Re: was a question about salary; Hospital vs Commercial

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

It's none of my business, being neither a pathologist
nor a histotechnologist (though having interests in
common with both professions) but it seems to me that
On Fri, 24 Aug 2001, Lee & Peggy Wenk said it all with:
> HT 
> Top range: $16.10 - 19.20
> Top range: $18.20 - 22.30)
> Top range: $19.20 - 26.60

Compare these hourly rates with those for a skilled
tradesman who (let us say) repairs your car, attends to
your blocked drain, or does some wiring in your house.
The tradesman's amount of formal education is probably 
less than is considered desirable for histotechnology,
but on-the-job training is extremely important for
all these occupations. All carry responsibility for
other people's safety and well-being. 

Peggy's data clearly show that (a) histotechnologists 
are not paid nearly enough for the value of their work, 
and (b) there isn't very much financial reward for 
greater education, experience and responsibility.

Jonathan Oppenheim, a pathologist wrote: 
... confront the hospital administrators, tell them what 
you do and why, and if they are not able to negotiate with 
you to a compensation package that is agreeable, give-em a
months notice and move on. Chances are they will cave in ...

Jonathan, have you ever tried to do this? I did once,
when I was a house-physician in a 250-bed hospital in Britain
several (well, many) years ago. I went to see the administrator 
(there was only one; his title was Hospital Secretary, and he 
had 2 ordinary secretaries; that was enough to run a hospital
in those days). I asked for an explanation of all the deductions
on my pay cheque. He said, "The calculation of a monthly
salary is a complicated business that requires months of
special training, and a lad like you wouldn't understand it."
This was the answer of a man who got his job because he'd 
stayed on at secondary school until he was 16. He was also 
a twerp. Nearly every other senior administrator I've met
since then has been closely similar or worse. 

It simply is not possible to try to bargain sensibly
with senior administrators in a large, public organization.
They are polite to a full professor but take no notice. They
issue meaningless replies to deputations of technicians or
other "support staff," and they leave all dealing with students 
(who pay huge fees that end up as admin salaries) to employees 
who qualified for their jobs by being blacklisted by other 
minimum-wage employers for treating the best customers like 
dirt. (Getting a bit off-topic here, but I think I've made my
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,  Canada   N6A 5C1

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