Friday, February 26, 2010

Pay Raise and Bonus (or is it?)

Wednesday noon I got my salary transfered to my bank account. It was strange because it was only the 24th but then I remember that this month has only 28 days.
Later in the day we got called into my boss's office. He went on to explain that we would get a salary "adjustment" to match inflation. We'll, that's usually what we get every year so no news there.
But wait! there's more. We are also going to get a Bonus pay on July, not the one required by law but something extra that is called a vacation bonus. For a normal employee it would mean that when they go on vacation they would also get a bonus payment to probably pay for whatever they are going to do while on vacation.
In my case it doesn't apply because I can't take a lot vacation time. My boss knows this and yet he complains to me that I have too much vacation time pending, I have almost 50 days of vacation time. I requested 2 weeks and then I wanted to change it to 3 weeks and he said no. Only two weeks because X person was comming over , or Z proyect needs my supervision and that later in the year I could take another two weeks. and so on. Great, in the meantime i'm accumulating another 20 days of vacation time so next year we'll be in the same spot.
Anyway. The bonus. So we are told it's 50% of our normal monthly pay. Great news right? Wrong. It's just a juggling act with the numbers. Our pay "adjustment" was already budgeted for this year for some time already. But we had complained that our sister company that doesn't actually provide any services or generates anything close to the level of income that we do, have that bonus payment.
Our boss had told us that he had been told they didn't have that benefit, but one of their employees came down one day and talking about something else we came to that subject and she disclosed in full how they get that bonus. So that was a little help for us.
Our boss had been juggling with the idea of giving us a pay adjustment or a bonus but not both. So the day before the big annoucement he had me come into the office to help him with some math and I figured out what he was going to do. I think he let me know because i'm the #2 in the company but still i'm not the one calling the shots so it felt awkward to know how the trick was pulled.
He was going to take the bonus from the already budgeted raise and have our pay adjustment be the difference. So if someone was going to get a 7% increase in their pay, now they would get only a 4% increase and the 3% (times 14, the number of montly payments we get each year) would be the "bonus" for July.
So from an administrative point I think it was a cool idea to keep the budget from increasing. And my coworkers were happy to get the adjustment AND the bonus. But for me who knew how the trick was pulled it was a bit of a letdown.
I guess the good side of this is that it's a forced saving for me, and so when I get that bonus I will be more interested in spending it wisely (probably paying bills or school for my girls).
I guess like they say, I shouldn't have watched how that sausage was made.
I think we already got the raise but i'm not exacting sure how much take-home pay I will get. I'm planning on request most of that raise be automatically sent to my emergency fund.
I already increased the savings to that account to 2000lps each quincena and i'm saving 600lps on the freedom account too. I managed to do that by taking the amount that we got deducted in january and may for municipal taxes and divert it to those accounts.
I'm totally surprised at how one can manage to live on the amount of money we get to take home. I remember when I started saving 200lps on my emergency fund and now i'm saving ten times that amount and still make it to every payday. Or well almost, sometimes I do dip into it but it's still growing.
I gotta write another post about how i'm doing with paying debt. This is already long enough.

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