Author Topic: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?  (Read 1657 times)

Stachetastic

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How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« on: October 12, 2015, 08:52:27 AM »
As I've mentioned a million times before (sorry), my husband has been laid off for 18 months from a government position. He is currently working for a friend in construction (read: somewhat seasonal in the midwest) making $15/hr. He has had a few interviews recently, which haven't panned out. However, he got a call last week regarding a position he had not applied for in a different dept. within an agency that he had recently interviewed with. The new position does not particularly interest him, and pays $13/hr. (for reference, he was laid off from an administrative role making $25/hr when his facility closed)

So, while this initial offer appears to be laughably low within the field, there doesn't seem to be much wiggle room unless there is a major restructuring. The plus: it is for a local government and would put him back into PERS. He does not receive any benefits with his current position--retirement or paid time off. What say you, MMM? Should he keep looking? He recently applied for a position identical to his old job, five minutes from home, so that would obviously be a perfect scenario.

seattlecyclone

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Re: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 09:10:12 AM »
My gut feeling says that government benefits are easily worth a $2/hr pay cut. How long does he have to decide about the government job? How long until he could expect to hear back about the job close to home? I agree that a job close to home is ideal in a lot of ways, but he shouldn't necessarily pass up a chance at a better job than he has now on the hope that an even better job will work out.

Retired To Win

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Re: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 10:20:40 AM »
My gut feeling says that government benefits are easily worth a $2/hr pay cut...

The head splitter is whether to base the decision on that current, temporary, bridge $15 an hour construction job or on the previous $25 an hour position.  Is getting back into that latter type of situation a forlorn hope and laughable long shot?  That's the question I would want closure on before I made the decision.

DaveR

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Re: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 10:45:26 AM »
The head splitter is whether to base the decision on that current, temporary, bridge $15 an hour construction job or on the previous $25 an hour position.  Is getting back into that latter type of situation a forlorn hope and laughable long shot?  That's the question I would want closure on before I made the decision.

Agreed. As of today, is $15 or $25 realistic?

If $15 is the right path:

I would think a steady job with benefits @$13/hr within the field he wants to work is superior to "somewhat seasonal" no benefits @$15/hr. And working construction for a friend might allow some extra work on the side. The offer makes sense relative to the current job. And nothing says he can't take a job and keep looking at other opportunities, particularly since it sounds like he is overqualified for the potential new position.

And though there seems to be no wiggle room, it's worth it to try to negotiate the offer. The worst they could say is "no." Plus it sends a good message to the employer that he understands his value. Depending on how they negotiate, it can give some insights into department/agency politics.


If $25 is the right path:

You'll need to weigh the merits of the $13/hr job as he looks for other opportunities. Will it be viewed as "he took a big pay cut because that's all he could find" or "after 18 months out of the field, it was a good move." Depending on whether it will be readily viewed as positive or negative might be important.

Stachetastic

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Re: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 11:38:44 AM »
My gut feeling says that government benefits are easily worth a $2/hr pay cut...

The head splitter is whether to base the decision on that current, temporary, bridge $15 an hour construction job or on the previous $25 an hour position.  Is getting back into that latter type of situation a forlorn hope and laughable long shot? That's the question I would want closure on before I made the decision.

Actually, the position he just applied for that is within 5 minutes of home is the same ($25/hr) position he previously held at the now-defunct facility, so it is possible. He has a few contacts close to this position that he has reached out to, so we are hopeful.

Stachetastic

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Re: How much of a pay cut to take to get benefits?
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 11:43:42 AM »
The head splitter is whether to base the decision on that current, temporary, bridge $15 an hour construction job or on the previous $25 an hour position.  Is getting back into that latter type of situation a forlorn hope and laughable long shot?  That's the question I would want closure on before I made the decision.

Agreed. As of today, is $15 or $25 realistic?

If $15 is the right path:

I would think a steady job with benefits @$13/hr within the field he wants to work is superior to "somewhat seasonal" no benefits @$15/hr. And working construction for a friend might allow some extra work on the side. The offer makes sense relative to the current job. And nothing says he can't take a job and keep looking at other opportunities, particularly since it sounds like he is overqualified for the potential new position.

And though there seems to be no wiggle room, it's worth it to try to negotiate the offer. The worst they could say is "no." Plus it sends a good message to the employer that he understands his value. Depending on how they negotiate, it can give some insights into department/agency politics.


If $25 is the right path:

You'll need to weigh the merits of the $13/hr job as he looks for other opportunities. Will it be viewed as "he took a big pay cut because that's all he could find" or "after 18 months out of the field, it was a good move." Depending on whether it will be readily viewed as positive or negative might be important.

This position is not in a field he is interested in, although it is somewhat related. A position like this has always been in the back of his mind as "last resort." Also, positions like this open up within our community all the time, and pay several dollars per hour more. The particular position he has been offered is in the next town over, so about 15-20 minutes away.

Most signs are pointing us to "no" but that PERS is mighty tempting! Thank you all for your insight.