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As an MTSO, I don't dare raise my rates because...sm

Posted By: MTSO on 2006-03-03
In Reply to: low pay - chelle

I've been actually outbid when I gave a price of 11 cents a line. The competitor was offering 24 TAT too. I don't dare raise rates on my accounts anymore. That would be slitting our throats. One of my IC's actually took a pay cut on another account. The physicians said if they didn't cut their rates they would find a transcription company in India. The MTSO decided to cut the rate and any IC who wanted to stay on would have to take a pay cut too. Hey if you can find the work at higher pay, take it, but...

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Raise in rates
I am finally ready to start my own business. I would not pay less than 8 cpl and consider experience for more. I think it is time to quit messing with experienced MTs and what they are worth. I have worked myself for a couple cents less than what I started as when a newbie and straight out of school. I had a great mentor and scored well on my "so-called entrance exam" I guess, but as I wandered around online, I found the pay pretty sucky since then. What's up with that anyhow? You get paid the same or less with more experience?

My mentor told me many truths when I started out in this business, and I like a fool thought she was just 'cynical.' Guess what? She was all about the reality of the business whether I liked it or not or do today. When the experienced MTs sound cynical or in a really bad mood or something, understand where we are coming from with no raises, no appreciation for our advanced knowledge as we "supposedly grow," and no respect or anything but idiotic feedback sometimes (most times) by people who know less than us and enjoy pointing out a period out of its place.

I am sick to death of VR btw. That's my big B of the day! I just quit a VR job that insisted on, excuse me, 100% accuracy. Well, I try to be that all the time anyhow, but if I'm not, give me some feedback but don't ride my ass until I feel inadequate. Geez, enough is enough I used to think VR was "all that." Not now and nope. It sucks and nobody who is trained with the skills it takes to transcribe should do that crap. Working for 3 cpl is just ludicrous after you've had years of experience. It really makes me ill to hear the rate when being offered a job, but at the same time, I don't think newbies are qualified to do it either. Your thoughts?
I wouldn't raise rates either...sm

Raising your rate will only signal to your client that it's time to shop around. Didn't use to be that way but I believe it is now. When I am bidding on new accounts, I am routinely underbid even at 11 cents per line. I can't believe it. You used to be able to get 15 cents or 17 cents and pay your people 11 cents - now the price is just getting undercut and you can't be competitive. They will laugh in your face if you bid 15 cents. So no, I would NOT plan on raising rate either.

You dare question the judgment of the almighty RN! How dare you!
Don't you know that RN's know everything and are the beginning and end all of all that's holy in the medical kingdom!?

But seriously, you have my sympathy, girl. Hang in there.

don't count on raising rates yearly as an MTSO.

As an MTSO, don't think you are going to increase your accounts *yearly* (the word you used).....good luck if you're taking that route!!

I have my surgeons for a decade due to they pay very well and I have NEVER raised their rates because then they COULD choose to go elsewhere for less.....just my take.....

I also worked for nat'l services for years and they rarely raised their rates to their clients, as they, too, never wanted to lose any accts.

Good luck to you, whichever way you go!!

Or becuase of dropping rates, the small MTSO
This has not always been the case, hence it hurts more. Merit raise/cost of living raise
The raise you're describing is a merit-raise, - (SM)
and I agree that a worker has to go above and beyond in order to get them. But what doesn't seem to happen in this industry is COST-OF-LIVING raises, which should automatically come to workers either in small increments yearly, or in larger increments every 2-3 years. Without wages that are at least somewhat *realistic* (and modern-day MT wages are a pathetic joke), it's no wonder quality workers are harder and harder to come by, and much harder to retain. An MT should not have to work sweatshop hours for 7 days a week just to keep their head above water financially.
Has anyone kept a list of line rates, report rates, benefits, etc for sm

the different companies out there?  I feel lost and confused.  It seems like everything is changing daily, and I am not being organized enough to keep up.  I am about to actively look for full time employment again but if there was a list, I would be able to sort through a lot more quickly. 

