First-Time Supervisor – Compensation Issues – What Would You Do?

(Last Updated On: February 20, 2020)

Notes from my work notebook during my experience as a first-time supervisor. Original entry from 2012.

Underpaid Staff

My staff is really underpaid. This is evidenced by the following facts:

  • 1. Two of them cannot afford health insurance
  • 2. Two of them are taking part-time jobs
  • 3. At least two candidates have turned down our job offers due to low pay
  • 4. PARTNER agencies are offering more competitive wages for the exact same positions I need to fill. We are a larger agency with a larger funding award.

I brought this to the attention of all parties who need to know today! I was a little miffed when my superstar told me she was going on a job interview for a PT job! Since the contract managers asked me a few days ago about the budget, particularly the budget for services, I went ahead and addressed THIS area of the budget in a well-crafted email this morning. The response I received came from our Operations Manager, my supervisor, telling me that she appreciated my feedback and would pass the info along to our new employer. Well, whatever. I’m keeping it on a burner….

Earned PTO Not Paid

In the meantime, I have come to learn that with the change over to the new contractor, most of my staff, on top of being underpaid, are also being shafted out of 8 hours of EARNED time off by our outgoing employer. Now, I KNOW how to manipulate the time system and as long as we are all on the same page, I CAN give them most of that time back, in the form of time, not money. (It’s a probationary period rule for them that prevents them from being compensated financially for the time lost, btw…, stupid, they work really hard).

Here are the options I see:

  • 1. I can say something like: “Ahem, if you absentmindedly forget to clock out, then just let me know what time you left….Ahem!”
  • 2. I can tell them all that they need to go have a work-related educational experience OFFSITE, and just do a punch correction for that day…
  • 3. I can say nothing and let them figure it out. (I’m sure they are expecting me to tell them how to get their time back and give them permission to do so. Meaning, I NEED to offer them something, so this is actually not an option.)
  • 4. Other options I have not thought of yet

What Would You Do?

I don’t want to set a bad example for my team by violating policies. I don’t want to do anything. I only have a short time to do something. What would you do?

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