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> In addition, I happen to know that the last writer hired makes over five
> thousand a year
> more than I do. I asked my manager why that writer's value to the company
> is so
> much greater than mine, and what I could do to rise to that level. My
> manager said
> the other writer is "very technical" and had received a high salary over
> the hill (meaning San Jose, where salaries are always higher than in
> Santa Cruz).
What people get paid in this business is a function of supply and
demand, which can vary by locale, not according to any "standard."
Wages in Silicon Valley ("over the hill" has pretty negative
connotations to some people, btw) are a function of how many technically
qualified writers are currently available for the jobs that need doing.
Most of the more highly paid writers have gone to contract work because
the pay is better than "captive" employment. That, again, is supply and
demand at work.
Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to quit looking for "fair"
pay and start playing by the rules of the marketplace. If you're worth
what you think you are, other companies will pay you that. If your
company doesn't want to meet the rates of the competition, then perhaps
you don't belong there.