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Why is everyone in the UK so underpaid? Watch

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    I'm an international student from North America who is currently living and studying in England. I was looking at potentially staying in England for a couple of years post graduation but when I started researching salaries I was appalled.

    How are people surviving on these measly wages when they live in a country with one of the highest costs of living. I'll compare the average salaries of some professions in Canada (Ontario) vs. England. Now in Ontario, particularly the Greater Toronto Area is known to have a high cost of living , but it is definitely not as expensive as England (as a whole).

    Registered Nurses
    Ontario--> Starting wages $30.50/hr raising to about $45/hr after 8 years of employment. Not to mention a union which protects RNs and great benefits.

    England--> £23,245 per year. Even new graduate RNs don't make that much in Canada

    Pharmacists

    Ontario--> Typically a pharmacist working in community practice in Ontario could expect to earn an annual salary in the range of $97,000 – $110,000

    England--> £37,379 (wtf)

    Occupational Therapist

    Ontario--> The median annual Occupational Therapist salary in Ontario, CA is $84,707, as of November 07, 2016, with a range usually between $77,590-$92,272 not including bonus and benefit information and other factors that impact base pay.

    England--> £26,797

    Teachers

    Ontario--> Toronto tells a similar tale, with secondary school teacher salaries averaging $87,000, followed closely by their elementary counterparts at $82,000.

    England--> £27324


    I could go on and on but across the board educated professionals in England are being underpaid and undervalued. How are people surviving on wages like that in a country like this. In Canada if you work any of the above jobs you are likely in the upper middle class income bracket, some of those professions in England have you barely scraping by.
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    Time to move to Canada. Oh wait, I can't. The Canadian Immigration site is down due to all of the Hillary supporters trying to leave the country.
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    You're forgetting that we have the NHS to pay for. If you have the North American system, then of course health professionals are going to be paid more. As for teachers, yes I agree - they are woefully underpaid. And the result has rather been that you get what you pay for!

    I think you're comparing apples and pears in some circumstances, though I agree with your general point.
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    Fortunately Brexit will solve this problem. It's gonna be yuge you won't believe it folks you'll be making so much money you'll be tired of making money.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    You're forgetting that we have the NHS to pay for. If you have the North American system, then of course health professionals are going to be paid more. As for teachers, yes I agree - they are woefully underpaid. And the result has rather been that you get what you pay for!

    I think you're comparing apples and pears in some circumstances, though I agree with your general point.
    Ontario actually has a universal health care system so..... it's called OHIP and it's government funded
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    (Original post by Orbital Rising)
    Fortunately Brexit will solve this problem. It's gonna be yuge you won't believe it folks you'll be making so much money you'll be tired of making money.
    I have tremendous respect for teachers and doctors. Nobody has more respect for teachers and doctors than I do.
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    (Original post by Axion)
    I have tremendous respect for teachers and doctors. Nobody has more respect for teachers and doctors than I do.
    It's quite insulting that Canada Post workers and nurses/teachers in England make the same wages.
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    Ontario actually has a universal health care system so..... it's called OHIP and it's government funded
    Yes but it's a subscription based model applicable in one province. Not quite the same scale as the NHS!
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Yes but it's a subscription based model applicable in one province. Not quite the same scale as the NHS!
    tbh the NHS is really stupid..why are people who aren't even permanent residents or citizens given the privileges of health care in that country.
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    tbh the NHS is really stupid..why are people who aren't even permanent residents or citizens given the privileges of health care in that country.
    So you don't like the salaries of the jobs here and you don't like the NHS. What do you like about Britain, apart from the education system, obviously.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Yes but it's a subscription based model applicable in one province. Not quite the same scale as the NHS!
    Also all of Canada has universal healthcare.....
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    So you don't like the salaries of the jobs here and you don't like the NHS. What do you like about Britain, apart from the education system, obviously.

    Actually I came here because it is faster for me to obtain my qualifications in England rather than North America...example : becoming a optometrist here takes 8 years in North American and only 3 years in England.

    I like saving myself time
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    Actually I came here because it is faster for me to obtain my qualifications in England rather than North America...example : becoming a optometrist here takes 8 years in North American and only 3 years in England.

    I like saving myself time
    I presume you have to pay international fees for your training? Wasn't that awfully expensive?
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I presume you have to pay international fees for your training? Wasn't that awfully expensive?
    Look at it this way

    undergrad 4 years @ $9000/year + 4 years optom school @ about $11000/yr

    In england you pay £12-13000 a year depending on the program you study.


    In the end to me my time > money. I will definitely make back all the money my program cost because I am doing a professional program which makes on average a substantial amount of money in my home country.


    You can always make the money back but you will never get that wasted time back.
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    You've picked the two areas where the government has specifically targeted and undermined the workforce. Look at relative healthcare spending (bearing in mind wages lag)



    But if you look at how many middle-managers and consultancy firms the NHS uses and see how much they get paid - it will compare much more favourably I assure you.

    (Original post by comebackseason)
    tbh the NHS is really stupid..why are people who aren't even permanent residents or citizens given the privileges of health care in that country.
    They aren't. In fact, we now spend more money on enforcement teams to make sure they do pay than the amount of money they actually end up paying.
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    the teacher figure I struggle to believe..

    Its worth factoring in how badly the exchange rate has become, and its effect on UK wages..