Can anyone help?  I am going to start keeping a chart myself in case anyone needs this in the future.

Line rates in the Northeast - can anyone advise as to what the going rates are in the NE part of the
country? Specifically Connecticut. I want to make sure I am on target here. Thanks.

Okay, let me tell it like it is.....an MT who is near and dear to my heart works for SS.  She will occasionally "blow off steam" to me about this or that.  Because of the posts on here about SS, I called her recently to ask her if SS was really that bad and if so, would she like the number of the company where I work.  She laughed.  This is what she had to say, and it's pretty close to a direct quote:

No, I don't want to leave, for the most part I'm very happy.  I work when I am suppose to work.  I produce what I am suppose to produce and my QA score is high.  I do the hard accounts no one else wants to do so I never run out of work and my pay is really good.  (Still quoting) Some of these MTs have problems with ___ but she is NOT that bad if you just do what you're suppose to do when you're suppose to do it.  One thing you can count on, she is always FAIR.  Whether you like it or not, she is FAIR.

No, this is not my daughter MT that I mentioned previously.  She works for Edix/Spheris and has for I guess about 10 years and you couldn't run her off with a stick.  Still, she "blows off steam"  to me occasionally.  We all do that and that is our right but there is a point to just move on and let it go.

I've never taken dares but if I decided to make a move, I would go with SS I think.  I pretty well would guess that I would have no problems with the supervisor, no problems with pay, no problems with tech support, etc. etc.  If I found anything not to my liking, that I absolutely couldn't live with, then I would leave in a heart beat.  Never have had a problem getting another job and doubt I would  now.  I've been doing this for roughly 40 years and only once had a problem with a supervisor and quit because of it.  It really wasn't necessary for me to quit but the old supervisor I'd worked under for years, with NEVER an iota of a problem left and the new "whippersnapper" thought she was going to move mountains on day 1.  I questioned her once and she told me, "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT YOU CAN ALWAYS QUIT."  So guess what I did? (I don't accept threats either).   I did get a call from a higher up asking me to come back but once I've left, I've left.  I never look back.

I'm not saying that your experience isn't true but then my experiences are true too.  So you see, it wouldn't do me any good to accept your dare, it wouldn't prove a thing.  Even if I found my experience was the same as your's, not everyone is going to  have that experience.

I bet that if everyone posting negative about ANY company would sign their real name and the company came here to answer the complaints, they would have their side of the story too.  I've always been of the opinion that there are really THREE sides to any story.  Your side, my side and the truth (which usually is somewhere in the middle).

Oh, regarding tech support.  Once when I worked for one of the big boys, the tech after trying several things to fix my problem, said in a rather grouchy tone, "I don't know what to tell you."  Nevermind that made me furious!!!  I mustered my sweetest voice and I said, "Oh, okay, would you tell ___ (supervisor) for me that I can't work because my computer is down?  Thanks anyway for trying."  HAHAHAHHAA I almost heard a gasp.  He then said, well, we could try, this.  Didn't work.  He said, "I'll get a new computer out to you today and you'll have it tomorrow.  I did and everything went on as per usual.

Oh, to dare to dream.......

Dare I ask. What exactly are chitlins? nm
and then I dare say, the management

would conveniently lower the pay to maybe 3/10 of a cent per line - lol.  Can't allow those lowly MTs to make any money.

Why is it that management (no matter what company or situation) always decides what is possible and what is in the best interests of everyone, when the vast majority of them have no clue and have never performed the work?  No wonder the economy has tanked.

and then I dare say, the management

would conveniently lower the pay to maybe 3/10 of a cent per line - lol.  Can't allow those lowly MTs to make any money.

Why is it that management (no matter what company or situation) always decides what is possible and what is in the best interests of everyone, when the vast majority of them have no clue and have never performed the work?  They also never think to consult the person who actually performs the work and get some very valuable input.  No wonder the economy has finally tanked.

