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To think we deserve better?

(40 Posts)
Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 05:34:22

DP has been working as a mechanic since he was 16 (Started as an apprentice) between 16-19 he went to college full time and worked at the garage he is with now part time, he qualified fully at NVQ level 3 when he was 19, he is now 26, he works at the garage for 9-3:30 Mon-Fri and is only on 190 a week. He does everything from winter servicing to clutch changes all the way up to full suspension and engine rebuilds. He also does MOT's. There are 2 other people working there, the boss and the bosses son, the boss books in work for all 3 of them then leaves work to go for a "drive" and doesn't return for hours, the bosses son does the same with his lunch hour. Leaving at 12 and sometimes not even returning so my dp is always left with a double workload. There have been times (about 15 this year) where both have left and dp has had to stay in the garage as late as 7:30/8pm until someone gets back as he doesnt have the keys to lock up the garage and if he leaves the garage open and something is damaged or stolen dp is liable.
We're in south wales, he works in a garage between abergavenny and cwmbran, there are no jobs local and no demand for mechanics so it looks like we're going to have to move elsewhere where there are more jobs available for mechanics, Possibly the midlands which is at least 3hrs away so no chance of a daily commute. Aibu to think we deserve better?

Wonc Wed 31-Dec-14 05:40:42

Yanbu, but your post is quite identifying...

whatnow2 Wed 31-Dec-14 05:46:28

YANBU you definitely deserve better. The boss and son sound like they are taking the mickey. Does your dp get paid overtime when he stays late? Is the 190 before or after tax (still a low amount if after tax)?

whatnow2 Wed 31-Dec-14 05:47:39

(You can report your post and ask them to change the identifying bits if you want ...).

Tryharder Wed 31-Dec-14 05:51:33

Of course you deserve better! You are both young. If I were you, I would emigrate to Australia.

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 06:10:09

190 a week is after tax, Hes literally on bare basic minimum wage.
We can't afford to emigrate, we're living paycheck to paycheck, It'd be hard to move within the uk for a job (which we are seriously considering) as money is extremely tight right now.

winkywinkola Wed 31-Dec-14 06:23:07

My goodness. They're taking the piss.

springlamb Wed 31-Dec-14 06:40:44

That does seem quite a low salary. Has he been there since he qualified. Also, is he a qualified MOT tester, that would make quite a difference to his pay elsewhere.
A quick look at local jobs shows MOT testers round here are on £110 a day or there's a vacancy with £24 to £27k salary, that's for a Grade 4 tester who can do lorries. We have a lot of lorries round here! (Kent)
I'd imagine you'd even be better off working for one of the chains. Probably they'd expect 'normal' fitter hours of 8-5 but there would be additional benefits as well.
Did he do his apprenticeship through them? I've been involved in the motor industry for 30 years now and I think the small 'family' firms don't always mark the difference pay-wise between an apprentice and a fully-qual. DH did his apprenticeship in the 80s with a national corporation and then went onto the proper Fitter pay scale. Another contact worked at a 2 man outfit and was treated like 'the boy' until he was nearly 30.

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 06:44:50

Yes winky they are and its really annoying me. He's expected to do so much work (up to 3 peoples work) doing just 9-3. He's not paid overtime. occasionally his boss will slip him an extra 20-30 quid at the end of the week but thats "Off the books" and doesnt really do much. He spends £10 a day on getting to and from work, so really he's only earning £590 a month. Rent is £350, insurance is £100, heating is about £50 a month.Once you take that out he's got no money left for food, electric, bills for internet (needed for my work) and our phones(needed for both of our work) I work as a mobile hairdresser, Can make £500 one week and nothing for a month so my earnings vary hugely, I try to save as much as possible but everytime I earn nothing and we have 190 to pay off a weeks bills and buy petrol and food my savings are next to gone, its difficult at best

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 06:48:11

Yes he is licensed to do MOT's, So he's a fully qualified technician, He's qualified in Light vehicle maintenance and repair not HGV's. He can work on vans, cars and bikes but not huge lorries. Even so he's grossly underpaid. He's been working there since he was 16, he was originally paid 2 pounds something an hour (Apprentice wage) back then, went up when he turned 19 and has only gone up in line with the law about minimum wage.
so hes worked there for 10 years, 7 of those qualified.

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 06:50:26

Also bosses son is paid £1500 a month AFTER tax and likes to rub that in dp's face. Bosses son is 22 and doesn't have a qualification (not even a GCSE) to his name and is lazy as mentioned above.Always leaving work when he feels like it, taking a 2hr lunchbreak most days when dp can't even have 5 minutes for a wee and sandwich as he's so blocked up with work.

ArsenicStew Wed 31-Dec-14 06:54:58

Could he cross the bridge every day for a while for work and then you could all relocate? What would your job prospects be like in Somerset/Wiltshire?

You should be on a reasonable joint income considering two skilled and needed trades. I don't blame you for being annoyed.

