family but I can’t let my attachment to them negatively impact my financial situation – it would be selfish!

16 comments:

NannyK said...

I wouldn't ask for overtime simply because you knew from the beginning that you'd be working 55 hours. If you didn't know that, then I'd let them know it's really taking a toll on you and you can't continue to work such long hours- you and the baby will suffer because of it.

As far as pay goes, $3 is way too high of a raise to ask for. You knew $12 was too low, and I'd ask for more but not that much. I would start looking for another job just in case they fire you too, and maybe it's just time for a new job anyway. You need to find a job with a better wage & better hours if that's what you want. You should be happy at your job.

Tales from the (Nanny)Hood said...

Sounds like it's time to find a new job. Why? Several reasons:

Overtime is the law. It is not optional. You should have been paid OT for 15 hours a week from the start. In your next position, you'll know better, right?

A nanny is not a maid, and a maid is not a nanny. You need to focus on childcare and child related household duties. I doubt this family is going to be willing to drop their free maid service from you.

You sound more concerned about their ability to find a new nanny when you give notice than about your ability to find a new job. You are officially too entwined with this family. It happens to the best of us, but the only cure is to refocus on YOU and what you need and want from a nanny position.

In your shoes, I would start looking right now for a new position. Ask for a sit down meeting in early January and be prepared to outline all that you are doing above and beyond childcare, and describe what you would be doing with and for their child IF you weren't scrubbing toilets. Then be prepared to offer them a few good reasons they should keep you on at a slightly higher hourly rate while getting less work out of you.

Then keep looking for a new job where you outline OT, duties, and everything else in a work agreement, so that you can be ready to work elsewhere when they decide to let you go.

MissMannah said...

1. If you *really* loved this family as much as you claimed and felt like they were your own family, you wouldn't be complaining this much.

2. You are way off when you said "I could be making minimum wage and still be making this much!" You're currently making $660 weekly gross. If you had a regular retail job and made the federal minimum wage (including OT), you'd be making approximately $450 weekly gross. Add it all up before you make such claims.

3. Tales is right when she said that paying OT is the law, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a family who will actually do it. Especially if they've never done it in the past, they aren't suddenly going to start just because you ask them to.

4. You are very underpaid, and that is a lot coming from me, who notoriously works for much less than what's she's worth. You should either be getting at least $15, or you shouldn't be doing so much housework. (I vote for the latter.) But it is too late and you're not going to get that big of a raise unless these people are really rich and generous, and that combo doesn't happen too often. People like to find cheap labor, and that's what they've found in you.

5. I'd say start looking for a job right now, but tell new families that you can only start work when your contract is up. Work till the end of your contract so you can be sure to get a good reference. Then about 3-4 weeks before it is up, put in your notice, saying you simply don't think you're a good fit for each other anymore and don't want to renew the contract. You don't have to go into a big explanation. Keep it simple and friendly and hopefully you can stay in each other's lives.

Village said...

One you ask for a raise and they say no, the relationship changes. I wouldn't ask unless you have another job lined up, because this one will become untenable after you ask for more money.

I think you will end up leaving anyway, so why not work out the contract, and then get another job. Once you signed on the dotted line, you committed yourself.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I disagree with MissMannah when she said that if you liked this family as much as you say you did, you wouldn't be complaining this much. Just because the OP likes the family doesn't mean that she shouldn't be paid fairly. I am not saying she should just get the raise but working for a family you love is not an excuse to make less money!!

Anyway, I agree with the PP that $3 is too much of a raise, especially when you know this family is frugal with their money. I may have missed it but did you specify whether or not the chores were discussed when you took the job and agreed to the $12 per hour?? If you knew that you were going to be cleaning that much and still agreed to that rate then you don't really have an argument there. BUT if the chores were added afterward, then maybe you have something there.

As far as the hours go, you don't seem happy about not having much free time. I agree that you should be paid overtime because working 55 hours a week is a lot! I don't really have sympathy for you in the "no free time" area of things because you did agree to work 55 hours a week. Anyone who works that much will barely have any time for themselves but most of the time they are ok with it because the money makes up for it. Of course you are not being compensated, which just sucks. I am assuming that overtime was not discussed in the original contract so the family is not just going to offer it to you. If you want it, you need to ask!! But like the others said, be prepared to lose your job because their childcare expense is about to be a lot more expensive if they want to keep you around.