No kids? So how do you dare even post here
when you have no idea how hard it is to be a mother? You can never imagine until you've been in our shoes. And I suppose you have a unique ability to spot a loser right away? Well you are unique then, because it happens over and over again that the men we fell in love with don't always stay the same. And it has nothing to do with being a loser. They don't have to be losers to not be able to make a relationship work. If you're sick of the single mother issue, then stay away from posts like this that will only upset your childless cold life.
I'm happy. I just don't dare post anything

Well there, I did it.  I said I am happy to work for MQ.

Bring it on!

How dare you make such a statement.
I beg your pardon..how dare you make such a generalization..How do you know what anyone elses work habits are?  I have worked for MQ for nine years and it has been nothing but turmoil, different rules for each regional office, pay cuts, platform changes, new CEOs every few months, rumors about selling the company left and right.  In July the SEs were told they were needed and the company was going to make the best job for SEs because they valued us..Now in January, there will be no more SEs and if you do not apply, just like a newbie, to be evaluated, just like a newbie, you will no longer have a job.  Please, I am most certainly not lazy, I have worked two full time jobs since 1997.  How dare you! 
I wouldn't dare...1 drink and
In this economy I would not dare - they may look elsewhere, be careful!
How dare you? I used to live in a trailer and was not a skank

i wouldn't dare disfigure my body that way.
happy valentine's day to you too, though!!!!

How dare you speak to a colleague in this manner.
You are in the minority. I am telling you this - the only thing that constructive criticism does is cause lack of confidence and distraction which lasts for me up to an entire day. We make mistakes. Not gonna change. QA should be honored for catching the error and leave the MT out of it. There is no need to do anything more but fire her and in this field, the doctor has the last word and they still decide in the end - get that MT off my work and well, if that doesn't happy, that is a good sign. I have seen grown women brought to tears from the bullies in this field and it is about time it stopped, while that giant sucking sound caused by our jobs going to India gets louder and louder. Solutions include pods - teams of QA editor, proofer, data collector who WORK TOGETHER with mutual respective, sense of professionalism and hey, how about some humor and kindness? Is there some reason why some MTs think they are our sargeants? The only thing you bullies have on us is the ability to be rude.
MQ raise
My last raise was in 1998.  When I asked for one last year, I got one quarter of a cent.  Then three quarters of a cent were taken away from me when I started DocQscribe, as I was told I was gonna make so much more money with DQS.
May want to follow up with a phone call, sometimes if they get a lot of email it is easy to overlook them. That's what I do if they don't get back to me as soon as I think they should, anyway :)
getting a raise
How does one go about getting a raise as an independent contractor? I am not even in the same state. Shoud I e-mail or phone and how long should I wait before asking? In the past, I could always ask a co-worker, but my kids are my co-workers now. Does anyone know the correct protocol?
anyone with DSG ever get a raise?
I've been with MQ for a good while and I'm happy (just because my office is awesome), but I'm an intrigued with their production comparisons (ASR vs non-ASR) and interpreting polls (after the first one I sent that they "interpreted," I never sent another).

My theory on raises: Since the ASR rate will be reduced, you already have a "built-in" raise by not doing ASR. This is not to say they won't give raises eventually, but if you ask for one because you are doing the scum, they will say, "Well, the ones who do ASR don't get paid as much."

My advice to you would be to do ASR. Or get a different job because with MQ, this is the future. At least if you can master it and as the ASR improves (you'll get faster), you won't have a continuous diet of bottom-feeder material. That would absolutely drive me crazy. They probably eventually will eliminate all non-ASR'ers anyhow once the system is more refined.

