Salary stability: The Benefit of Being a Union Worker
July 6, 2018
Stability can mean different things depending on the workplace. Let’s take a look at how having a stable salary at a Union workplace can relieve stress and help working people plan ahead.
Stable Salary and Pay Days
Sometimes workers join Unions not because they’re unhappy with how much their salary pays, but because they don’t actually get paid on a reliable schedule. It happens to workers in many industries, such as retail, service, restaurants, hospitality, and more.
Let’s face it, most people work to earn a salary.
But, for many non-union workers, getting paid on time – or at all – is a big concern. There are lots of shady employers out there who do not pay their employees regularly. Often, those bosses break promise after promise to “pay them soon.”
To start with, the wages of non-union workers are often lower than the salaries of Unionized workers. Studies have shown that Members of a Union make a salary that is, on average, 30% more than their non-Union counterparts.
When you add to that the uncertainty of getting paid on time, it can become a precarious situation pretty fast for many. Many employees stick it out, hoping their employer is a better person than they seem. Unfortunately, in too many cases, the boss is exactly who they seem to be, and the wages the employer owes never show up.
As a result, workers face increased stress over trying to pay bills, buy groceries, and pay for things like transit to and from the very job they’re not getting paid for.
Ultimately, this problem goes far beyond just one bad boss and it has serious ramifications.
It might mean you’re not getting paid the right rate. Some employers don’t pay attention to minimum wage increases. It might also mean your employer gets your hours all wrong, or doesn’t include overtime hours you put in. Sometimes you might not get paid at all.
When you have a Union, your salary is guaranteed. That means your rate of pay is laid out in your contract. In addition, the contract also says how often you get paid, and whether its by cheque or direct deposit.
A Union contract will contain a wage grid or language that details the salary that each worker or classification earns. These rates are usually based on how long an employee has worked there. The Union contract will also contain the amount of any salary increases plus the date(s) those increases become effective.
Do issues sometimes pop up for Union workers? Sure. But, many Union contracts have language that puts a time limit on how long an employer can take to correct a pay issue. And, even without that language, in these cases, often the employer will correct it without hassle. Union members should, however, report the issue to their Union Steward or Union Rep. This is just in case it becomes a regular problem or it happens to more employees.
If it does, the Union can investigate and resolve the issue.
The funny thing is, if workers are getting paid regularly, and on time, it leads to better productivity and happier employees. It helps retain people who might otherwise quit, leading to a more knowledgeable staff with more experience. It boosts morale because employees aren’t worried about whether they’ll get paid or not. The boss actually benefits from paying people a decent salary at the expected intervals.
It’s important for all employees, Union or non-union, to check their pay stubs regularly to make sure their rate, hours, and deductions are all correct.
You’ve earned the money, make sure it’s all there.
And if you’re not a unionized worker,
and you’re not getting paid,
reach out to our Organizers!