A Fair Wage

In my post A Skewed System about benefits, the lovely Karen from WomanWifeandMum made a very valid comment about the huge disparity in wages for similar roles.

I have had two main jobs in my life, as well as topping up my wages with bar work.  My first job was with a major supermarket chain and my second was with an Investment bank.

When I worked for the supermarket the disparity in wages is fairly minimal, although it still exists.  With the exception of management, at the top of the wage bracket were the skilled Bakers, then came Stock Control, Cash Office and Customer Service Assistants.  At the bottom of the scale were shop floor workers and Trolley assistants.  Whilst I was still there, the shop floor assistants fought tooth and nail to be equal with cashiers, but this never happened although they did get extra if they were ever put on the checkouts.

When I worked for the Investment bank, my eyes were opened to the unfairness of wages.  Now in this environment you are not allowed to discuss wages – in fact it is a sackable offence so you have to do it very carefully.

You do expect the wages to vary between locations, but I was shocked to learn that the people in London doing the SAME role were on almost double what I was, yet the living costs were much the same.  What was more shocking, was the fact that people in the SAME team, doing the SAME job could be on such a varied wage.

People with no experience were taken on higher wages than those who had worked there and knew the job – all explained away as “transferable skills”.  It did nothing for morale I can tell you and then all the who-ha kicked off about Bankers’ bonuses so people assumed that even us mere mortals in the back office were getting a huge bonus and mega pay-rises – we weren’t!

So if there is such a huge disparity between one department, how can the Government police companies to pay a fair and even wage for similar roles?  We all agree that Nurses, Police, Firemen etc should earn more money, but what about all the other people providing a much needed service, after all, they wouldn’t have a job if we didn’t need them.

I do believe a fair “living wage” should be introduced, and people should be able to work their way up in the job they are doing and be rewarded financially.  Sometimes I think loyalty is over-rated and if you are offered more money for a similar role, then go for it!  Take all the training the company throw at you and build your CV – the only person that is going to look after you, is YOU!!

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