I was usually reasonably well paid most of the time, largely because I was not prepared to accept less. This meant that I have worked for a great many companies. As a result I soon found that so many of my workmates were so involved and happy in their job that they seldom queried their pay increases. Engineering is a very satisfying profession, but Engineers obviously need help to do what I did for myself. I always took trouble to find out how much I was worth to my company which made salary negotiation real. If the company did not like it I left! In many cases I was then offered a better increase. My standard response was that if I had to put my job on the line every year to get what I was worth, I was working for the wrong company.
If you don’t have the desire to risk this approach – JOIN A UNION. I recommend UKAPE.