Making a Pitch for More Pay

opinion 1
Ahhhh, money. The most uncomfortable part of working as a nanny! I've been a nanny for 7+ years, taught preschool and have a background in education. I've worked for my current family for about 2 years and they are nothing but wonderful. I truly love them and enjoy being at work. I get paid alright and it's all on the books through a payroll company which is amazing. Here's my "issue"--aside from caring for the families 4 awesome children I do the kids laundry, ensure that the house is looking neat (I don't do any deep cleaning, ever) just pick up when things are out of place, dishes, load/unload dishwasher, pick up toys, organize pantry/closets/fridge when there is time and I grocery shop and cook dinner for the family about 3 nights a week. I also ensure that there is fresh food for all to eat throughout the week, cut up food, poached, steamed, etc. so it's a grab and go kind of fridge. I don't mind doing any of it as long as there is time during the day which there typically is. Monster #1 is at school full time, monster #2 is at school part time and a very helpful, independent child and monster's 3 and 4 are mine full time. #'s 3 and 4 are now walking and not taking their typical 2 LONG naps a day. We're more on a 45 min short nap and a 2.5-4 hour long nap (on a good day) in the afternoon.

Ok so my question--how do I ask for a raise? I feel like I do a LOT and while I truly don't mind most of the time I don't usually find time to sit down most days unless monsters 3 and 4 are crawling all over me. Although I feel like I am paid alright I know that from the work I do it's kind of low. I'd be open to something other than a dollar amount raise (like health insurance paid for, paid sick days/time off) but I just don't know how to approach the subject without sounding greedy/rude/needy/etc. ANY advice from parents or nannies out there is greatly appreciated.

{I know that the family can afford to do this so it's not a question of funding being there it's just a question of parents being pulled in 7 million directions between 4 kids and 2 jobs and not thinking of these things} Thank you in advance for any kind words!


Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

As a Nanny, you go above and beyond your duties. I mean, you grocery shop and cook dinner for the whole family 3x week! Since you have been there for two years, I think you are entitled to a raise or extra benefits.

I would approach your bosses when things are settled down and calm. Just tell them that you have been working for them for two years now and would like them to consider offering you extra benefits like the ones you mentioned. Since you have not gotten a raise in two years, (I am assuming) then go ahead and ask. Hey, the worst they can say is NO.

CarolinaNanny said...

I do a lot of extra around the house, many of the same things you've mentioned. I don't mind going above and beyond just because if the baby is napping it's a way for me to stay productive during the day, and I am paid well but I am also compensated in other ways you mentioned. (Health insurance, cell phone, car insurance, etc.) My contract says I would work a maximum of 50 hrs/week but sometimes I work WAY more without overtime pay and I feel bad asking for more money because it is so awkward. I never want them to think I am ungrateful because they do give me a lot of extras, but working 70+ hours/week should call for some sort of overtime pay. ANYWAY, sorry I went off about myself for a minute. Does your contract renew anytime soon? That might be a good time to bring it up. If not, you could just let them know you have a couple things you want to talk to them about and when you all have time to sit down, make sure they know you're not unhappy for trying to be rude but being up some of the options you might be open to. I am sure you are valued to them and they will respect whatever you have to say...especially if you approach it by letting them know you are content with the job. Health insurance and paid sick time are extremely reasonable things to ask for and common for nannies to receive so I do not think they will see you as greedy!! Good luck!

Lyn said...

If at all possible wait for your contract to renew to bring up extra compensation. Or if you just missed that window with in the past few months tell MB and DB that your circumstances have changed and you'd really appreciate a bit of their time to discuss some amendments you'd like to add/change in your contract. Definitely discuss this when the children are not around. Send an email if you must to both parents asking for this meeting. Parents can panic when they hear "change of circumstances", haha.
During the meeting make sure they both know how thankful you are for such wonderful children and for such amazing communication in the past, but you had a few concerns you'd like to discuss with them. Bring up your changing health/car insurance rates, and general cost of living increase and be assertive but not rude with what you want. It sounds like you are an amazing Nanny and I'm sure (especially if they've had other Nannys in the past) they are very thankful for you and all you bring to the table.
I'm surprised you don't have written into your contract anything about paid sick/off time. If that is really the case I wouldn't leap straight into wanting health insurance paid for and paid off time. These are things that should have been discussed at the beginning of your employment. Once again, IF the case is that none of these things are in your contract, I'd ask for 50% of my insurance OR paid sick time. I've been very blessed by the families I work for, they've offered me unlimited paid sick days. But my first family offered me 5 paid sick days and I found that to be more than enough.
I do not think they will see you as greedy if you really do all you say you do. I think they'll value you enough as an employee, and extension of their family to aleast be willing to renegotiate. I'd love to hear about how the talk goes for you! keep us updated! :)

ELam said...

