Loyalty pays as wages fall: survey

Loyalty pays. That's the message of the latest Cubiks salary survey, which also shows average pay rates are now falling in some IT sectors as the downturn bites.

Loyalty pays. That’s the message of the latest Cubiks salary survey, which also shows average pay rates are now falling in some IT sectors as the downturn bites.

Cubiks’ survey of more than 500 general and IT businesses has found the recent boom is over and firms are clawing back on premiums previously paid.

Many IT workers, it suggests, may now be better off staying where they are and still receiving pay rises rather than moving around — a huge contrast with the last survey, conducted just six months ago.

Then, the market was still booming and firms were raising rates to attract workers.

Today only webmasters can earn a relative king’s ransom, with average rates going up 11.6% since last year compared with a base increase of 5.5% if they remain in the same post.

Overall, Cubiks, formerly PA Consulting, found wages increased 4.6% over the year. As our deadline approached the company was unable to provide actual salary figures.

Typically, operation managers enjoyed a 6.3% base increase if they stayed put, but the average market wage for them dropped 1.1%. Experienced programmers enjoyed an ave-rage 6.8% pay rise, but their market rate dropped 0.6%. Less experienced programmers saw their base salaries rise 8.7% if they stayed put, but their market wage dropped 2.6%.

Project managers typically enjoyed base pay rises of 7.9%, while their average market wage increased 3.1%. Network managers enjoyed average base increases of 9.2%, while their median salary increased 3.7%.

Cubiks HR consultant Kevin McBride says premiums are still being earned in certain sectors, such as webmasters, where it would still pay to move around. But the mainstream market has stablised and there is more incentive to stay put, he says.

However, a similar survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this month found the reverse.

Principal consultant Chris O’Brien says IT roles matched general trends. IT wages moved in line with others if people stayed in the same job, but where people moved on, firms were forced to offer more to attract newcomers.

Median fixed renumeration increased 3% in the year to September for those in specialist/technical roles, PwC found, but bonuses were increasingly popular, typically adding 6.5% to 7.5% to IT manager salaries, he says.

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