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Thread: How The Big Boys Live?

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    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default How The Big Boys Live?

    Want to know where your NULCA membership money is being spent? How about here: CGA Hotel – Marriott Grande Dunes with Reception – Ocean Club at Grande Dunes

    http://www.commongroundalliance.com/...usePreview=Yes

    Or on the new and improved NULCA website? NULCA

    I just love their Resources page (if I only knew Latin)......

    Where is NULCA representing anything but themselves (owners)? Ask them how many of their Board Members or NULCA representatives are attending this lavish CGA meeting using members money (this is only one of several conferences the CGA hosts each year - all at high dollar resorts too). What exactly do they do at these conferences to promote employee issues and not just the owner's issues? You need to hold this organization accountable if you have ever sent in your hard earned to become a NULCA member. When is the last time any member received a financial report from NULCA? Where is any information on the NULCA website concerning financials, work they are doing for their members, etc? No trying to bash - If they are going to be the voice of the locators we need to hold these "concerned" people acountable for how they spend your membership money and what each of you get in return.

    John Cook
    OneVision
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Hey John, miss you in Va. was nice when my jobs would actually get located or at least theyre would be paint on the ground. what you bveen up to? WHat are you hearing about utiliquest and sn in va? seems like they arent doing so well inthis area but sn might be geeting work in other states. lots of grumbling around here about the monopalies, need to get you back in the game.

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    John you hit the nail on the head. There is NO BENEFIT to me. I paid my dues for many years and received nothing in return.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    So, I used google translate to see what that resource page said..... It was either a genaric meandering text about the website being under construction, or it was a text from the anti-christ..... Still piecing it together.

    On the other hand......it must be nice to go to a resort and stay for the weekend for a 2hour meeting.

    Mke

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Quote Originally Posted by OVUS1 View Post
    Want to know where your NULCA membership money is being spent? How about here: CGA Hotel Marriott Grande Dunes with Reception Ocean Club at Grande Dunes

    http://www.commongroundalliance.com/...usePreview=Yes

    Or on the new and improved NULCA website? NULCA

    I just love their Resources page (if I only knew Latin)......

    Where is NULCA representing anything but themselves (owners)? Ask them how many of their Board Members or NULCA representatives are attending this lavish CGA meeting using members money (this is only one of several conferences the CGA hosts each year - all at high dollar resorts too). What exactly do they do at these conferences to promote employee issues and not just the owner's issues? You need to hold this organization accountable if you have ever sent in your hard earned to become a NULCA member. When is the last time any member received a financial report from NULCA? Where is any information on the NULCA website concerning financials, work they are doing for their members, etc? No trying to bash - If they are going to be the voice of the locators we need to hold these "concerned" people acountable for how they spend your membership money and what each of you get in return.

    John Cook
    OneVision
    Really John? You attended what, one meeting? As I recall, you resigned your Board Seat with NULCA and your membership in the organization where you could have had an impact and could have lobbied against all the things you claim is wrong with NULCA. But, how would you know? One meeting in Atlanta was the sum total of your involvement.

    To be clear, NULCA Board Members do attend the CGA Conference once a year. It is the most appropriate forum for our issues, collectively, individually and corporately. The organizers of the CGA Conference allow NULCA Board Members the opportunity for significant input on conference topics, tracks and panel discussions. They also provide NULCA with exhibit space, AT NO COST TO THE ORGANIZATION. This year, the conference organizers are providing an international NULCA forum, with participants from the NULCA organizations in the US, Australia/New Zealand, Canada and South Africa with meeting space, panel discussions and Q&A forums all AT NO COST TO THE ORGANIZATION.

    NULCA does have one paid employee, our Executive Director Ron Peterson. The Board Members serve on a volunteer basis without compensation. The organization does cover the travel costs of the Executive Director, but you might be surprised at how many times the hotel cost is comp'ed by the show organizers in order to help us minimize costs and ensure our participation. We have our ED participate in other conferences like NUCA, NASTT and APWA where all provide NULCA with free exhibit space and comp'ed or reduced price accommodations.