Wow, you do a lot! You are borderline house manager. It's hard to say how much of a raise to suggest not knowing what you are currently making. But I think the idea of health insurance or PTO is great, I'm kind of shocked you don't have PTO in the first place? Or would you just be asking for more? If you have a contract definitely discuss this when it is time it renew it. If you don't have a contract (hopefully this is not the case) then could you write up a formal letter to the parents and leave it with them at the end of the day? You could hand it to them and say "These are just some things I have been thinking about lately and I'd love to sit down and discuss them with you when you have a chance"...or something like that.

Also, CarolinaNanny, if you are working 20 hours more than you were told each week then you NEED to speak up. You aren't getting paid for those 20+ hours!?!?!?! Or they are just not paying you an overtime rate? Either way, it's wrong and you should really stick up for yourself. It's hard, but it needs to be done. No matter how kind a family is or may seem, when they start pushing the boundaries and you just roll right over and let them walk on you, they will see just how far they can push. Trust me, I've been there.

Village said...

People can't take advantage of you unless you let them. And you are letting them.

The problem is, it's going to be hard to take away their toy they love so much because it's CHEAP!

I'd put this into a written request. Outline your duties, your hours, and what you want to be paid. I'd put in a high number so they can talk you down a little, but they have to pay for EVERY HOUR you work. And be prepared to be let go. If they are just looking for someone they can take advantage of, they will move on to their next victim, and you will need a job. Frankly, it sounds like you need a job that actually pays. Good luck!

CarolinaNanny said...

@ELam- I me. I'm in the same awkward position as OP when I comes to confronting the money situation and I admit I have a hard time sticking up for myself! My contract renewal is soon so I've decided to wait until then but I will be speaking up.

OP said...

I don't feel taken advantage of in anyway-all of this stuff was outlined upfront when we re-negotiated my job once the babies were home. I've definitely gotten a raise every year and am not due for one until the fall. I get paid for all hours I work, I just feel like I deserve more (not to sound greedy.) I am totally a house manager and nanny all rolled into one and I am not afraid of loosing my job. I know how much they value me and just need to step it up and have the conversation!

ELam said...

CarolinaNanny -- Good luck! I have a hard time speaking up for myself too. I did it a couple months ago when I gave notice at a horrible nanny job. They started off so sweet, nice, caring, great, wonderful people blah, blah, blah but soon started to turn when I asked for more compensation for things they kept adding to my job description (like watching 5 kids instead of my usual 1 with no extra pay, folding ALL of the laundry, doing ALL of the dishes, etc.). I quit after 5 months. I think they were so happy the whole time because they had a bargain nanny on their hands and they couldn't believe what they could get away with (my own fault).

Anyway. I'm still bitter about them if you can't tell haha. But I am so happy to be rid of them! Stick up for yourself and get what you deserve!!!!

Rachael Harper said...

Ladynana here.

You have got to respect yourself and ask for what you deserve. This is your life. The cost of living goes up every year, and a raise for that reason alone is due. Beyond that, you sound like an amazing nanny/house manager.

You say your bosses can afford to give you a raise, which probably means they are professionals and are used to getting PTO and health benefits. It also means they have been given/asked for raises in the past. They got to a point where they could afford to employ a full time nanny and support four kids because they have been professional and assertive. Present your case calmly and professionally and they will respect you and give you a raise. Remember this: You make their lives easier, their kids know and trust you, it will be expensive and difficult and a disruption to their family to replace you.

Plus, you must get a contract drawn up that addresses all of these things! It's not legal to not get paid overtime for your work, and it's normal for a full-time nanny job to include PTO in both vacation and sick days and many nannies get money toward health care.

Come on ladies! This profession attracts loving, caring people that generally detest anything that might cause tension, but we must remember our value and ask for what we deserve.