How to bring up a raise

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Question: I like my job, and my manager and I want to keep working for my organization in the federal government. However, my salary has not increased in 6 years due to the job classification cap. I am about to retire in 3 years. How do I approach my manager to increase my salary, when I know the answer to a raise is negative?  -- Lynn


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Those who reach their salary cap in our organization get a single payout equivalent to the percentage of salary increase whenever new raises are implemented for the rest. i.e. $15.00 capped at 3% is .45 multiplied by 2080 annual hours worked comes to $936.00. Their department does not have to pay out increased OT pay. You might propose this idea. It satisfies the employer at capping salaries and also rewards the employee for longevity of service. Win/Win.

Can you speak with your HR dept. about what it would take to move into a different job classification? 6 years is a long time. I have bumped up against salary caps myself, but ranges for various job classifications are typically reviewed and updated periodically to reflect cost of living increases. If your company isn't doing this, you are now making considerably less than you were 6 years ago. Ask for a job classification review, and ask what you would need to do to move into a different classification if they are unable to raise the cap on your current classification.

Sounds like you need a promotion. If your organization has hard and fast rules regarding pay, then you should be able to get your hands on official job descriptions. Compare yours to the one above you. Make a (written) case with concrete examples of the work you do that fits into the advanced job description. Good luck.

Not sure you can do much since this is a government job. I doubt they'll give you a raise since you've reached your salary cap. I know people who are in this situation and my company gives them a lump sum payment. You should ask them about that. Also, I think the idea of a promotion is good but I don't know how easy that is when you're working for the federal government. You should research your options and what other companies are doing. I would then present this to my manager. You're really close to retirement so I don't think leaving is a good choice. Maybe there are opportunities to do extra work where you'd get a bonus. Talk to HR and see what they say.

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