Disclosing rates (was Re: Agency Response - margins)

Subject: Disclosing rates (was Re: Agency Response - margins)
From: "Wilcox, John (Contractor)" <wilcoxj -at- WDNI -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 10:44:00 -0700

From: Richard Yanowitz

>I happen to know the markup that the agency I work for is getting. They
>didn't tell me, but then I didn't ask them. I was given a good rate, so
>what do I care how much they make? I don't suppose they would take
>kindly to my disclosing that rate to you without asking, so I won't.

I think it's important to share information like rates we get and other
working conditions. Not doing so is encouraging the kind of closed-off
status quo that keeps us all in the dark and makes it harder for working
writers to know what is reasonable and realistic.

Time prevents my from sharing the war stories I have about employees
disclosing salaries or hourly rates. In some companies it's grounds for
termination, and I've never worked for anyone who didn't at least frown
on the practice. I'd just like to make two interrelated points here.

1) If you and I were working for the same employer or client, and if one
of us were making $5.00/hr more than the other for the same work, what
is that to either you or I? Why do we even need to know? Did we not
both agree to our respective rate of hire? Isn't an employer entitled
to offer whatever rate he wants?

2) I'm no union man. I believe in the free-enterprise system. I
believe employers should be allowed to hire, fire, promote, demote,
etc., based solely on merit. If you're a better writer than I and can
get more money for the same type of work, I say more power to you --
you've earned the extra pay. But if you want X just because I'm getting
X, forget it.


John Wilcox, Documentation Specialist
Timberlands Information Services
Weyerhaeuser, WWC 2E2
Tacoma, WA 98477-0001
253-924-7972 wilcoxj -at- wdni -dot- com

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