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The Salary Conversation

A conversation with your superior about your career and salary development. The goal of a salary conversation is for you to get feedback on the connection between your work effort and your salary. You will learn how you can contribute to influence your salary development.

All state employees are entitled to an annual salary and career conversation with their superior. This right is stated in the Basic Collective Agreement § 3, paragraph 5:
«An employee is entitled to an annual conversation about competence, responsibilities, salary and career development. These conversations should contribute to reducing the gender pay gap.»

Some employers have established procedures where salary conversations are held regularly, for example before the local wage negotiations. At other work places, a salary conversation is something one must actively ask for.

When you return from parental leave you are entitled to be offered a salary conversation, cf. HTA § 3 paragraph 6.

Preparations for the Conversation:

  • Read your job description (if you have one) and other documents that define the contents and objectives of your position.
  • Be prepared to account for your competence, how you have solved your tasks so far, and what results you have achieved.
  • Think through your expectations regarding salary and career development.
  • Read the local pay policy. It should indicate what criteria will be the basis for assessing individual pay rise claims in the local negotiations.
  • Familiarize yourself with the salary level for comparable positions. Check out Forskerforbundet’s salary calculator and our salary statistics.
  • Contact your local Forskerforbundet representative. They will have knowledge of the local salary levels.

During the Conversation:

Highlight the efforts you have made in the past year, and any new skills you have gained this year. Show how you have contributed to the goal achievement of the work place. Tell your employer what expectations you have for future salary and career development.

Your employer should provide feedback on your efforts and your results. Furthermore, the employer must be able to account for the company's future skills needs and the career opportunities at your work place.

Keep in mind that the salary conversation is not a salary negotiation, and that there is a limit to what the employer can promise with regard to salary. The wage negotiations take place between the local union representatives and the local management, and your superior can not anticipate the outcome of future negotiations.

The salary conversation should be separated from the performance appraisal. A union representative may be present during the salary conversation, but he/she should only attend as an observer, or assist to resolve any ambiguities.

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