    The CGA Conference is being held this coming year in West Palm Beach, Florida in March 2013. The previous CGA Conference was held in March 2012 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas. The The Common Ground Alliance Education/MMC Committee, One Call Systems International (OCSI), Best Practices Committee, Technology Committee, Data Reporting & Evaluation Committee (DIRT) and CGA Board meeting will be held in Myrtle Beach, SC. November 13, through 15, 2012. Note there is nothing in that list that says NULCA. Everyone can link to the CGA meeting page for confirmation here. Will NULCA have representatives in attendance? Yes, and we absolutely should since this is the organization that creates the Best Practices and DIRT reports that we in the industry have to deal with. With the exception of our ED, the cost of attending these functions is borne by the individual member companies. I personally attend each of the CGA Conferences on my nickle...my flights, my hotel stays my meals, rental cars...all on me.

    I will give you the beef with our website. In an effort to conserve funds, we hired a web developer to redesign the NULCA website at a price that was too good to be true. So that we are very clear...prior to the new site, one of the Board Member's company was hosting, maintaining and updating the website at NO COST TO NULCA...after hosting and maintaining the site for two plus years, that company asked to have someone else take over those duties. The Board elected to contract it and solicited bids. We went with the low bidder and, as evidenced by the website itself, it is much less than desired.

    Now, if any of you NULCA members want to attend a Board Meeting, come on in. We hold them twice a year in person and four times a year via web/teleconference. The two face to face meetings are in March at the CGA Conference and in August at the Locate Rodeo...funny, both times in places where you might expect to find a lot of locators...I wonder why that is??? Members are welcome to attend. John is not...he is not a member and was very vocal regarding his resignation from the Board and the Organization.

    So John, if you want to spew hatred and untruths, you might want to chose a target who cannot refute your comments and one that cannot disprove your false statements.

    So, if the rest of you want TRUTHFUL information, please hit me up. I am happy to discuss.

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    Senior Member headcipher's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    So... I know I asked this a year or two ago, but what is NULCA doing for locators?

    GWJ I know that you have a first rate firm and take care of your guys, but what about the rest of the industry?

    Why should a locator have to drop $$$ to be able to attend a NULCA meeting?

    It would make sense to have a totally open meeting occasionally and show potential members what benefits there are.

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Quote Originally Posted by headcipher View Post
    So... I know I asked this a year or two ago, but what is NULCA doing for locators?

    GWJ I know that you have a first rate firm and take care of your guys, but what about the rest of the industry?

    Why should a locator have to drop $$$ to be able to attend a NULCA meeting?

    It would make sense to have a totally open meeting occasionally and show potential members what benefits there are.
    Cipher, I will agree that it is difficult to plainly see what NULCA is doing for the individual locator. Let me try to explain;

    1. NULCA as an organization created the Locator Training Standards by which nearly every locator is trained.
    2. NULCA has worked with schools like Southside Virginia Community College to sponsor and develop an accredited locator training program that offers college credits for completion.
    3. NULCA has worked with other organizations, like Dekalb Technical College to foster locator training opportunities.
    4. NULCA is a significant financial and support partner in the International Locator Rodeo each year in Atlanta. Many of the judges, event leaders and support staff for the rodeo are NULCA Board Members. Our Executive Director has been Master Judge for the last several years.
    5. NULCA has a veto seat on the CGA best practices committee, making sure that half-baked ideas do not become "best practice" that locators will have to deal with in the field.
    6. NULCA tracks legislation throughout the US that can or may affect the locate industry in general and the locators that work throughout the industry. We lobby for good legislation and rail against bad.

    These things may not seem like they directly affect the rank and file locator, but they do. It may be difficult to see just how, but you would certainly know if we weren't there.

    Let me address some statements made here in this forum; NULCA is not a "Big Boys" Club. The majority of Board members are reps of smaller "Mom & Pop" companies. Our Board President, Christopher Koch, owns Hance Utility Services, a "Mom & Pop" locate company. Christopher works in the field every day, locating. Skip McIntosh owns Safe Site, Inc. a "Mom & Pop" locate company, Dan Bradley owns Safe Site LLC, another "Mom & Pop" company (different from Skip's company). I run a 50 employee locate/SUE firm, Marc Levesque runs On Target Utility Services; a 180 employee company, Cheryl Blackburn owns Connective Solutions Inc. , another "Mom & Pop" locate ticket management firm, our ED Ron Peterson owns Utility Consulting Professionals, a small locate company and Ron locates quite often himself. Yes, four (4) of our Board Members are from the big companies, USIC, Utiliquest, Premier, ELM, but they have the same vote weight as I or Skip or Dan has. The balance of our board members are manufacturers related to the industry, paint, electronics, vacuum equipment...

