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Thread: How much do you make an hour??

  1. #31
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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    that is so true but keeping up with who is starting where is a challenge to say the least . This site and all those who post here is the best resource to find the start ups . And also a good gauge of what most companies are like.

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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    The recession, already called the Great Recession by some, has done damge to our industry. Notice I said industry, not the locators' paycheck. Sure the paychecks are too small bnut that is additional.

    Many firms are taking in raw noobies at $12 or $13 and hour which is about what to expect for someone with no locate experience. But this money brings in experience the level of kitchen help, janitorial service, cashiers, etc. It is seldom enough to attract people with background in utilities. Those with utility background are for reasons I will explain only going to be here until work in their area of expertise picks up again.

    There are a number of firms I am aware of where people come in raw and then two and three years later are still at start pay. They have become good locators and are good, reliable employees. But paid start wages or just a few cents above start wage. Higher management thinks that with the recession they do not have anywhere else to go, and they are right. You can bet these people are highly resentful of management and feel that they are being cheated out of their money. This comes back in lower production as they will not work at full capacity. Come back also with theft as they feel they are just getting what is rightfully theirs. And if they resign and are offered more money to stay that will only confirm to them that their employer had known they were worth more and had cheating them. They also expect this will now be their wage until they resign again because that is the standard set by management. The offer of higher wage to stay may only reinforce the feeling that it is time to go.

    The idea of offering low wages and thinking the recession allows this is faulty. Also it is really nothing more than the old 'warm bodies' idea of staffing.

    If the economy turns around I think the firms that have practiced this will be hurting by losing the experienced locators they depend on.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Pro your point valid on most points. There are always employees where resent comes in and production and justification for theft comes to mind to offset what they are deserved. Unfortunately for a lot of companies the preach something and then contradict themselves with their actions. Up north a locator was working for sm&p and covering their area. The guy next to her either gets fired or quits. During that period, we see it all the time as locators on either side begin to cover a bigger area until they staff it. If it is in the middle or near then end of dig season they will wait until next year. then the company sees it is being cover with less personnel and do not mind paying the locators 100-200 hr of OT because it is cheaper. Company saves 30K with wages, medical and taxes. No training or equipment cost. My friend has gotten fed on things and has thought or threaten quitting. Although not looking for a raise they have thrown more money at him to stay.

    We have seen it with USIC, use the excuse it is a leading trend when changing or taking away a benefit. When I grew up that never worked with my parents. Me "But mom everyone is doing it." Mom "If johnny jumps off a bridge it doesn't mean you have to jump off the bridge". Funny thing if an employer does something no other employer does to benefits their employees you do not see other employers follow that trend. It took the threat of a union in IL and all of a sudden good old mikey was giving things back. Although the union got voted down, but actually did their job in getting this for the employees. Not making this union thread just my opinion.

    Usic and other companies cry we are broke or poor so we can not give you the raises and such you deserve. When a company buys another company or gets a contract where they have no staffing doesn't this require money to buy the another company or staff a new state? I have seen it a lot a guy threatens to quit and all of a sudden there appears to be enough cash to give them a raise. USIC needs help in FL, GA, NC, SD and all of a sudden they have money to pay you to drive to that state, Give you a bonus to go there. Pay you per diem, even pay you for the drive time there. Do they have a money tree in the courtyards of the crystal towers

    Sm&p use to pay $10.75 hr to start in IL a decade ago. In 2006 when the housing market was crushing it taco bell and mcd's starting pay in Chicago area was $9-10 hr. People where not applying or leaving for these jobs because less stress and less BS. Sm&p had to up their starting pay. When it became usic, In 2008 Cls starting pay was $13.95 When they merge. Usic bumped people up to that starting wage that had less than a year as sm&p. With times tough you see it in their raises because they know most will not leave.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    PL is right. we are treated like unskilled workers. I unfortunately don't think there will be a natural progression to higher wages. Once the Recession is over, our pay won't magically rise. Our wage is locked in. The reason the company will pay for OT or for Sending help to a different state is because it comes from a different fold in the pocket book. No matter what, a locator has to be productive. Aside from the 2.5 tickets an hour. The comopany has an additional fund to send people to help different areas and that does not effect the production numbers. If you however have to give raises, that will deminish the over moola in the production pit and since the contracts are already super low, there really is very little room to manuver the wages.

    So, as a major contract locating company, what you aim for is "adequacy". Experience costs. You don't want too many experienced locators (too many chiefs and not enough indians is never a good thing). You want a couple vets in the field to help guide. Everyone else you want to pay the least ammount possible. If they don't want to work you can always go to the local gas station and hire someone else. As for the supes and DM's you don't want anyone who will stand up for higher wages for the workers. You want someone who will be greatful for the couple bucks more an hour and will be able to break the bad news to the rest of the workers. In other words, Toe the company line. (This is in no way to slight the people in this position, Rule #1 for being employed is to protect your paycheck, I do not fault you for toeing the line. That is exactly what pays the bills)

    With this system in place, you are not going to get any improvement in wages except the small instances when you need to bribe a worker to stay for another buck an hour.

    If it sounds bleak, its because it is.

    mke
    UULC, Wingfoot and second notice like this.

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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    PL is right. we are treated like unskilled workers. I unfortunately don't think there will be a natural progression to higher wages. Once the Recession is over, our pay won't magically rise. Our wage is locked in. The reason the company will pay for OT or for Sending help to a different state is because it comes from a different fold in the pocket book. No matter what, a locator has to be productive. Aside from the 2.5 tickets an hour. The comopany has an additional fund to send people to help different areas and that does not effect the production numbers. If you however have to give raises, that will deminish the over moola in the production pit and since the contracts are already super low, there really is very little room to manuver the wages.

