I did not get another equity raise this year

Which means I’m still making at least 7K/year less than people who were just barely tenured last year (disclaimer:  this is still a lot of money, but I am relatively underpaid).   Not only that, but I didn’t get any other raise– departments were limited at the university level to only giving merit raises to a small percent of faculty (which is ridiculous on so many levels) and apparently I didn’t make the cut-off.  Everyone I talked to about my inequitable salary (head, dean, associate dean, random full professors) agreed it’s a problem, but when push came to shove, the dean came up with a bunch of excuses to not do anything about it.

I was recruited for a targeted position last year — tenured full professor with a raise, but I declined to apply because I didn’t want to move there.  Now I’m regretting having made that decision, and perhaps regretting more that I was convinced to tell my department chair (who then told the dean) about it.  So… I guess I’ll be looking at the JOE (Jobs for Economists) this year.  I don’t know if I’ll end up applying anywhere, but maybe I will.  It’s hard to say.

On the plus side financially, DH’s next paystub is supposed to be at full pay and they’ll be reinstituting the retirement match.  So yay money.

When I get some time, I’ll write a post or two about the soul-searching and mid-life identity crisis that this lack of raise has triggered.  But for now, this just sucks.

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25 Responses to “I did not get another equity raise this year”

  1. Kemi Soremekun Says:

    I’m sorry to hear about that. I know how it feels especially when you’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to work. I definitely think that you should now focus your energies on another job.

  2. Leah Says:

    ugh on your behalf. That is a bummer. I recall you also saying that sometimes you have to job shop to get a raise from your own institution, therefore wasting everyone else’s time. That also sounds really frustrating.

  3. nicoleandmaggie Says:

  4. gwinne Says:

    Ugh. Yeah, we only get ‘merit’ raises and mostly that doesn’t even cover cost-of-living adjustments, except if you happen to be a superstar/on the market/etc. I stopped looking at other faculty salaries because it bummed me out. I’m in a similar position to you, with respect to folks who are junior to me. I’ll also be job searching though I don’t really want another job…

  5. psycgirl Says:

    There are few words to describe how intensely I hate the merit process and how much I feel like shit every year – no matter how hard most of us produce, the merit always goes to the same 5 people who do nothing but publish. These are then the people who get grants and buy outs because they are publishing so much… which gives them more time to publish. I’m about 2 years away from not even submitting my CV anymore I think.

  6. Leigh Says:

    Ugh, I’m sorry. I hate having to worry about this stuff and not just being able to focus on the work.

  7. Susan Says:

    Oh man. So sh*tty. So sorry. Given the circumstances, it seems like going on the market will be the only thing to get you a raise. There are lots of places out there – you deserve to be treated better. Again, so sorry :(

  8. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Update: Apparently our college is going to be doing a big salary study this year based on complaints about inequity. So… maybe something good will happen?

  9. bogart Says:

    Oh argh. I’m sorry. I do see your update above, which — yay. But present certainty, yuck, even if future possibility — yay?

  10. Cloud Says:

    That sucks. I’m sorry. Welcome to the midlife identity crisis, I guess. It is lots of fun! (One thing I will say, though, as I think I’m about to come out the other side: the sense of clarity about what matters to you and what you’re willing to put up with to get what matters to you is really nice. Sucks that it has taken several years of periodic existential angst to get here, but I guess I’m glad there is a reward on the other side of that angst.)

  11. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    That really sucks – how incredibly frustrating. What convinced you to share the declined invitation apply for the fully tenured position with the department chair?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      One of my colleagues said to because it would show I was in demand.

      • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

        :( I can see why they’d say that but it’s a superficial comment and not thought through enough to actually help you. The only time that I’ve observed sharing that information being truly useful or beneficial is if you’re presenting it as your alternative should your current job decline to match that offer. Like OMDG said, showing that hand and not pursuing it is actually a signal that you’re not going to be enticed by a better offer and that’s the exact opposite of the intended result. They SHOULD see it as a signal that they have competition but that’s rarely how it works. But it’s also possible they were going to shortchange you this year anyway, hard to tell. No matter what – frustrating!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Well, with our dept head, it was a good assumption. Not such a good assumption for our dean/associate dean.

  12. omdg Says:

    Hm. Thinking about disclosing your alternative “offer.” This has never happened to me, so please take this with the grain of salt. I was once told that the only way you can effectively use a competing offer to your advantage is if you have the literal offer for the job in hand, and you are fully prepared to move if your department doesn’t match it. Showing the dean the offer to interview (not the same as a job offer) and then declining to even interview at the other place is tantamount to saying that you are happy with the status quo with all that entails. I’m putting this thought in the back of my mind in case I’m ever lucky enough to have this happen to me.

    That said, I’m sorry this happened to you, this is NOT your fault, and the system totally sucks.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, I hadn’t been planning on telling him at all. But my colleague convinced me otherwise. Part of why I had made the decision was because I had gotten a 10% equity bump last year and had been feeling valued. If I hadn’t gotten the 10% bump last year I would most definitely have kept an open mind and interviewed because my salary was so under par. (Not low, mind you, just low for someone with my cv.)

      I did put under my annual contract signature this year that I regretted having said no to [name of school].

  13. Debbie M Says:

    I hereby submit my support. I am so sick to death at how uncorrelated salary is with good work that mostly I am only thinking about a lot of swear words, so I’ll just cut this off here. I wish you the best.

  14. chacha1 Says:

    More grrr for you. I think I have already snarled here about the ridiculous system in law firms – basically, in order to get a promotion or a raise, you have to change jobs. Even getting an offer somewhere else and then having your current employer counteroffer to keep you (uncommon at my level) tends to backfire later on. … Last year, my current idiots asked me to fill out a self-evaluation, which was then completely ignored. If they ask me to do one this year I’m just not gonna. What a waste of time.

  15. First Gen American Says:

    They force rank people at my job too. Each person has to to have a team member rank at needs improvement even if they are a performer. Sucks.

    My company just slowly continues to pick away at benefits. They took the sales people off of sales performance related bonus’s, which equates to a little league trophy or jelly of the month club and top performers get hosed. Every big decision my company has been making has been horrible. The one last week. ….announce to move Our supply chain org to Houston 2 days before Harvey with limited relo. (Oh and we are having huge issues with deliveries right now so we really don’t need everyone quitting and most will). Bangs head again. I stay for the pension plan but at what point is it not worth it anymore? For now, I am going to stick it out another year, get the house paid and hope they sell the division I am in and hope I can use this year to plan and soul search.


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