Hi Karen. Even though I did not weigh-in on your first question, I’d like to give an opinion on your 2d question above. I think that if your employer is prepared to give an overnight $5 per hour increase (which represents a 25% increase in what you have been making) that this may be something that you might want to consider taking. Albeit this may not be what you are asking for, but it seems to represent a “good faith” attempt by the employer. Is the $25/class within the range of pay for other indoor cycling instructors at other facilities? Also, as a negotiation tactic you may want to 1. accept the rate the employer is offering ($25 per class) and say something like “when your class begins to consistently have more participants” (say 15) you’d like to revisit your rate and bring it up to the $27 level. That way, you’re creating a win-win for each of you.
I hope that this helps.