HaloItsMeFell Wed 31-Dec-14 07:05:39

They are totally taking the piss, but there is no point stewing about what the boss and the boss's son do and don't do. If it's the boss's company then he can come and go as he pleases, and his sone will no doubt get away with not pulling his weight as well.

Focus on the facts. Your DP is woefully underpaid and there is a ridiculous disparity between his earnings and the boss's son's, regardless of whether you think the son pulls his weight or not. For someone with your DP's his level of skill and qualifications he should be on much more, even though he generally works a pretty short day.

Why on earth has he put up with this for so long? confused

He should have looked for a new job years ago. The thing is, if he is prepared to tolerate working for much less than market rate then obviously a greedy small employer is going to take advantage of that. What do the other guys earn?

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 07:07:56

He'd be happy to do a 50-60 mile commute to bristol or thereabouts he has been applying with cvs online but no luck so far. We dont want to be on thousands, but if our joint income was (consistently) 1500 a month or above, we would be ok with careful budgeting.I'm burning myself out to make the shortfall when it comes to bills and such. I was working christmas eve,christmas day, boxing day and yesterday for 8 hours each day. (Doing hair and extension fittings for surprise christmas presents) I made £700 but our cars just packed up and will cost 450 to repair (head gasket failure) so we're going to need to scrap it and get a cheap car for around 300 that we can use for a few months,easy enough done as dp knows alot of people, but my 700 is going to go fast as rent is due tomorrow aswell. we're not going to be on the streets but some weeks and months is a real struggle

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 07:10:00

its only the 3 of them at the garage, Boss, bosses son and dp. DP put up with it until we moved into our first place together (6 months ago) as he didn't realise how much he was underpaid and was living with the inlaws, So 760 a month was fine for him then. He also lived 5 minutes away from work then.

GnomeDePlume Wed 31-Dec-14 07:47:25

Right, it sounds to me like you both need an action plan.

Your DP

Your DP is qualified and skilled but he hasnt had any luck getting interviews. This suggests to me that he hasnt presented himself as well as he could do. Take a look at something like this:

Barclays Life Skills

Would your DP consider joining the Army as a reservist to boost your household income:

Army Reserves

While your DP looks like he isnt going anywhere else then his employer will abuse his loyalty. As soon as he starts looking like he will move on then that attitude might well change. Also, I suggest Army Reserves because there is something about a soldier which makes non-soldiers act a lot less cocky around them.


I would geuess that something which would help you is getting some regular income. What about local supermarkets? It will only be a little above NMW but it might well mean regular income.

Can you get a regular work say at somewhere like local care homes? You will still be plying your trade but again that regular work.

Both of you

If you havent started a family yet then dont yet. If you do have DC dont add to your family yet. You are both young but for now you need to concentrate on improving your employement.

springlamb Wed 31-Dec-14 07:55:11

Happens to a lot of apprentices in small (usually family run unfortunately) businesses.
It's a great opportunity at 16 - the apprenticeship.
But it often does lead on to taking the piss. At the end of the apprenticeship you're given a pay rise of £50 a week and you think you're doing well. Then you get 50p a week for the next five years and your wages and career haven't kept track at all with the other apprentices you were at college with.
But you're wise to it now.
A lot of jobs in this field are still found and filled by word of mouth. As well as sending out cvs and applying online etc, he needs to drop in on as many contacts as he knows for a cup of tea, tell the Snap On man he's looking (they always know where the vacancies are), find your 5 local big businesses and go and buy a spark plug there and get chatting.
Possibly take something 'in the field' such as recovery driving and then after six months or a year apply for hands on jobs again as 'he misses the mechanics'.

hesterton Wed 31-Dec-14 08:12:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArsenicStew Wed 31-Dec-14 08:27:28

It's a good point. Why not ask HQ to edit the town names out?

ArsenicStew Wed 31-Dec-14 08:28:23

...and some of the employer info.

ArsenicStew Wed 31-Dec-14 08:33:12

He'd be happy to do a 50-60 mile commute to bristol or thereabouts he has been applying with cvs online but no luck so far.

I don't know the industry but maybe a specialist recruitment agency is the way to go? Or a really good covering letter and get someone to look it and the CV over.

Blackout234 Wed 31-Dec-14 08:37:11

Im nearly 5months pregnant so cant really get out of starting a family. im happy enough that i wont be identified as there are several family run garages between abergavenny and cwmbran.
He's talking to as many people as possible but theres not alot of demand in south wales right now.

Coconutty Wed 31-Dec-14 08:57:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovleyRitaMeterMaid Wed 31-Dec-14 09:09:16

It is shit but surely it was shit all those years ago when he qualified and accepted the pitiful conditions offered.

What about going mobile himself? Has he built up any collection of tools? Or topping up on homers?

Long term he needs to get out of there and never let anyone take the piss out of him again!

angelohsodelight Wed 31-Dec-14 09:10:53

Could he set up as a mobile mechanic?

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