You know, this morning as I was leaving my work(I work at night) I was conversing with one of my coworkers about the upcoming contract negotiations and we were discussing one aspect of the current deal which to us seems totally unfair. One of the senior staff members overheard us talking and interpolated with the comment "you guys should be thankful you have a job" to which I replied "I am but at the same time the current system is totally unfair." I said "when I am doing the same work at the same level of competency my wages should at least be in the same ball park as those with more seniority." I've been there 3 years so it's not like I just walked in off the street.
At my work currently there is a large disparity between the haves and the have nots. Its complicated and I won't go through all the details but there are caps on how much you make depending on your seniority and being in the lower tier of a 3 tier system my current rate of pay is capped out other than COLA increases until I move into the next bracket. Even upon moving to the next bracket my rate won't increase for another 1000 hours. It is clear to me that this system was introduced to appease the high seniority staff and get the contract ratified because I'm speculating the high seniority people(top 30%) are more likely to cast ballots so if a contract appeases them it will pass.
3 years ago I had just started with the company when the contract was up. I was only working there at the time as a second job. I didn't think I would be there any length of time and really didn't have much concern about the contract one way or the other. Short sighted thinking on my part but what can you do. Here we are 3 years later and I'm glad I'm there. I enjoy working there. I like my job and happily trot off to work every night. That being said the contract is coming up for renewal and I am fully aware of what's wrong. Actually there are a lot of things in the contract I don't like. I know what needs to be done however it is a matter of getting the other middle and lower tier people to rise up to the challenge.
For me personally at my current rate of pay I'm fine. However I don't have dependents and I live a frugal lifestyle. It doesn't mean I don't spend money but I use prudence. I do my best to not be wasteful. Many of my coworkers have families. I don't know how they get by. I mean I know we here in Canada are wealthy compared to other places but in the land of plenty we live in the costs are high to keep afloat. While I am comfortable others just squeak by.
I'm looking for some justice in an unjust world. It is not a matter of thankfulness. It is a matter of principle. It should be an interesting time coming up. In these uncertain times my company is doing very well. We have gained new clients and the future looks bright as we head towards the end of the current deal which expires at the end of May 2012. I'm going to get more engaged in this issue starting right now. I'll keep you posted.
I just pray I can be graceful in my approach. Blessings!!