    Contrary to the false statements presented by OVUS, we do not lounge around at expensive resorts and decide how to screw the little guy or anything like that. We have looked many times at ways to get more individual locators involved. At the Locate Rodeo we held a forum for locators only with only Ron Peterson in attendance so that locators could speak freely about their issues without concern that they "boss" would hear their opinions. We are implementing a individual locator membership tier at $25 per year. From this group of locators, we want a spokesperson t emerge who will become the locator's rep to the Board of Directors. We are looking at ways of facilitating the ability for the group elected spokesperson to attend the BOD meetings without a personal impact, without losing paid time at work and without fear of reprisal for speaking up about issues that confront locators everyday.

    As for the need to be a member to attend...well you can look at that from a couple of viewpoints. When a company holds a shareholder meeting, only registered shareholders can attend. It is a way to ensure that attendees have a vested interest in what is going on, what is being discussed and what may be resolved. Attendees without a vested interest could just decide to cause trouble, wreak havoc and be disruptive as they have nothing to lose, no skin in the game.

    You want to be heard? Speak up. I carry what I learn here with me when I discuss locator topics at our meetings and I advocate for involvement from rank and file locators. Our Locate Rodeo open forum for locators is a great example. I championed that idea and I will continue to champion the idea of locator involvement with our BOD, from the inside. I will not stand around from the outside and throw lies and insults and stir the pot in hopes of getting locators into a frenzy over nothing.

    Hit me up. If you have questions, I will have or I will get you answers regarding NULCA.

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    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Hmmmm... where to start.....

    First off Greg, you don't know me well enough to make many of the personal comments you made in your well-scripted response. I was locating South Central Bell cable in Mississippi and taking threats from the CWA when you were nothing more than a gleam in your Daddy's eye son - be careful who you preach to. Want to do a little one-on-one rodeo and see where the skills are? Name the time and place. A few years ago I challenged other owners to step up and show the employees what owners could do by competing in the actual locate rodeo here in Atlanta - don't remember you signing up Greg. You want the truth - I don't think you can handle the truth...

    As for some of the things you listed about that NULCA has done, let's clear that up.

    1. NULCA as an organization created the Locator Training Standards by which nearly every locator is trained.

    Yes, that's right. A set of standards that no company has the time or money to follow every single step. As a matter of fact, most companies have their own training programs that might have some similarities to the NULCA Standard but do not follow those standards to the letter. Those same standards have been written into dig laws in several states now and HAVE BEEN USED TO FINE LOCATING COMPANIES for non-compliance. After NULCA created those standards they took a break - about a ten year break - and did very little else during that time.

    2. NULCA has worked with schools like Southside Virginia Community College to sponsor and develop an accredited locator training program that offers college credits for completion.

    Hey Greg, did you know I actually started that process and turned it over to NULCA so they would get off their ass and do something? Probably didn't know that did you - ask Shane Ayers with the Virgina SCC how that all got started up there. NULCA sat on their ass for a while on that project too. Where does it stand today?


    3. NULCA has worked with other organizations, like Dekalb Technical College to foster locator training opportunities.

    Isn't that program no longer offered? Didn't they discontinue that one due to no involvement from students or sponsors? One of my former employees Father actually help write and create the curriculum for that program so not sure how that one is a notch in the NULCA belt.

    4. NULCA is a significant financial and support partner in the International Locator Rodeo each year in Atlanta. Many of the judges, event leaders and support staff for the rodeo are NULCA Board Members. Our Executive Director has been Master Judge for the last several years.

    The Rodeo has become such a financial bust they have been saying they are going to discontinue it for a couple of years now. Georgia UPC has been running the show and it has gone quite a bit downhill from when Tim Boatfield, Jay Middleton, Mike Marrero, and a couple other former OneVision/Burkeen employees invented/ran it many years ago.

    5. NULCA has a veto seat on the CGA best practices committee, making sure that half-baked ideas do not become "best practice" that locators will have to deal with in the field.

    Who sits in that seat Greg? Last I heard it was Jamal from UtiliQuest - why isn't one of those many "mom & pops" holding that important and very, very powerful seat? Jamal does not and never has spoken for me in anything that he has done. Maybe he speaks for you? Who else has held that seat besides Jamal?