Just total speculation on my part.
I hope whatever they gave you in the form of a raise compensates for what you have to go through, day in, day out, without any reprieve, and without even a good doc thrown in for good measure.  Does it?  Was it at least a buck an hour, and preferably two bucks?  Or was it two bits?  Keep your eyes open, MQGuy.  It won't be long before you are OUTTA THERE!   (Will the 0.050 cents per line, or whatever paltry sum it was, pay for your psychologist to keep you as sane as you are now?) I wish you luck, and I mean it sincerely.  They got you hook, line and sinker.
Do ICs ever get a raise? -sm
I work as an IC for a great company.  I have been with them almost 2 years now.  I  would like a pay raise.  As an IC, do I ask for it?  If so, how is this approached?  I have worked as an IC for almost 10 years for various companies.  Some give you a raise, most do not.  I would stay with this company either way.  TIA
Have been there over 4 yrs and no raise other than
across the board raises that everyone gets, latest being $0.002/line.  (No that wasn't a typo, it was actually a very insulting .002cpl).  Was told upon hire there would be merit raises.  Asked about one after a year of exemplary service with 100% QA and was pretty much laughed at.
pay raise
I was wondering when it is appropriate to ask for a raise?  I was thinking around my first year anniversary.  Also, how much is usually given? Do they up .5 cpl or 1 CPL? Just curious. 
MQ raise?
and how might I ask did you accomplishment the acievement of 2 raises in the past 3 months for MQ?
Wow, I need to ask for a raise! I am 1:2
5 min of dication takes me 10 min to transcribe.  If I have to re-listen to something, or look up, it may take 11 minutes. 
to ask for a raise?

To make a long story short, I've had this account for 4 years, and am on a salary.  At first I didn't think I would make any money since it was a salaried accout, but as it turns out, some days there is much to do and other days there is not as much, so it rather evens itself out, but then there are days when I'm working from daylight until dawn, but those days are rare.  Four years ago this was great money.  However, the COST OF LIVING has gone up exponentially!    I love this account, but it's my sole income; I have no other accounts.  Thus far I've been able to make it on this account and prefer to not take on anymore work because, as I previously mentioned, some days there is more work than I want, but it has to be done.  It would just make life much more difficult to take on more work for the days that they slam me, which outweigh the light days.  My problem is this:  I really want to ask for a raise, but afraid to rock the boat.  I realize all they can do is say no, but then, once I've mentioned wanting a raise it might plant the seed that I might be moving on if they don't give me a raise, which I have no intention of doing, but how do I tell them that?   I can't just say when asking for a raise: "Can I have a raise?"  (them) No, you cannot.  Me:  Okay, just thought I'd ask.  I am at a loss as to what to do about this situation.  Any advice would be so much appreciated from anyone with experience in such a predicament as this.  Thank you very much.

to ask for a raise?
I own the account personally. It is not through an MTSO.

Wow, sounds like you've gotten the really short end of the stick, and I feel so bad for you. I hope you'll get what sounds like a well-deserved raise, or be able to find another company who will appreciate you for what you really do. Good luck to YOU.
Are you asking for a raise or trying to get an
What's a raise?
I'll take the one dictator. I haven't gotten a raise the entire time I've been at the company I work at right now (several years) and I never know what will land in my workpool. One dictator by choice? I'd give my pinkie finger for an account like that and gladly look up everything! What a fool.

we will never get a raise
they will just crack the whip harder...work faster, longer, all day long, all night long so you can make more money more money more money. it is a vicious (brain freeze, is that how you spell it)?
Asking for a raise sm
Speaking from experience, this is not time to rock the boat, so to speak. With the economy the way it is, perhaps they will pretend to go along with you and start searching elsewhere. Been there, done it, think it over very carefully!!! Everyone is replaceable, I found that out the hard way after 20 years of faithful service, and they told me I was the best in the state! Be very, very careful unless you think someone else will pick you up right away. Under-bid by 1/4 of a CPL!
can an IC ask for a raise? nm
No, no raise here, either.
I still make the same rate with my local doctors that I did when I started in 2000. With the company I am an IC, I actually make 4 cents a line less, but the work is abundant so I am still thrilled.

It sounds like you are lucky to still have a job where you are. I wouldn't push it. If you are not happy, start looking for other doctors. If you are content where you are, don't rock the boat.

As ICs, no, we never get raises. If I need more money coming in, I raise my production 100 or 200 lines extra a day, improve my shortcuts, push my speed to the limit. There's always room for improvement. If there is not work sufficient enough for you to do more, then take on another local doctor, if you can.