    Currently, 1 pound = 1.69 Canadian dollars

    Meaning for the teacher comparisn, it works out at 51k

    Pre-brexit, the echange rate reached around 2 for a fair while.. meaning it works out at 43k

    Pre-financial crisis the exchange rate reached around 2.3, meaning it works out at 37k

    --- Now taking into account that you are comparing UK averages to one of the higher earning areas in canada - for reference, places like qubec have an average teachers wage at more like 55-60k - this is not a very fair comparison, as the UK has a standerd pay scale for teachers, whereas the wages in canada differ based on location. In the UK, if they could pay more, richer areas like the southwest and london would see drastic rises in payscales to attract the best teachers, where the north would see wages depress even further.

    But forgetting your flawed comparison, even if we take the numbers as fact, what it really shows is not how well paid canada is, but rather how shockingly bad jobs in the UK have become due to the fall in our currency post 2007.
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    the teacher figure I struggle to believe..

    Its worth factoring in how badly the exchange rate has become, and its effect on UK wages..

    Currently, 1 pound = 1.69 Canadian dollars

    Meaning for the teacher comparisn, it works out at 51k

    Pre-brexit, the echange rate reached around 2 for a fair while.. meaning it works out at 43k

    Pre-financial crisis the exchange rate reached around 2.3, meaning it works out at 37k

    --- Now taking into account that you are comparing UK averages to one of the higher earning areas in canada - for reference, places like qubec have an average teachers wage at more like 55-60k - this is not a very fair comparison, as the UK has a standerd pay scale for teachers, whereas the wages in canada differ based on location. In the UK, if they could pay more, richer areas like the southwest and london would see drastic rises in payscales to attract the best teachers, where the north would see wages depress even further.

    But forgetting your flawed comparison, even if we take the numbers as fact, what it really shows is not how well paid canada is, but rather how shockingly bad jobs in the UK have become due to the fall in our currency post 2007.
    55-60k is shockingly higher than most teachers in England regardless.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle6015968/ This article clearly outlines teachers salaries and benefits. Even if the salaries in other parts of Canada are lower, they still are unionized and highly protected professionals across the board. They literally strike at any given opportunity and have the right to do so.

    London has a way higher cost of living than Vancouver or even downtown Toronto...don't deny that.

    Also what about nurses salaries? Nurses in Canada are paid across the board generally the same amount of money, public employees in Canada that make over 100k a year are public information. One of the leading professions on all these lists are Registered Nurses.

    The point I'm trying to make is why are people who are expected to have a university level education in some pretty challenging courses paid so little.

    Albeit in Canada getting into nursing programs is very difficult compared to England but really...
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    tbh the NHS is really stupid..why are people who aren't even permanent residents or citizens given the privileges of health care in that country.
    Because they pay its taxes and overwhelmingly high tution fees.
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    (Original post by comebackseason)
    55-60k is shockingly higher than most teachers in England regardless.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle6015968/ This article clearly outlines teachers salaries and benefits. Even if the salaries in other parts of Canada are lower, they still are unionized and highly protected professionals across the board. They literally strike at any given opportunity and have the right to do so.

    London has a way higher cost of living than Vancouver or even downtown Toronto...don't deny that.

    Also what about nurses salaries? Nurses in Canada are paid across the board generally the same amount of money, public employees in Canada that make over 100k a year are public information. One of the leading professions on all these lists are Registered Nurses.

    The point I'm trying to make is why are people who are expected to have a university level education in some pretty challenging courses paid so little.

    Albeit in Canada getting into nursing programs is very difficult compared to England but really...
    60,000 canadian dollars = 30,000 british pounds, pre-brexit. I would suggest its a stretch to say that is 'shockingly higher' then the UK teachers wage you quoted originally (Which as you will see below, is an incorrect figure and comparison to make)

    I am not disputing that people in england are paid worse then other countries - thats pretty common knowledge.. more so that your wage comparisons are a bit out due to two reasons, 1 - the devaluation of UK currency has caused us to compare badly within the last decade (55 thousand canadain dollars used to be 23 thousand pounds and was a similar amount for most of our recent history, before the financial crisis) This is terrible, but not as incomparably so as it would first appear when you just compare two simple numbers with little context. And the second that your comparing a locaised public sector that is almost being run as a if it were a private sector in one country, with a very depressed public sector another country.

    The UK's public sector has been dire for decades now - and in the UK, all the jobs you listed and wages public sector.

    What you need to always remember though is that our private sector is much more competitive and hugely outperforms the public sector in the UK. Especually under tory goverments..

    Acording to a 2014 report, the average wage for a qualified UK teacher is 38,000 pounds.. (worth noting this is significantly higher then the 23,000 you mentioned earlier, which is only 1k above the baseline, and passed by most teachers easily within their careers). Private schools however report a third of teachers earning between 40-60,000 a year. Both numbers were almost spot on comparisons to your canadian statistics pre-brexit, and have only now became worse due to the fall in our currency.

    All in all its not your point that I take issue with. its spot on, and common knowledge: In the UK, public sector workers are underpaid, especially compared to many other developed countries..

    What I take issue with is your comparisons and use of data, which makes the issue look far more exaggerated then it actually is, and whether it is down to oversight or bias, you have managed to manipulate the numbers to make canada look far better then it actually is. You need to put far more context around the bare bones of the numbers, and understand how both countries work.. then it becomes pretty clear why right now it can look pretty bad for the UK.
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    It's just the way it goes, they have bigger economies and stuff especially the US.

    They work more too, but compare jobs to each other you'll see after factoring exchange rates at the best of times they will still earn more than us on most occasions.

    Someone living in New York would probably laugh at the idea of earning less than $60k but in London the average new grads make like £25k and living costs aren't exactly cheaper lol. If you really want to make money then move to the US, they have nice tax rates too.
 
 
 
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