Re: Job Decriptions and Salary Justification

Subject: Re: Job Decriptions and Salary Justification
From: The Tech Writer <techwrtr -at- CRL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 08:47:46 -0800

On Fri, 1 Dec 1995, Doug Ingram wrote:
[Edited for length]

> Our company is instituting a new job classification and compensation program
> that "will be more equitable for the employees." They contracted an
> outside firm for this project. Last Feb. all employees (about 150)
> filled out lengthy (10 pages), detailed forms about our jobs and what
> we do.

> [My classification says] "Writes and edits instruction and service
> manuals and assists with application and spare parts documents in order to
> provide customer oriented product documentation for company x." Help!

> The major problem is that the classification for the tech writer puts
> me in the upper quartile of the salary matrix (at this company that
> means not eligible for a raise), [and] there [is] at least a $10K
> difference between the median salary for the class they have me in and
> the median salary according to the STC survey. Help!

I have only recently graduated from college, and therefore haven't been
in the industry for very long, but I've never heard of this type of
implementation being constructed from an *outside* agency! That seems
really strange. Who knows better who does what than those who work at
your company?

Anyhow, I think that maybe you should look at what responsibilities the
other type classifications include. I have yet to meet a technical writer
who only writes. I've heard that only 10-15% of a tech. writer's time is
spent writing--to me, even that sounds high! (Though I wouldn't have
believed it when I was still in school.)

When you find the marketing, personnel coordination (interviewing),
interface design, and so on that you perform on a daily basis, rewrite
what you do, putting emphasis on the NON-writing part of your job. Then
ask that your classification be reviewed.

I think that it would be a mistake to take things from only a salary
conflict standpoint. You need to attack the problem on both fronts. If HR
looks at downscaling in the future, and you've been moved to a different
pay scale, but with the same description, then isn't it more likely that
the HR person will look at you as an expensive secretary? If you have the
other skills listed in your classification, then you will look less
replaceable (sp?).

-David Castro
techwrtr -at- crl -dot- com

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