I got a 3 month contract. I'm a subcontractor for a company that as an agreement with another company that's won a government bid. My 3 months are done tomorrow and the government company has said they really like me. They put out work for another 175 days which ends up being end of Dec 2016.

I'm not happy with the initial rate I accepted and am wondering if it's appropriate to negotiate the rate moving forward before signing the contract extension?


wondering if it's appropriate to negotiate the rate moving forward before signing the contract extension?

It's entirely appropriate, this is the only real time you can negotiate in. Be aware that you may price yourself out of a job, but the likelihood is high that you will get a raise if you don't ask for too much more. Reason being is that you have 3 months on the job already, know the people, earned some trust and will hit the ground running.

  • What would be a good justification I could tell them. Like if they say, "Well you agreed to the initial rate" I'm not sure how I'd respond – Batman Mar 31 '16 at 4:10
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    I would say it's a new situation, that is the price they would need to pay to continue my services. The original contract ended agreeably on all sides, but it ended. – Kilisi Mar 31 '16 at 4:17
  • Thank you, i'll give it a shot tomorrow and see how it goes. – Batman Mar 31 '16 at 4:42
  • What would be a good response to this I will be honest, $60/ hr is outside my budget for this contract. Looking at the numbers I won’t be able to increase the rate at all for this extension – we didn’t receive a rate increase from Goverment either. I feel like it doesn't matter whether they received an increase since it's an extension, which isn't planned in the budget (assumption) so it's just additional money for them. – Batman Apr 1 '16 at 18:39
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    that's pretty much up to you, if it was me I'd turn it down, and they'll either negotiate or not... but I'm not short on work. It's a judgement call, just because someone tells me they're honest doesn't put more money in my pocket and therefore doesn't impress me. So in my case it would be 'Well, sad to hear that, but I need to be making X per hour.' But like I said, I'm not desperate for work... you may have less leeway to take the hard line. – Kilisi Apr 3 '16 at 23:27

The reason they liked you most probably, along with you producing a good outcome for whatever you are doing but you are doing it for cheaper than other they may hire. By trying to renegotiate your contract, you may be taking yourself out of the market. If you are sure that you are grossly underpaid, we are not talking about a few dollars per hour but 15-20% =, you can go to your company today and tell them that at the end of your initial contract period, you demand this much rate per hour, otherwise you are looking for a new opportunity. They may accept or they may say "good-bye.. nice was knowing you." If you are ready for that, you can negotiate your contract to your heart's content. It is the best thing about free market economy, unless you are living somewhere in deep Eastern Europe or (gasp) China

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    Well I have a few things going for me, I am a sub-sub-contractor. So it's Government > Comp A > Comp B > Me. They accidentally gave me the contract between Government and Comp A so I know that I'm making about 58% of that so there's room between comp A and B for me to get more. When I started there was 3 of us, 1 left after two weeks and in 3 months they couldn't find anyone. So I know there's more money, the employer likes me, and they're having a hard time filling the position as it is. I'm only thinking of asking for $5-8/hr more to cover taking a vacation or something. – Batman Mar 31 '16 at 4:09
  • In that case you may have a chance but again all it takes is to find someone like you who will work for less or same amount, and just show you that they are in power they may let you go. But your chances of getting a raise is high, especially if there is a high turn over rate – MelBurslan Mar 31 '16 at 4:39
  • Yea I agree. I'm not going to ask for anything outrageous. They're obviously making a cut they want to keep but since I have some leverage here it's now or never. Thanks – Batman Mar 31 '16 at 4:42

I'm not happy with the initial rate I accepted and am wondering if it's appropriate to negotiate the rate moving forward before signing the contract extension?

I assume that you aren't happy with the initial rate, but you took it anyway because you needed the job. And now that you completed the contract, you figure you can get more.

It's possible, and probably worth asking for a bit more in a professional way.

Be prepared with what you'll do if the reply is "No".

Many companies (like the one I work for) assume they can extend a contract pretty much indefinitely without renegotiating the rate. And in my company, if the rate needed to be changed, I'd have to write a new requisition, have it approved up several levels of management, and send it out to the recruiters to fill - even if the original contractor was ready to re-apply. I know this sounds foolish, but it is the way some big companies work. I can extend the period easily, but changing the rate is a big deal.

If the answer is "No" you want to be ready to either walk, or accept the current rate.

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