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I have recently got a job in a small department of a large company. A colleague who manages the office has given me access to the local sharepoint and there I could find, in the open, job descriptions for roles other people in the department have. To my surprise they had advertised the same salary grade I have, for jobs less valuable than mine. I find this unfair. Can I talk about these findings when I ask my manager about a pay rise?

  • If someone had to "give you access", then that information was not "in the open." – alroc Jul 21 '13 at 17:17
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    @alroc the access had to be given because its walled off from the public, but the local sharepoint is likely 'out in the open' as every employee is supposed to have access to it. he had to be 'given access' to it because he has only recently got the job, as explained in line 1. Atleast, this is how it works in every other company i've seen that uses sharpoint as their file hosting/sharing device – Rhys Jul 22 '13 at 8:47
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    @RhysW I read it as HR-related documentation that he got access to, and IME that stuff is almost always walled off from everyone else for reasons like what we're seeing in this post. – alroc Jul 22 '13 at 11:27
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    You agreed to work for X amount of money. Whether a cleaning lady earns the same or if the janitor earns more is of no concern. You were offered the amount, you said yes, that's all that matters. If you didn't like what you were offered, then why take the job? – N.B. Jul 23 '13 at 9:44
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I also have to point out to you that the jobs may not be less valuable than yours to the people doing the hiring. People often have an unrealistic view of both their own value and the value of postions in other specialties.

Further, I have said this before and I will likely need to say it again. Get this through your head. Salaries are never fair. They are a function of alot of things including race, sex, marital status, how hard it is to recruit, your starting salary when you got the job 5 years ago, the salary you made in your previous jobs, and how well you personally negotiate.

If you want more money, never try to base it on what others are making. Base it on the value you bring to the organization.

I also want to point out that the chances of getting a pay raise when you are a new employee who has not proven any value yet to the copmany is pretty much 0%. And most managers would be angry at or disapponted with anyone asking any earlier than 6 months and preferably a year into the job. By asking now, you would get a poor reputation in the organziation. You accepted the salary. Deal with it.

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    That second paragraph should be printed on the paystub of every paycheck everywhere. You are paid based on the work you did a year ago. You work today for the pay you want a year from now. – Wesley Long Jul 22 '13 at 15:13
  • @JoeStrazzere I actually did honor a request for a pay cut once... I will say it was a very intriguing situation, but boiled down to this. The individual in question was only a part timer who was still getting their degree. They were getting financial aid and were on the fence of losing it because of their income. Essentially if I didn't cut their pay about 50 cents an hour they'd lose almost 8K$ in financial aid... I would have preferred to have given them more hours and a raise, but it was a really tough time for the company and to do so I would have had to let someone else go. – RualStorge Jun 12 '14 at 19:19
  • @JoeStrazzere true, still regardless of the situation requesting for pay reductions just generally doesn't happen. Only case I could see it making sense is if there was an imminent layoff and you wanted to take your make yourself less of a target... even then thought... – RualStorge Jun 12 '14 at 19:53
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You have two problems.

Most companies don't want to discuss different rates for similar job descriptions. They can base the different rates on their historical ability to find people at that rate. They can even base it on region of the country. If they are a government contracting company they can base it on what the customer is willing to pay for those skills. They may not even understand why the government sets the rates at the level they do but they maximize the rate they can charge, and pay the least that they can under contracting law.

The bigger issue is you can't say: Joe let me have access to a set I files I wasn't supposed to see. I read those files, made copies of company proprietary data and didn't secure them, and now want to use them as leverage to get a pay increase. If they don't fire you right away consider yourself lucky.

Unless you know they discriminated against you, or a protected class of people, it will never get you a raise.

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