I try to keep myself thinking of the blessings that come with my job, what it allows me to do for and with my family. This is not a profession where we can dwell on what we are not getting, cause we'd all quit, even the employee status MTs.
Ask for the raise

You should ask for a raise...if you have been working there for two years with no raise, no bonuses, and of course, I'm sure you don't get any insurance or anything like that, you definitely deserve a raise...don't short change yourself, you can bet the office raises their office visits, procedures, etc. when things get tough on their end...you deserve a raise, and besides, if you don't ask, you will never know...the worst that could happen is they say no....but at least you asked.  I recently asked for a raise, and got it...I work from home as an IC and type for a local doc...I pick up tapes and deliver the transcription, etc., but I got the raise.  Even if I worked in the office, I would have asked for a raise.

We as MTs need to get the idea out of our head that we don't deserve a raise...if you're doing a good job, have experience, and do the work that they expect from you...ask for that raise! 

no raise??
Cost of living???  Who gets a cost of living raise as an MT?  I want that job!!!  I have done this for 35 years and no cost of living raise for me.  Raises when I was working in a hospital and was a supervisor in the early 1980s and still transcribing and only got raise because my line count increased within a certain period of time.  And believe me I was making much more THEN than I can possibly get now, due to no work, and the amount we get paid per line is going down and we still have to work more hours to get that.  But I still hang in there.  What is to do at 56??
A raise!?!
Heck, I've been taking regular pay CUTS for the last 10 years! They laugh in your face when you ask for/expect a raise.

pay raise - not
Not only are we NOT getting well-deserved raises, but per-line wages are being cut!
You definitely need a raise....sm
I was a Transcriptionist for about 7 months when I got my first raise. I started out at .065 cpl almost 2 years ago. Then 7 months into it I got .075 cpl without even asking. Then when I had been an MT for 1-1/2 years I asked for another raise and got 8 cpl. I am supposed to get another one in June I believe to .085 cpl. I have a very nice boss.

I would ask for a raise and if they wouldn't give one I would look elsewhere for work.
When was your last raise?

Do you get bonuses?  Look, I work weekends, and also don't work when I don't feel like it and I still make a decent wage.  As an IC, I can pick and choose and who is to say that just because someone doesn't work weekends they aren't going to make any money. 

The only thing open on weekends are facilities and hospitals; no clinics.  There is a skeleton crew.  You are working nights because India has taken the days.  So, please come down to Earth a little here.  We've all done our time especially the oldies when life wasn't so easy for an MT. 

We need to work together and not belittle each other for someone who would like to have weekends off, etc.  Some like it hot and some like it cold.  There's no real difference there.  Some like working weekends, and some like working during the week.  There's no harm done, really.  It's all the same.

Thanks to the 2 responders regarding DSG and getting a raise
no raise in 3 years
same here -- have you asked for one -- i did and was told that I was sending over 20% to QA - imagine that with the docs that we get -- there is no way to win at MQ and if there is would someone please let me in on the secret!!
Actually I did get a recent raise...
so I'm sure not complaining about that, and fully expect to be given the harder docs, but how are the former cherrypickers supposed to finally learn how to do 'em if all the Foul Ones are sent to us old-timers? I presume they must be getting SOME of them, hence the bad TAT suddenly - but my raise seems to be dwindling as I am assaulted by a steady stream of "mushmouths" all day! Not 2 mention getting hateful after so many in a row without an occasional "good doc"....oh well - back to the foulness!
Rate raise

I am going to do mine.  Have not done so for the past 3 - 4 years and so going to try to do 1 cent raise per mine.  Hopefully they won't complain too much but I still pick up and deliver and so it hits me hard as my paper has also gone up.  So we will see.   Usually when I do this they back off a little and don't dictate so much for a month or so but then it goes back to normal.   Let me know what you are doing.  I am in Oregon.  Been doing this for 16 years and I think I started out at 8 and now at 11 to 12.