Moving up the Pay Scale

opinion 1
So I have been working as a full time nanny for a family with two young girls, ages 3-4, for a year and a half. Currently I am being paid a weekly salary, which means that if there is a holiday (christmas, thanksgiving, president's day) or the family needs to take a day off for vacation or whatever, I get paid for that time off and it does not affect my paid vacation/sick time (10 days per year). The salary rate breaks down to about $14. I am located in San Francisco where the rate is generally higher $15-25. The family justifies the lower rate due to the "salary perks". I am an English speaking, college graduate with a teacher credential. I work 42.5 hours per week.

The family will be moving about 45 minutes outside of the city and would like to know if I want to continue working with them. I would only be working 30 hours a week, not including drive time. Ideally, I would like to be making more money than I am now, given that I have been working with the family for 2 years (by that time). They said they would compensate for drive time and toll, but they weren't sure how much or what that meant yet. I would like to know how to go about having this conversation and how realistic my expectations are. I just feel like I should be moving up, rather than making less and less money over the two year period. Thank you.


Nanny for One said...

I work in Marin County, so I have a sense for the nanny pay climate in the SF Bay Area (I make $24.00 per hour. I got my job through a local, reputable SF agency - with a plethora of great advice along the way - who helped me negotiate both my contract and my salary. They are also still available for my employment questions now, 10 months later)

Bottom line, if you have a contract that allows you those holidays, I would not consider having them off with pay a "salary perk". That's BS. I do not quite understand what you mean by "the salary breaks down to $14.00 per hour". After taxes? What gets you from A (?) to B ($14.00)? It also appears to me that you currently work 2.5 hours over the 40 work week, which might be considered overtime (at 1.5)?

I would sit down with your employers and straighten this out before you agree to make the move with them. Don't let them nickel and dime you. A contract is a contract. Holidays are holidays and not perks. You have been with them for a year and a half, which speaks to the fact they are happy with you. You have power right there. And! yes, IMHO you should be getting a cost of living raise. If things don't work out the best for all concerned then find another position closer to home. Maybe consider using an agency (it's no charge to the employee).

I also commute 2 hours total each day to my job and it adds up! Especially when I work late and then early. In my situation it is worth it, but at my one year review in June I am going to ask for travel compensation too (and a contract rewrite).

We work hard, and if there is an area where resentment could creep in it needs to be addressed sooner than later. If it can't work out then this family is no longer a fit and we try to find a new one. :)

Good luck to you!

Phoenix said...

Ask your employer to make time in your schedule to set up a performance review meeting with you. Write out all the things that you have done, what new things you have implemented, and what your future goals are.. go out 2 or 3 years. Now during this meeting advise them that since you have been working over 2 years already would it be justified to give you a merit increase in your salary. Also tell them how long it will take you to drive and that you will need to be compensated for gas. Let them know that you love working with them but due to cost of living you should get a raise. Having 10 sick days and holiday pay incentive is not going to pay your bills now. Make this as business as possible. You are working for them. If you were in a corporation (or at least mine does this) we get merit raises and cost of living adjustments even in today's economy. We are given quarterly bonuses that are a reflection of your work during the quarter. YOu are an employee and you are entitled to be paid what you are worth,
I really don't know why nannies have such a big problem with speaking to employers about paying fair wages. Why is that?

MaryPoppin'Pills said...

OP, I am the Editor/Moderator... you do not need to use my name. :)


First of all, I do not have a contract. The $14 an hour is my weekly salary divided by the number of hours I work a week. So if the family you work for takes time off for vacation, are you compensated?

Lyn said...

Bottom line: TALK to your employers! You absolutely need a contract. Working without one is just begging to be taken advantage of.
Also, if this were me id ask to be compensated the same salary and benefits as before. The hours change from nearly 43 to 30. you may find it easier to negotiate receiving the same salary as before the move to make up for a cost of living increase as well as your new travel expenses. I would not accept a nickle lower though because you are not going to be able to find a second family that will supplement your new lower salary to that which you are used to without draining yourself and all of your free time. Youve been with them for a while now and you hold the power here. If they turn you down then just start looking for another family. Please do not forget your worth!

aj~ said...

You deserve a raise because the amount of time you are working for them.

Here's what you do: Calculate how much you need to make per month. Not just to be able to make ends meet (i.e. pay for our own health insurance out of pocket + rent), but to be able to save money and have a life. This is our business and we deserve to make the same and receive benefits as if we were working a 9-5 job in a cubicle.

Ask for this. If they decline, find a new job. It's not as easy as it sounds, but coming from my experience, it feels so much better to receive what you're worth. I also am credentialed and live in the Bay Area and had to give up a job because they would not give me a raise. I get so attached to these kids, it sucks, but it's expensive to live here for all of us. We offer a service. I offer $20/$25 hour care. (you probably do too if you're a teacher) If they would like $14/hr care they need to go find that. That kind of care looks different and is not what they are receiving.

I have just learned how to comfortably have these conversations. (it takes practice) I used to justify my being poor with the profession I chose-but that's not fair. We do very important work and should be compensated accordingly.

The toughest part about our jobs is that it's so personal. When we have to make it business like it sucks-but guess what? Employers know that and take advantage of that angle. In my most successful conversation I presented it just like a service. Here's what you're getting ($20/$25/hr care) but what you're telling me is you'd like $10/hr care? Ok, well you'll have to go find that elsewhere. It wasn't personal or cold, it was very matter of fact-and they were well aware what they were getting for the price.

I finally called an Agency today because I received a contract for a new job that gave me absolutely no benefits (i.e. 2 vacation days per year!?) They were very supportive-it's nice to know someone has your back. I suggest you call one. "nanny for one" can you recommend yours?

hope this helps!!

nannyneedsmoremoola said...

Thank you all so much!! This helps a lot and I hope we can make it work!

Nanny for One said...

Hi again,

Yes, I work with Town and Country and they are absolutely amazing! Give them a call.

Again, best to you!

Living wage said...

I am with Town and Country and they are fast and great if your a great nanny. If you calculate your living wage (20-25 an hour in the bay area), than any job your considering should be offering that wage. You have an easy opportunity to get a great reference from this family you can not live on the the pay they offer. You can ask them to come up, but if they can't call an agency and get the ball rolling. I got my last job on Berkeley parents network, but I had to state my rate is $20 an hour, (they were offering 18, but wanted to do taxes and lots of driving) they came up to twenty after calling my previous employers who verified is was making $21 (taxed), it took just a little negotiating to get a living wage. Good luck!