How Should Nanny Approach VP MB for a Raise?

opinion 1
I have been a full time (live-out) nanny for a family with two boys (1 and 3 1/2 years old) for a little over a year. I love the family I work for and have done a lot for them over the last year! The mom is gone on business trips on average 3 weeks out of the month and I've taken care of her 10 week premature baby since he's been home from the hospital. I'm also a college graduate with two degrees (Architecture and Fine Arts), but with the job market the way it is, I've enjoyed nannying to make my income.

Last Christmas I had received a $100 dollar bonus after only working for the family a little over a month. This year, the family decided to take a vacation the week before Christmas so I had the week off. It was nice having a week off but it also meant no paycheck. The day before their vacation we exchanged gifts. I had bought both boys and the parents gifts. I didn't spend a lot of money but all the gifts had some sort of reason behind them ie, I bought the parents a nice bag of ground coffee because they always have a cup waiting for me in the morning. When it was my turn to open my gift, it was a $20 dollar run of the mill bath set, bath gel, loofa and lotion and the card had the a "note" from the kids which was cute, but no note from them. Even a card with "thank you for everything you do for us" would have been better than the gift. Not only did I not get a bonus, but I missed out on a week's pay while they were on vacation.

The mom is the Vice President of a company so she's not completely clueless on bonuses and vacation pay. I just feel a little under-appreciated. I was also hoping for a raise since I've been with them over a year, especially now that the little one is moving around now, he's a fast crawler! haha! I was thinking about writing up a contract for the upcoming year that stipulated paid holidays, vacation time and sick days and possibly asking for a raise. I don't know how to go about bringing it up. Any comments would help! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

In writing. And this time, get paid vacations. It's ridiculous parents take off without paying the nanny.

She appears to be busy, and corporate oriented, to say the least. I'd do the equivalent of a power point presentation on your requirements, and your idea of a contract is excellent. Go ahead and prepare it to go with your presentation. It's so much easier to get your points across in writing. And don't say it's the going rate, etc. Employers tend to hate that. Concentrate on your duties and her child. Good luck!

LA Nanny said...

How are you paid? Are you W2 or 1099 or cash? If you're a W2 employee, then technically they set the parameters of employment (though you are certainly within your right to renegotiate.) If you are 1099 then you are an independent contractor & can technically change your terms at any time. For example, I tell families that if I choose to take off time, then I don't expect to be paid; however, if they choose to go out of town, go on vacation, etc. & do not require childcare, then I charge them a "vacation rate" equivalent to 1/2 my regular rate. Also, if you are 1099 then it's not considered a "raise" but rather you would just be charging more for services rendered. If you receive a W2, then yes, you would have to ask for the raise. In my humble opinion, I'd choose which battle to fight as opposed to both (especially if they know you want to work in a different field, but have had trouble finding work in your field of study.) Though I agree that the Christmas gift was a bit of a slap in the face.

Did you get a raise when the second child was born? Or were you hired to care for the 2 children just prior to her giving birth to the 2nd? If you were given a raise when the 2nd child was born, it might be wiser to hold off on asking for a raise if you're going to ask for paid vacations. Even though a paid vacation is fair, it may still surprise them since they (obviously) are not expecting to pay for vacation time. Though, they may be more open to saying "yes" since they already took a vacation & will not be faced with this issue for a while.

Each nanny job has taught me more & more in regard to boundaries set in the interview. I used to be very accommodating ("Sure, some weekends are fine." "Oh, I'm sure we'll just figure out overtime as it occurs." "A few minutes late, that's ok." "I don't mind working when you are sick.") But truth is, many busy families will take advantage if given the chance without even realizing. Now, I set up everything in the interview - overtime, vacation, punctuality, illness, meals, travel, playdates, etc. That way, I can say, "When we met we decided that I'd be compensated when you choose to go out of town." Ahh, live and learn.

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Bonus my ass said...

I've been given some real stinkers as holiday gifts and as a bonus, just get over it. Some people are broke, others just clueless, I really hate the bouns poll here, cause I always get the shaft. If there's something else your really annoyed about at your work you must communicate in an adult fashion your concerns to your employer. It's not that hard, she's a business women, now negotiate with her.

MissMannah said...

Wow, sour grapes much? Though I completely agree with your second statement, she does need to communicate like an adult.

Jedd, some nannies have no choice. I would rather work as a contractor than not work at all. Yeah, it is wrong but what can you do?

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Nanny-O said...

I have been a nanny for over 12 years with several different families in three different states. At this time I am caring for four children ages 9,7,5, and 3. I have gone through nanny agencies in the past but where I live now there aren't any. Even though I have a written agreement, there are some ambiguities. I am being taken advantage of to an extreme. I am not paid extra for when I have all four children (when school is out early or off for holidays and/or snow days etc. I am working 11-13 hour days and still am working 5 days a week with a 45 minute drive each way (in the mountains). I've been promised that in the near future I will have Fridays off (at same weekly pay).

I started this job in September 2011. In my previous nanny jobs I have typically received one week's pay of Christmas bonus/gifts. This family gave me a pair of socks and foot lotion. Probably re-gifted. And a 6x8" photo of the family. Yippie Skippy. The mother didn't even have the decency to present the gift to me herself. The children had me open it while she was in another part of the house.

I have never been so unappreciated or underpaid or taken advantage of as a nanny. The children's behavior is another story. Needless to say I will be much more careful next time... and next time will be very very soon.

DenverNanny said...

The Christmas bonus thing is always weird. I never have any certain expectations my first Christmas with a family, I am happy with something cheap or handmade. What astounds me is when a family will give me a huge bonus one year, and then a tiny one the next year. I used to get $400 on Christmas and my birthday from a woman I worked for, then suddenly is was $100 on Christmas and nothing on my birthday. Nothing seemed to have changed, she still seemed happy with me, and I know her financial situation had not changed. Of course I never say anything, I smile and say thanks, but wow, I always wonder if they are supremely embarrassed to be so stingy.