Ubisoft's Canadian studios are raising wages to retain employees

jsilva

Posts: 269   +1
Staff
In brief: To preserve developer talent within its walls, Ubisoft's Canadian studios will be offering pay raises of up to 20 percent to its employees, but the biggest ones are reserved for senior staff. As expected, this is generating controversy, with some claiming that raising the wages of higher-paid employees only results in more inequality.

Ubisoft told Kotaku the increased wages come as competition in the region grows. The first increased payouts should come later this month, but it’s not the only thing they will receive. Besides the pay raise, employees working for the publisher's Canadian studios will be allowed to claim more annual leave and receive more pay while on parental leave. It's unclear if studios based in other countries will receive similar pay raises and benefits.

Sources told the publication most staff will receive 5-7 percent salary increases, but senior employees will get up to a 20 percent bump in pay. Such disparity might cause more inequality among employees. Putting things into perspective, an employee receiving $50,000 annually will get a $2,500-$3,500 increase, and those earning around $100,000 per year will see an extra $20,000 in their bank account.

"By weighting the pay rises enormously in favor of senior staff, management are exacerbating the gap between the highly and low paid workers," wrote the employer group A Better Ubisoft, which is campaigning for better work conditions at the company.

Ubisoft claims the salary adjustment results from the dramatic changes in the Canadian market, leading the company to do its first-ever "mid-year increase." Following this bump in salaries, there will be another one in April 2022, as per usual. The pay raises are just the first out of many initiatives the publisher plans to do to "provide a competitive employer offer."

In the last couple of years, we've seen many new studios opening up in Canada. Some belong to Amazon Games, Tencent's TiMi and Gearbox Entertainment, but there's also a handful who are indie developers. Funny enough, many of these indie studios were created by former Ubisoft veterans.

Ubisoft isn't alone in the fight to retain employees. Eidos, for example, is moving to a 32-hour work week distributed across four days to ensure its employees are happy with their employer. Ubisoft also did something similar, testing out a 36-hour work week during the summer, but despite the publisher stating it was a success, it later claimed it wasn't viable.

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Neatfeatguy

Posts: 641   +1,131
I'm just waiting for the day that a company will pay me to do absolutely nothing while I sit at home or go about my life without having to work.

That'll be the day. Just to be given money for breathing and being alive.....I mean, that is the direction that a lot of people these days seem to believe how it should be. Be given everything for doing nothing in return or being paid top dollar for minimal work.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,962   +1,559
My office needs to do this. Im a Cisco certified network engineer and im getting paid less than some entry level service desk roles in other companies. In fact in the UK ive noticed rates of pay have shot through the roof over the last year. I guess the combined effect of inflation and Brexit.

In the meantime im interviewing, no point waiting around for more money, you have to go and get it!
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,991   +4,780
I'm just waiting for the day that a company will pay me to do absolutely nothing while I sit at home or go about my life without having to work.

That'll be the day. Just to be given money for breathing and being alive.....I mean, that is the direction that a lot of people these days seem to believe how it should be. Be given everything for doing nothing in return or being paid top dollar for minimal work.
People have been vastly underpaid for years. The minimum wage adjusted for inflation should be north of $20 an hour now if it actually kept up. And you cant look at prices today and make the excuse of "well theyd have to raise prices", they're doing that anyway.

What companies are finding out now is that the lockdowns were the straw that broke the cheap labor camel's back, and now they are being forced to shell out decades of raises in less then a year just to get people in the door.
My office needs to do this. Im a Cisco certified network engineer and im getting paid less than some entry level service desk roles in other companies. In fact in the UK ive noticed rates of pay have shot through the roof over the last year. I guess the combined effect of inflation and Brexit.

In the meantime im interviewing, no point waiting around for more money, you have to go and get it!
I'm seeing the same thing, contractors doing less then me are making 4-5$ more per hour. Salary positions like mine are 10-15K more per year.

but they dont get the benefits I do. That's the only thing holding employees where I am, the healthcare plan. But if other companies follow starbucks going to $23 an hour base wage, they're not going to have a choice soon. Adapt or die, that's the rule, and today's employees are not OK with working for peanuts.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,984   +2,328
TechSpot Elite
I'm just waiting for the day that a company will pay me to do absolutely nothing while I sit at home or go about my life without having to work.

That'll be the day. Just to be given money for breathing and being alive.....I mean, that is the direction that a lot of people these days seem to believe how it should be. Be given everything for doing nothing in return or being paid top dollar for minimal work.
This article is talking about giving larger raises to senior staff than the actual talent. What does your post have to do with this article?

In any case, the situation to which you refer already exists. It's called "senior staff" or "executives" who don't work anywhere nearly as hard as the actual developers but get paid far more. Giving the biggest raises to those who need it least is obviously not a good idea.

If I'm already pulling in $100,000 per year, a raise is not likely to be at the top of my priority list because I'm already living VERY comfortably. I'd have to be a psychopathic pig to think that I deserve a raise that is disproportionately larger than the people earning far less than me.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,984   +2,328
TechSpot Elite
People have been vastly underpaid for years. The minimum wage adjusted for inflation should be north of $20 an hour now if it actually kept up. And you cant look at prices today and make the excuse of "well theyd have to raise prices", they're doing that anyway.

