Geo-tied compensation.. should I ask for a raise?

I am one of the more senior members of a large team working in tech. Unfortunately, due to geographic location, I get paid significantly (50-100%) less (both base and accounting for currency), even though realisticallly I am only a few hours drive away from some of my higher paid colleagues and have similar COL.

Compared to local salary, I would say I get around the median. I am fairly certain it is lower than anyone else on my team though as I am the only person working out of this geographic region.

I was wondering if it is worth it making the case for a raise purely based on the fact that I am doing the same (if not more work as I am more senior in level and experience) than many my colleagues but make significantly less..

My concern is that this is not merit based enough of an arguement (so I should just drop the geo part and focus on merit). I was wondering if anyone else here had experience with geo-based salary negotiations and had any advice.


MichelleFuentes's profile thumbnail
Hmm, do you know for a fact that your company uses geo-based comp benchmarks? And you mention currency difference, are you located in a different country than your colleagues (e.g. Canada vs US)? If the company has slightly different benefits structure dependent on the country's laws, that might be there rebuttal on a geo-based argument 🙃Regardless, I think the best approach is a merit-based argument since it's more straightforward and easier to back with indisputable data (meeting/exceeding your goals, increasing X metrics or revenue, etc.)Another thing to consider is negotiating for a title change (especially since you mention having more experience and being at a more senior level). If your company has salary bands tied to levels, it might be a good approach to negotiate for a more senior title with the comp being tied to that level.Just some thoughts! :)
Thanks for the advice! I know for a fact that our pay bands are geo based as I have seen a few examples of them on open requisitions for my team for the same roles. The company is big enough that we have “levels” so as an example, I can see I am a L5 vs another coworker who is L4. From my understanding the levels tie to pay bands. So likely a title change without a level change would not result in more money (and I don’t think I’m ready for a level change as I’m solidly in the experience range for my current level)I am the only person on my team located in Canada so it feels like it makes even less sense that we get paid so much less because companies don’t need to pay for health insurance, and I have less vacation days. I was wondering if managers ever consider “fairness” in budgets as if I was to leave and they hire another American, their budget for the role would suddenly double. It feels like on the balance sheets then to increase my salary to at least not be the lowest on the team wouldn’t really dent the budget.. But it sounds like maybe that is just not an issue.. I will try to stick to merit rationale then!