We recently wrapped up the performance review cycle and I'll be having a meeting in a few weeks with my manager about my performance review and any potential annual raises. Recently, I was switched to remote status and took a ~12% decrease in total compensation and almost puts me at the junior-level compensation. I was wondering if I should be negotiating for a larger than normal (2-4%) raise in order to make up for the remote status pay decrease. I am bit cautious during these tough economic times but the pay decrease may have been a bit drastic as others in my location pay tier are paid more. Promotion raises are likely unrealistic as I was just promoted a few months ago.
I'm really sorry you're going through this time where your pay decreased, possibly disproportionately to others. I think with a situation like this, you really need to think about your leverage. The best leverage is being able to leave, especially with other (higher) offers. It does not sound like this is the case here. Even if it was, internally negotiating often leads to a bad environment and delayed raises later anyway, so most people would advise leaving.
The reasons you cite are valid ones: a pay disparity between you and others and a pay drop due to remote status. Plus, inflation is higher than what you are asking for. However, none of those reasons are reasons that the company would likely increase your raise. They need a reason to that makes sense to their bottom line, which is usually about retaining you. So if you're not ready to leave if they decline your request, I'd say interview around and see what other offers you can get.
If the meeting you have with your manager is for you two to discuss the performance review and raises, it's likely they'll already come in with an HR-approved pay package for the following year. It likely isn't meant for you to negotiate, though you could make them aware of your concerns there and see what they can do or if they can offer a plan for next year's compensation increases. I wouldn't push too hard unless you are actually ready to leave. Interviewing around would be the better bet.
As David mentioned, negotiation is all about leverage (corporations are not charities). When you are currently employed, you have 2 types:
The tricky part about negotiation conversations is that they're an awkward 1-way street. After you bring them up, you will be labeled as a flight risk and be looked at weirdly. Your manager might decide to prioritize you less (e.g. give you less projects of meaty scope) as they don't want to risk further investing into a report who has 1 foot out the door.
If you're going to bring this up without competing offers, make sure that the following are true:
Here's our playlist around negotiation too: [Taro Top 10] Pay Negotiation
Best of luck! Fair pay is obviously an extremely important issue, and I hope you are able to achieve it.
I've been in a similar position, so here are my two cents:
Bringing up pay at the point of a performance review is about 3-6 months too late. Like others have mentioned, your direct report will have little they can do about this pre-approved package. There is no longer room for 'negotiation' unless you have a competing offer or something.
If you have a good relationship with your manager, and you know you are a high performer, you can certainly bring up your concerns. You could make them aware that you want to be 'fairly compensated.' But again, this approach is not really a negotiation, and more a long-term conversation imo. It requires your manager to go to bat on your behalf, really.
At least, that's how internal comp adjustments have worked in my experience. Real negotiations require more leverage and the willingness to walk.