    6. NULCA tracks legislation throughout the US that can or may affect the locate industry in general and the locators that work throughout the industry. We lobby for good legislation and rail against bad.

    Rail against bad only when it affects employee production or increases the liability of the locating company. Why isn't NULCA lobbying for more time to do the impossible with perfect expectations? Getting dark on the east coast around 5:30pm these days - barely got 8 lit hours to get 3-4-5 way locates done with the expectation of 100% perfection or else.....Where is the voice of the common locator demanding 72/90/114 working hours to get our work done? What "good" legislation has NULCA lobbied for - specifics please. You tend to paint a picture with a broad brush - try filling in the canvas with a smidge of detail please.

    My posting was to urge the employees and members to hold NULCA accountable - not to spew hate? or untruths? I don't hate NULCA, I just want the organization to be transparent and accountable if they are going to tout themselves as the "voice of the locators" and take money from their own employees. NULCA stands for National Utility Locating Contractors Association, so it is an organization that represents the Locating Contractors - not the locating employees. You and others want to be puppets on a string I completely understand. Buck the system in this industry and you go from "innie" to "outie" in a flash. I gave up a $15,000,000 contract to keep my integrity Greg. The utility we were working for came up with contract language requiring us to pothole all suspect locates, to not include records issues in any damage investigation, and to increase our liability by taking on more of the operators responsibility. I HAD THE MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT IN MY HAND GREG, but could not sign it. I was sick and tired of giving in, of compromising mine and my employees integrity, of taking on more work and liability for less money, so I declined the contract and stepped aside. No worries though, there were plenty of whores in line behind me that sold out long ago and snapped that contract right up. I came to NULCA when another locating company actually engaged in sabotage during a transition and what did NULCA do? Not a damn thing. Why? Well, let's just say that the company in question wasn't being run by a mom & pop and was a top tier donator to NULCA. NULCA's own transition standards prohibit any such behavior but NULCA did nothing - and I was a paid member and a Board member at that time. Damn right I resigned - it took almost two months of daily bathing to feel clean again.....

    I did resign from NULCA after I finally realized what the organization really represented - and it certainly doesn't represent the voice of the locator. They couldn't account for a lot of money from a previous Director, were spending money on going to some really nice locations for lavish conferences, and basically were just a front for other agendas. The website they have now speaks volumes Greg - they spent other peoples money and that is what they got in return? A crappy website that does nothing and a poor excuse from their poster child? Did NULCA have a contract with the designer? Doesn't NULCA have an attorney? Isn't there some legal way to compel the site designer to complete his/her work? Or is it easier to just make an excuse to those that paid in to NULCA and throw up your hands? That is not who I want speaking for me that's for sure.

    I want a bulldog, a doberman, a friggin pit bull to represent my voice. I'm tired of being kicked to the side and abused for my talent, dedication, and hard work. I'm tired of having no life, of having my family suffer, of being potentially fired for no reason hanging over my head every day. I'm tired of going out every morning and fighting records issues, easement issues, placement issues, and getting bitched out because I can't do 30 4-way locates with 100% perfection in 48 measly working hours. I'm tired of having to work off the clock to keep my job, of a red light looking at me, or getting bitched out for idle time on 100 degree days to keep cool and on 20 degree days to try and keep warm. I'm tired of people looking over my shoulder that have no concept of what I do, tired of utility operators criticising my work when they couldn't locate a tooth in their own mouth, tired of trying to better myself only to be fired the minute I give notice I'm moving on. NULCA wants to be the voice of the locators - seems to be a conflict of interest to me. If NULCA fought for any of the things I mentioned above it would impact the owners - wait, didn't you say that the owners make up the bulk of the NULCA Board? Hmmmm.....what a dilemma. If I do the right thing as an owner through NULCA I screw myself...

    NAAAAAHHHH, bartender, how about another round of Mohito's for us big boys?

    My name is John Cook, and I approve this message.
    Job Applicant: What does this job pay?
    Employer: I'm going to pay you just what you are worth!
    Job Applicant: I don't think I can work for that......

