A new option for our “Post-the-Pay” rule

OffStageJobs.com has been operating under a “post-the-pay” rule since May 1, 2018.  Under this rule, job listings must include the numeric pay rate, starting pay rate, or potential pay range for the given job, or truthfully state that the job does not pay.  As the site had not used a rule like this in the past, I kept an eye on user and employer feedback, as well as any drop-off in the average number of listings being posted.  While most companies adjusted to the rule without issue, some argued against it, even arguing that “their” company deserved special treatment over others.

Listings that fail to include a numeric pay rate are deleted, regardless of how famous the employer may be.

One of the core reasons we have a “post-the-pay” rule is to ensure that the employer is not offering differing base pay rates for a given job based on conscious or unconscious biases (such as offering less to women).  Posting the pay rate as part of the job listing holds the employer accountable if they attempt to reduce the rate once they have been introduced to the prospective employee.  Another core reason is to allow potential applicants to make an informed decision whether or not to apply for the job based on the potential pay.  There’s not much benefit to applying for that dream job at BIG NAME THEATRE if it turns out BIG NAME THEATRE pays 1/3 less than you’re making now.

However…

One issue that kept coming up were listings for jobs under union contracts. And the general problem was that many union Locals which had negotiated for these contracts were not permitting the pay rate terms for the contracts to be published. So several theatres, which saw a noticeable drop in the quality of candidates once they had to stop posting to OffStageJobs.com, began asking if there was something to be done.  They wanted to use the site again, but their contracts did not allow the publishing of the pay rate.  But as the rate was locked to a legal contract, it was not possible to change it, so the bias issue was moot.  So this left the other main reason for the rule: informed decisions.

So we’re going to try this new option specifically for jobs under a union contract.  While it does require an extra step on the prospective applicant’s part, it also requires the employer and the Local to agree to the terms of this option prior the the job listing being posted.  In basic terms:  in lieu of posting the numeric pay rate, the listing can direct the prospective applicant to contact the applicable union Local for the pay rate of the given job.

The specific rule is #8 on our Terms of Use:

8. All job listings posted or reposted on or after May 1, 2018 are required 
to include the job's numeric pay rate, starting pay rate, potential pay rate 
range, or state that there is no pay. TO BE CLEAR: "based on experience," 
"contact for details," or "competitive," will no longer be sufficient.

ALTERNATE OPTION FOR JOBS UNDER A UNION CONTRACT. In an effort to maintain 
the ability for job seekers to know the pay rate for a job prior to applying, 
and address concerns by several union Locals, the following option is 
available ONLY for jobs under the jurisdiction of a union contract:

With prior knowledge and consent of the applicable union Local, the employer 
may post "Contact [Union Name, Local Number] for pay rate information" and 
then provide a contact phone number for the applicable union Local.

PLEASE NOTE: You may only use this option if the Local agrees in advance 
to be contacted and provide the pay rate information to prospective 
employees for the given job. This option is not available to jobs that 
are not under a union contract, as the union is essentially serving as a 
3rd party.

 

This option is ONLY for union-contract covered jobs.  It does not apply to any other situation where the employer is wary of posting the pay rate.  And it is only being offered because:

  1.  The pay rate is tied to an existing, legally binding contract.
  2.  The contract is known to both the employer and a 3rd party (the union Local), so there is no benefit for either to misrepresent it.
  3. The union Local agrees to provide the pay rate information directly to potential applicants upon request.

This is not specific to any particular union, since while there are entertainment-specific unions, there are also venues with municipal or educational union contracts.

I hope this helps return some of our union venues to the site, and helps our users find job openings at these venues.

 

Full disclosure: I am a proud IATSE member and union steward, and have been a member for 17 years.  

-Patrick Hudson,  Founder:  OffStageJobs.com

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