If you think that they might be able to swing your raise and the added overtime, then I think you should just go for it and ask them. BUT definitely be prepared to be let go. I would approach it from a mature standpoint and tell them that you have a lot of expenses and your wage is just not cutting it. You could throw in something about being able to make more money somewhere else but they might be offended.

Pay for the work she does. said...

Why is 3.00 an hour too much. A housekeeper makes more then 3 bucks and hour. Was this housekeeping thing in her contract? If not then she shold be getting apid a lot more, If they have to hire someone to do the housekeeping they will be paying a good 1000k a month for a few hours a week, she should be getting paid a decent wage for being the Nanny and housekeeper. They are using her.

MissMannah said...

Show me where I said OP shouldn't be paid what she's worth. I didn't say it because I don't believe that.

Most nannies adore their families but many are unsatisfied with some part of their working conditions. However, OP seems to unsatisfied with a whole laundry-list of hers, so it makes me suspect she doesn't feel as "family-friendly" with hers as she claims. Or maybe she loves the kiddos as if they are her own but the parents don't care as much.

Whatever the situation is, Strawberry you more or less said the exact same thing I did, which is OP can ask for everything she wants but she needs to be prepared to be let go. So it sounds like you do agree with me, but you just don't like me (and my brutal honesty) so you'll take any chance you can get to point that out.

MissMannah said...

PS: I assume "Pay for the work" made a typo because she put that if the family hired a housekeeper, they'd be paying her a million dollars per month. Makes me consider going into that line of work.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

This family is taking full advantage of you by paying you only $12/Hr while reaping the benefits of a maid and a nanny. I know you say they are great, but no family who treats their Nannies like this sound too great to me. Plus, you are not getting overtime payment which is the LAW!!

Forget asking for the raise..since they are $$ conscious, they probably won't give it to you. I would have another job lined up, then leave this one. Also, in your next position please make sure you strictly do childcare and child-related tasks ONLY.

A nanny who cares said...

I'm going with the other posters. Find a new job. If you are going to work the remainder of your contract, I would not bring up a raise until a month before your contract expires and you have a new job lined up. Work as a decently paid nanny is hard to find now. I work in orange county, california and am only taking home $13/hr. However, I don't do any housework. When the economy was better I was making $18/hr. How times have changed!

Nanny J said...

Miss Mannah: the OPs "laundry list" of complaints was two things-too many hours and too much cleaning/chores. Not only did she NOT complain about a ton of things she didnt like about her family, but the TWO things she asked about didnt have anything to do with the parents personality/attitude toward her. I actually dont recall from the original post if she said she thinks they are blatantly taking advantage of her (just that they are frugal) or if they are truly clueless, but why would she have any reason to state that she "loves them" and they are "wonderful" if she didnt believe that? I'm just saying that your #1 bullet point in your first response is unnecessary and self-serving, not helpful, as is your response to strawberry shortkakes. Someone sounds a little hostile....

mommy said...

If they are money conscious, they are not going to give you a $3 an hour raise. Of course you can ask but be prepared for them to say 'no'. They will find some other sucker to take the job if you don't want it. Frankly, if, like you said you could make just as much working somewhere else, I don't know why you'd stay in this job- it sounds like you could easily find a job that was less labor intensive and still make the same amount. The only thing your post doesn't mention is if you are having taxes taken out of the $12 an hour. If you aren't and get another job, don't forget to factor that in

huh? said...

op, minimum wage is not 12 bucks an hour.

StrawberryShortKakes said...

I think OP means that if she worked her 55 hours a week at minimum wage at another (easier) job, she would be making the same paycheck since she would be getting overtime. Right now she is not getting overtime for hours over 40.

mommy said...

most jobs that pay minimum wage don't pay overtime. When you hit your 40 hours for the week, they tell you to go home. So OPs thinking is off. The federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr.

Pricilla said...

Where I live in CA...I think the minimum wage is eight dollars an hr.