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to be pissed off at getting paid half what other freelancers are getting at work?!

(12 Posts)
8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 10:06:32

Have said will work at my old job over half term (left work when had dc 5 years ago - have gone in as a freelance off and on) to help out my boss, who I thought was a friend, and did need a bit of money.

Then find out that after I had tried to get my pay up a bit, to what I thought was a normal level, and he refused...a colleage also coming in to help over half term is getting double! Feel like telling him to get f*cked...which means no new coat for me, but just feel so humiliated.

SolidGhoulBrass Thu 22-Oct-09 10:10:21

This sounds very dodgy indeed. Are you a member of a union or is there an HR dept you could speak to? The company need to have a valid reason to pay one person more than another (eg the colleague is doing more specialised work or it's overtime for him/her). What kind of work is it, though? is it something where the company could justifiably argue that your colleague is a better performer (ie does the work demonstrably faster or to a higher standard)?

prettyfly1 Thu 22-Oct-09 10:12:42

no they dont solid - she is a freelancer therefore they can pay what they like. Is there any reason that he would pay the other person more than you?

8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 10:25:25

the company has been through some horrible management stuff lately...so my old boss has been put under pressure, he is not happy etc. But no reason why he couldn't have said my rates were higher. It's editorial. The designer is getting more than me, when technically I have a lot more responsibility, I in effect manage the designers...
it's just because the designer's boss asked for more, and mine wasn't willing to. I knew it was low pay, but this is just offensive. He is also supposedly a friend. I was helping him out because he had no one to look after his kids etc for half term if he came in, so technically I am saving him money!

bunjies Thu 22-Oct-09 10:26:53

YANBU to be pissed off.

What do you want to do about it though? Do you really need the money? Can't you just ask him why he's paying you less? Has he given you a reason?

8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 10:27:12

Is complicated but he has been paying designers, from his own budget way more than me for years...without me knowing...
They are on £250 a day (£35 hour) for doing the job, but without a lot of responsibility, while I was charging 20 an hour...which is low, even for proofreading.

8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 10:28:22

I had cancelled a week away with my mum and kids, because we do technically need the money. But this is making me feel like a whore! I think this is one step too far, will tell him I'm not coming in, and will enjoy some time with my kids.

deepdarkwood Thu 22-Oct-09 10:34:53

YANBU - dh was in a similar position a while back & he was SO effed off about it.

I would first off deal with the money:
- make your boss aware asap that you know about the pay disparatity and are mightily unimpressed. Depending on your relationship, verbal or email. He may be able to respond quickly with a price hike smile

- if he doesn't put, something in writing saying that you have become aware of this problem, and obviously wouldn't want to let them down at short notice, but will want to renegotiate rates prior conducting any more work for them.

I would try and separate the friendship issue out, if you can - always tricky! I would agree that as a friend he has let you down by not fighting your corner, though...

8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 10:42:20

thanks deepdarkwood. I did put it all in an email this morning, but stupidly said I'd take £30 an hour, when designers on £35! Should have waited to send the email, because now feeling a lot more angry about it.

I think your idea to put something in writing is good, and I will do that for any future work. I wouldn't have thought of that.

The thing is I'm the only person he can call on to actually cover because I was quite senior when I was there (not that my pay reflected that) and I know everyone, it's quite a tricky job - lots of big egos etc. he woudn't be able to hire just any freelance editor to do it.

SolidGhoulBrass Thu 22-Oct-09 11:01:05

Oh dear. Unfortunately in all my experience of editorial work, not only do you get routinely fucked over as a freelancer, but designers are always paid more than editors/proofreaders (despite the fact that the text people almost always have to slap and poke and prod and generally supervise the visuals people, who are usually not quite housetrained and will, if unmonitored, do bright things like not notice that the text is still in Spanish, or that yellow text on a red background is unreadable).

Your boss may have his hands tied; his boss may be one of those who is far more concerned with the pictures than the words as well. (Oh, and if the company is based in North London and has a name that begins with T and publishes assorted specialist consumer titles, good luck with getting the money at all...)

8oreighty Thu 22-Oct-09 13:01:35

hah ahah no, it's not in north london, is actually quite a well known company...is that right that designers get more everywhere? I didn't realise that. I think you have prob hit nail on the head. But I just found out that the woman who took over my job when I went on maternity leave, and stayed on, got paid 30 an hour to do freelance, and after paying her that he paid me 20...and she is younger, less experienced, technically, but just as capable.

Now don't know what to do if he comes back and says ok 30 an hour...I will have to go in, and I'm too mad to!

SolidGhoulBrass Thu 22-Oct-09 15:40:37

OK, it sounds like he is underpaying you because he can;t afford to pay you much more ie his budget has been cut and cut again, and he probably had to boot out the higher-paid freelancer and hire someone cheaper.
WHich is fucking grim but unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about it apart from refuse to work at that rate.

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