I work at a large international company, but technically sent here as a contract worker for a 3rd party. Initially, this job was basic phone tech support. There is also a "second level" that they can promote employees to when there is an opening, but it's still very basic troubleshooting.
Two months ago I was about to be laid off with a lot of other people after 6 months working there, but interviewed and took a programming test for a programming position. On the last day of the two week notice that they had given me, I was told they wanted me to stay on for the new position. I was extremely excited because my goal was to eventually get my foot in the door for this type of work.
When I asked about a pay raise, they said they couldn't give me one because this is a brand new position that's not in the ongoing contract and I'm technically still first level. Eventually they decided to say I was second level for the $2 dollar raise. They always send a department wide email around when a new person is promoted too. So people are asking me in the halls, "aren't you the developer?" because they're surprised that I'm just now "second level", which means I've been making a first level salary for two months, and now still only making a second level salary. This is obviously embarrassing because it's like finding out your lawyer is being paid barely above minimum wage.
In reality, I'm not even at the low end of what an entry level developer would make in my city.
Is it possible that a contract like this couldn't be changed? I'm thinking about just doing the work for 6 months to a year, then applying to other jobs with my new experience.