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When Is a Raise Not A Raise?

Question: Is a step increase a raise? I suppose to the public and politicians, a step increase most certainly is a raise. One day a firefighter receives X for compensation, then next he receives X + Y. It looks like a raise, it quacks like a raise, therefore it is a raise…. Right?

So why am I am struggling to find common ground with them on this issue. A step increase is different from a “raise”. A raise is an increase in pay… no wait, that doesn’t explain it. … mmm.  How do I explain it.  A step increase is a raise that occurs over and above the increases that other employees receive… hummm… no, that doesn’t seem like a good enough explanation either.  A step increase is earned…. There. That’s it. A step increase is earned… But wait, isn’t any raise earned?

My gut tells me there is a difference… a huge difference between a step increase and a raise…. What do you think?

Here is a story about a lawsuit in Massachusetts by a local seeking to enforce contractual step increases despite a wage freeze.

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  • George McIntyre

    I’m a card-carrying IAFF member, but a step increase is a raise. When you make x dollars today and you make x+y dollars tomorrow, your salary has been raised. Arguing against that theory is why the public hates our locals in some communities right now.