Would you allow public disclosure of your salary?

Posted 05 Jul 2011 by 

Colin Dodd (Red Hat)
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Yes
40% (65 votes)
No
16% (26 votes)
I would allow a range to be published
11% (18 votes)
I would be fine with that if it was listed by job title and position, without my name attached
33% (53 votes)
Total votes: 162

On our last poll, you gave us some insight about whose salaries should be made public. This week, we turn the tables.

Have your thoughts changed?

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9 Comments

Unidentified
As an employee of the state of Oregon, my salary already is already publicly available. Would prefer that it were tied to my position instead of my name...
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Unidentified
all salaries should be public, alongside a fairly detailed list of responsibilities attached to a position. additionally, retail, hospitality and catering outlets should be forced to list salaries (by role rather than name) of workers and subcontractors (e.g. cleaners) in entrance hallways/by counters to let customers know how the ridiculously low prices we can get on services/products there also depend on basic workers being paid an appalling misery (this obviously still leaves out of the picture the widespread bullying, abuses and overall bad working environment workers are subject to in too many of these establishments)
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Gerry
And pray tell, what is it of your or anybody else's business what I have negotiated with my boss? Some people will always be paid less than they are worth, and sure they need help. But don't you know that job title A in one city is not the same as job title A in another city, for that matter job title A is usually different from one company to another. Sorry, but you sound like a union boss...
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Unidentified
the issue with catering, hospitality and retail (mainly - other sectors have similar issues too, depending on location and culture) is not so much that some people are paid less than they are worth, rather than some (most of the workers at the bottom of the scale in London, UK for example) are paid way less than the bare minimum that is needed for a decent, independent *simple* life (let alone the widespread abuse and in the case of hospitality and catering being subject to rarely negotiable and rarely sane shifts that effectively break any opportunity to have a real life and to improve skills and opportunities through courses and training). this is a very complex issue, but a nudge to intelligent customers letting them know that low prices they get indeed have a high cost for workers is better than sweeping this hugely injust system of abuse and indecent salaries under the carpet. the "minimum wage" concept (again, at least over here) is a pure farce. in terms of responsibilities (this is interesting mainly for non basic-jobs: a cleaner or a coffee machine slave in the typical café scrap toilets and floors and operate coffee machines in most of the western world anyways), these are attached to job postings which are publicly available at the time of application anyways. they just get hard to retrieve after that, but they are often public to start with. and they often vary even within the same institution for people with the same job title, hence the importance of having them public to match the information given by the salary figures. details of later re-negotiations don't seem so relevant unless a salary is readjusted significantly overnight. having more information rather than less can only help informed and intelligent people in comparisons and assessments. surely everything needs to be put into context, and the purpose of more information is helping with informed decisions and policy, not to name and shame. this whole issue of disclosure of labour information, anyways, is most relevant for people at the very bottom and above a decent high threshold (which, again, depends greatly on context). there is a lot of research about these topics and their influence on public policy, corporate governance and consumer behaviour, with a wide range of opinions according to worldviews and other factors, of course.
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Gerry
OK, so me in Canada and you in the UK, we already have different work cultures. Unless you work in public companies (where salaries and names, but not corresponding job descriptions are public information), our privacy policies protect people's information. I agree that minimum wage is below the poverty line, as is our Canada Pension.
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Algot Runeman
For 36 years, my salary was public knowledge. It is typical for the salaries of public school teachers to be published. I don't recall being harmed by that.
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Gerry
Algot, teachers negotiate collectively and as a taxpayer, I pay your salary. It stands to reason that I know where my taxes are going.
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Algot Runeman
As a consumer, I pay the salaries of every person who has a job. What's the difference? Collective bargaining? Is there something appropriate about keeping secret the salary of someone who negotiates as an individual? If collective negotiations are appropriately public, why should private negotiations be the norm? What's being hidden?
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simonfranco
Community Member
Here in Portugal, there's actually a law that says every company MUST have all employee salaries posted up for at least one week per year. I have worked in over 10 different companies and guess how many comply with this law: none! I seriously do not see what the issue is, what do I care if someone else knows my salary? Only two things can happen, either I'm not earning that well and I'm ashamed of it, or I'm doing pretty good and I'm proud of it... So what? Either way, making it public would probably be a good thing. If I'm not earning enough, maybe someone would notice and do something about it, If I earned just the right amount (if that exists), there would be no problem, and if I earned a bunch load, I better be doing a pretty damn job or I do not deserve it. The main people who do not want you to see their salaries (or of anyone else) are always the directors, simple because they know how unfair things would seem. So again, as in almost everything: The people with the most power are the ones most afraid of "secrets" getting out.
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