When an organisation's board of directors has ultimate responsibility for establishing salaries, approving pay raises and determining merit bonuses, any unresolved grievance about these issues within the organisation will eventually come before consideration by the board. Although a grievance process is typically provided for by the organisation's established policy and procedures, an employee wishing to grieve his salary must strike a balance between an appropriate grievance that conveys the important points and maintaining a positive future career progression under the management of the board.
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Review company policy and procedures, and the union contract if you have one. The grievance procedure is typically detailed with specific steps that you must meet prior to an appeal to the board of directors.
Gather information to support your claim. If you plan to state that you are underpaid, collect data on the local market and current trends in compensation for employees with your level of experience. Identify any unique skill sets or experience you possess that justify a higher salary.
Type the letter on good-quality business stationary. Use plain, light colours such as white or cream and a readable business font such as Times New Roman, Courier or Arial. Format the letter with appropriate spacing and margins; later you'll check for any typos and grammatical errors.
Begin the letter with a formal business salutation such as "Dear Sir/Madam:" and include the date and address. Lead the letter with a short summary of why you are writing -- "to respectfully request a review of my salary," for example -- and include any required information mandated by the grievance procedure, such as your employee identification number or work location.
State your reasons and justification for the grievance calmly and objectively. Avoid making accusations or unsupported allegations. Stick to the facts and be polite.
Submit any relevant documentation as an attachment to the letter. The documentation might include past correspondence with your supervisor or manager about your salary, or factual information -- such as a salary survey or Bureau of Labor Statistics data -- demonstrating a pay disparity with the local market.
Close the letter by thanking the board members sincerely for their time, and sign the letter in ink before submitting it.
Tips and warnings
- Review your letter for tone before you send it. Avoid sounding defensive or argumentative -- your aim should be for a professional, polite and factual tone. Don't let emotion creep into the letter.
- Predict the possible arguments the board might make to counter your request and rebut them upfront in the grievance letter.
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