This is the increase in the average per diem rate, per hour on the Go4Ellis platform since we launched in Southeastern Pennsylvania in December 2017. $13.01 is also a good starting point for understanding how we approach rates, minimums and the free market.
A question we get often get from Athletic Trainers is, “Why don’t you set a minimum rate?” The question usually stems from an Athletic Trainer seeing a shift on platform with an abysmally low rate.
The primary answer is a legal one. Simply, we can’t. Go4Ellis is a major market leader in per diem athletic training work, and as such we would risk legal consequences if we chose to mandate a minimum hourly rate for per diem work on the platform.
Secondly, and probably more importantly, setting a minimum rate could limit the earning power of athletic trainers. That minimum rate could, in effect, also become the maximum rate. Organizations posting shifts could potentially see no reason to post above the minimum. The reason being, we must have a minimum rate because we know ATs will work for that minimum rate. In the minds of organizations, minimums = total value.
We do not want to put a minimum value on an athletic trainers time, skill, and experience. We want to empower Athletic Trainers to choose the jobs they want at the rates they feel are fair for them.
Behind the scenes, we’re constantly working to educate organizations about both the importance of Athletic Trainers and the necessity of paying ATs an appropriate rate. Most of the time these conversations are successful, however sometimes organizations need to learn this lesson for themselves. When low paying shifts don’t get picked up, the event operator is forced to re-post at a higher rate. However, when a low rate comes on to the platform we educate the event operator on why their shift might not get filled in a given area.
Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t. (And, just FYI, when a low rate is posted we do personally reach out to the organization and suggested they increase the rate to help them get applications for their shift.)
The best way to drive rates up is not to take any job that you feel is undervaluing your services as healthcare professional. This is not the most instantly gratifying, but it is working. Lower paid shifts do not get picked up, higher paid shifts do. What has happened in Pennsylvania can happen every where in the country. We believe the free market will self-correct the undervaluing and underpaying of Athletic Trainers through economic forces in conjunction with education.
Our mission is to dramatically expand the use of athletic trainers across the county; every sideline, everywhere. There are going to be hiccups along the way. We are converting youth sports organizations that have never thought to hire athletic trainers into power users. Many of these people, though, don’t have any idea of what Athletic Trainers actually do or what they are value is.
So far in 2019, athletic trainers have earned $364,000 through the Go4Ellis platform.
We’re working hard to take this movement nationwide and ask for your help and understanding to help us get there.