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    Premium Conservative OVUS1's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    I also find your closing remarks very revealing in your post. Here are your own words Greg:

    I will not stand around from the outside and throw lies and insults and stir the pot in hopes of getting locators into a frenzy over nothing.

    I'm not on the outside, outside of what? Outside of NULCA? So if you are outside of NULCA you have no voice?? Throwing lies and insults? You know words have zero power until you give them power, right? If anything was taken as an insult then it must have come close to the bullseye? As for lies, it's easy to call something a lie if we simply don't want to believe another opinion or another truth.

    But the part about getting locators in a frenzy over nothing - I guess you need to define "nothing". So by that statement you must believe that current working conditions are acceptable, that current pay standards, benefits, advancement opportunities INDUSTRY WIDE are acceptable, that anything a locator bitches about by your own choice of words is "nothing". Hmmmm.........Have you really taken the time to read the many posts on this forum Greg, and yet your own words are that what many, many, MANY are bitching about is "nothing"?

    I've always prided myself in first impressions. My first impression of you was radically different than the Greg I see here on this forum. But it appears you are in the process of climbing a ladder, and it also appears that my first impression trackrecord might be in real jeopardy. Be careful on that ladder Greg and don't look down, the sharks are circling.....
    Job Applicant: What does this job pay?
    Employer: I'm going to pay you just what you are worth!
    Job Applicant: I don't think I can work for that......

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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Boardmember?
    I thought Cheryl left CSI about a year ago?

    Cheryl Blackburn owns Connective Solutions Inc. , another "Mom & Pop" locate ticket management firm,

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    Mke
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    I don't want to get inbetween this, and I know i'm just a wierd west coaster that paints in the rain, but I've talked to staking university and they told me that most of the classes, except the ones on campus are graded on attendence and not knowledge?

    How do they expect to better the industry by certifying locators solely on weather our fat arses can fill a chair?


    As for the meetings...... they are a bit pricey. I've tried to go for two years and my company gives me a budget of 1500 bucks and I still can't attend. Or if I can, I can't go to any of the pay seminars because they are an additional 500-600 bucks.

    I really think the Industry needs a governing board.... unfortunately I don't think it should be an existing one.

    Mke

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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Yes Mikey .... You are a weird west coaster/dodge car player lol!

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    well .....I know a bit more about the NULCA ....that I didn't know yesterday .....Thanks guys ! I can see real passion from both sides ! just a dumb coon-ass from Louisiana but I have a feeling that both of yous is right . ...
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    I am not really interested in getting between John and Greg's little sword fight but I do have some questions and such. I checked out the NULCA website but I do not think I saw a mission statement. I am not sure about the rest of the one call centers but here in WI and in IL ours seem not to have much teeth. from contractor's abusing the system to entire property stuff. I estimate about 60% of what I mark is wasted time. If you have three large contracting firm, one call centers and utility companies why haven't your board done anything? You say you set training standard but I have seen training posted on here being from 3 days to 5 weeks. If it is standards someone isn't following them or they are just guidelines? What has this board done for locators in the last 3 years? you would like locator presence their but what locator is going to do if they are employed by one of those firms on your board. Three entities that intertwine with locators but I do not see where they would put the interests of a locator ahead of theirs unless it is to protect them from a lawsuit.

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    Senior Member Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Default Re: How The Big Boys Live?

    Quote Originally Posted by paintitnow View Post
    I am not really interested in getting between John and Greg's little sword fight but I do have some questions and such. I checked out the NULCA website but I do not think I saw a mission statement. I am not sure about the rest of the one call centers but here in WI and in IL ours seem not to have much teeth. from contractor's abusing the system to entire property stuff. I estimate about 60% of what I mark is wasted time. If you have three large contracting firm, one call centers and utility companies why haven't your board done anything? You say you set training standard but I have seen training posted on here being from 3 days to 5 weeks. If it is standards someone isn't following them or they are just guidelines? What has this board done for locators in the last 3 years? you would like locator presence their but what locator is going to do if they are employed by one of those firms on your board. Three entities that intertwine with locators but I do not see where they would put the interests of a locator ahead of theirs unless it is to protect them from a lawsuit.
    Well said. I spent about five minutes looking them over several years back, and I couldn't get a warm vibe from them at all. If they really had any reputation of results, we would all wind up there eventually, as part of becoming a well rounded locator. They sound more like a small chunk of the problem, rather than a solution.

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