What companies are finding out now is that the lockdowns were the straw that broke the cheap labor camel's back, and now they are being forced to shell out decades of raises in less then a year just to get people in the door.

I'm seeing the same thing, contractors doing less then me are making 4-5$ more per hour. Salary positions like mine are 10-15K more per year.

but they dont get the benefits I do. That's the only thing holding employees where I am, the healthcare plan. But if other companies follow starbucks going to $23 an hour base wage, they're not going to have a choice soon. Adapt or die, that's the rule, and today's employees are not OK with working for peanuts.
It's even more egregious when one considers that this is being done in Canada, my hometown specifically. Unlike companies in the USA, companies in Canada do not have to provide healthcare benefits because we already have universal health care. Sure, they might provide dental and prescription insurance, but it's nowhere near as costly as actual health insurance in the USA.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 641   +1,131
People have been vastly underpaid for years. The minimum wage adjusted for inflation should be north of $20 an hour now if it actually kept up. And you cant look at prices today and make the excuse of "well theyd have to raise prices", they're doing that anyway.

What companies are finding out now is that the lockdowns were the straw that broke the cheap labor camel's back, and now they are being forced to shell out decades of raises in less then a year just to get people in the door.

I'm seeing the same thing, contractors doing less then me are making 4-5$ more per hour. Salary positions like mine are 10-15K more per year.

but they dont get the benefits I do. That's the only thing holding employees where I am, the healthcare plan. But if other companies follow starbucks going to $23 an hour base wage, they're not going to have a choice soon. Adapt or die, that's the rule, and today's employees are not OK with working for peanuts.

Prices are going up and pay is slowly going up....it's just a vicious circle that's bubbling. What was once the $1 menu at places will soon be the $2 menu (which is kind of is now), then $3 and $4 and so on.

Then, people will scream they're not getting paid enough and jobs will stagnate, people won't want to work for what will be the new minimum wage. They'll wait until pay increases and while pay is stagnant prices will still rise. Then you're at a $6 menu deal items and pay won't budge, then at $7 menu items....eventually a meal out to eat from a fast food place that cost $5 years before will now run $35 and in the end, no one will be making any more money.

I'm not a high end CEO or manager type person and I don't get paid 6 figures. My pay has, however, increased by around 6% over the past 2 years. I'm getting paid more, but I'm not actually making more. Gas has been up since December of 2020 and keeps ticking up, grocery prices have jumped 20% in the past couple of years. I used to be able to buy $20 jeans at a local Target store, they're now $25.

My point is, no matter how much low/middle class folks get paid, prices will increase and offset the pay increase. Nothing will actually change. What was once $100 will soon be $125 and that 5-15% pay raise you might get isn't going to offset the cost increase of everything.

Yeah! I get paid more! But everything else went up in price.....so I'm not actually making more because I'm spending more......
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,984   +2,328
TechSpot Elite
This won't go over well, especially in Montreal and Quebec City because they're both in the very left-leaning province of Quebec. People in Ontario have attitudes that could be considered similar to Americans and that's true about a lot of English Canada. However in Quebec, the attitudes are far more similar to that of Western Europe because Quebec is French-speaking and isn't subject to the same cultural influence from the USA. People in Quebec are far more intolerant of pay inequality than anywhere else in North America and they have no qualms about showing it. How do I know? Montreal is my hometown and most of my family still lives there so I go there A LOT.

I hope that Ubisoft realises this and changes their minds. Ubisoft is based in France and should understand that Quebec is a lot more like Europe than the rest of Canada. This kind of thing would have a pretty strong backlash in France and so it will also have a similar backlash in Quebec. Just the fact that this is even a story shows this because pay inequality happens all the time in the English parts of the continent and nobody bats an eyelid, let alone writes and article about it.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 1,984   +2,328
TechSpot Elite
Prices are going up and pay is slowly going up....it's just a vicious circle that's bubbling. What was once the $1 menu at places will soon be the $2 menu (which is kind of is now), then $3 and $4 and so on.
Yup. That's the inevitable instability of a capitalist market.
Yeah! I get paid more! But everything else went up in price.....so I'm not actually making more because I'm spending more......
Yep. In a capitalist market, you can get a raise but still be behind because it didn't keep up with inflation. Capitalism is always trying to destroy itself that way. We used to have a healthy capitalist economy because of all the players involved but, like in any competition, someone eventually wins and someone eventually loses which results in market consolidation. I can't think of a single industry that hasn't become at least an oligopoly. Computer parts are a good example of this.

CPUs - AMD, Intel & VIA (Really a Duopoly because VIA isn't for consumers)
GPUs - AMD, Intel & nVidia (Triopoly)
Motherboards - ASUS, ASRock, BioStar, Gigabyte, MSi, Intel (Oligopoly)
Hard Drives - Samsung, Hitachi, Seagate, WD (Oligopoly)
RAM - Samsung, Hynix, Micron (Triopoly)
Semiconductor Manufacturing - TSMC, Samsung GlobalFoundries, Intel (Oligopoly)
Operating Systems - Microsoft, Apple, Linux (Triopoly)

And also, just think of how many airlines that there USED to be compared to today. Pacific-Western, CP Air, Wardair, Canadian Airlines, Pan-Am, TWA, Eastern, etc. are all gone. Those that remain have so much control of the market that they can bend the market to their will, rather than them bending themselves to the will of the market.
 
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