    So, as a major contract locating company, what you aim for is "adequacy". Experience costs. You don't want too many experienced locators (too many chiefs and not enough indians is never a good thing). You want a couple vets in the field to help guide. Everyone else you want to pay the least ammount possible. If they don't want to work you can always go to the local gas station and hire someone else. As for the supes and DM's you don't want anyone who will stand up for higher wages for the workers. You want someone who will be greatful for the couple bucks more an hour and will be able to break the bad news to the rest of the workers. In other words, Toe the company line. (This is in no way to slight the people in this position, Rule #1 for being employed is to protect your paycheck, I do not fault you for toeing the line. That is exactly what pays the bills)

    With this system in place, you are not going to get any improvement in wages except the small instances when you need to bribe a worker to stay for another buck an hour.

    If it sounds bleak, its because it is.

    mke
    Paying higher wages and benefits keeps experienced techs with the firm and keeps morale up making the work go smoother. Evert supervisor and area manager wants this as it makes their job easier. Also this will boost their pay and benefits as well, they want higher pay and benefits for locators. Every supervisor and manager is pushing for raises but the decision is made at the highest levels and sups and managers are as ignored as much as locators.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    Paying higher wages and benefits keeps experienced techs with the firm and keeps morale up making the work go smoother. Evert supervisor and area manager wants this as it makes their job easier. Also this will boost their pay and benefits as well, they want higher pay and benefits for locators. Every supervisor and manager is pushing for raises but the decision is made at the highest levels and sups and managers are as ignored as much as locators.
    I agree with you that the managers and sups requests are ignored, but I will still argue with you about most of the managers and sups fighting for higher wages.

    I just don't see it. I didn't see it when I was with those companies, and I don't see it when I talk to the Sups and managers now.

    I know you are a sup, and I don't aim my comments towards the ones who are fighting for the locator, but you can't tell me that most are fighting for the locator. If they were their would be an advancement in wages or at minimum a retention of veteran locators. Neither of which are really happening.

    Also, no matter what you pay experienced techs, if you don't staff the areas properly, nothing will run smoothly no matter how hard you try. You can cusion the blow, but you can not stop the punch.

    mke
    daman1 likes this.

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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    I wish.....after they took all our bonus and raises away when they sold us....I'm stuck at 13.90 with 4 years experience. Plus a sup with no locate experience at all who likes to F his team any chance he gets.
    I guess I've been lucky.17 years in and never had to deal with a supervisor with no experience. Heck, I've actually never met one. How does this happen?

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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by utiliquesternomo View Post
    I guess I've been lucky.17 years in and never had to deal with a supervisor with no experience. Heck, I've actually never met one. How does this happen?
    The short answer is it happens where the corporate culture believes that management experience or training in management is superior to hands on knowledge of the company's' work.

    One very real case I can illustrate this is used by Utiliquest. They hire a college grad on a fast track program. The prospect comes to the comnpany and is given orientation. Then they are sent out as a noobie locator where they spend a month or so riding with an experienced locator and in formal class. Then they spend a few weeks marking on their own. At no time does their performance as a locator jeopardize their job, they have to be familiar with the work, not expert at it.

    The next step is an assistant job to the various managers where from they are gong to jobs like supervisor or even second in command of an office. From here they advance further.

    Even worse than the fast track college grad program is the idea that a supervisor is a supervisor no matter what field of work they came from. So someone who supervised the cleaning staff at a resort hotel is better qualified to supervise locators than an experienced and expert locator.

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    Default Re: How much do you make an hour??

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessionalLocator View Post
    The short answer is it happens where the corporate culture believes that management experience or training in management is superior to hands on knowledge of the company's' work.

    One very real case I can illustrate this is used by Utiliquest. They hire a college grad on a fast track program. The prospect comes to the comnpany and is given orientation. Then they are sent out as a noobie locator where they spend a month or so riding with an experienced locator and in formal class. Then they spend a few weeks marking on their own. At no time does their performance as a locator jeopardize their job, they have to be familiar with the work, not expert at it.

    The next step is an assistant job to the various managers where from they are gong to jobs like supervisor or even second in command of an office. From here they advance further.

    Even worse than the fast track college grad program is the idea that a supervisor is a supervisor no matter what field of work they came from. So someone who supervised the cleaning staff at a resort hotel is better qualified to supervise locators than an experienced and expert locator.
    \

    Tried to add two paragraphs. But we only have ten minutes, including editing time, to make changes to a post.\

    Another problem is firms often fail to promote from within becasue they have failed to retain enough experienced locators. They have a few experienced top of the line locators and the rest are adequate hangers on and noobies. So if they make their good locators supervisors they do not have anyone to actually do the work. Failure to prepare for loss of supervisors, be it normal attrition - additional contracts requiring more supervisors for more locators or expanding to new geographic area, is a serious problem.

    Plus they must have desirable locators willing to take the supervisor job which due to low pay and long hours they often do not. Take a supervisor salary. If they work for 60 hours a week, which is common, that is the equivalent to 70 hours pay for a hourly rated locator. Divide the weekly pay by that 70+ hours a week and supervisors make as much or less than a noobie with no experience. So finding a good locator willing to take a $5,000, $10,000 or more a year pay cut and work more hours is difficult. So accepting a supervisor with no locate experience is their only alternative. But not really their only alternative. They could increase pay and benefits of supervisors. Also for the previous paragraph increase pay and benefits for locators to develop a pool of supervisor candidates. I do not know of anyplace this is being done. I hope to find such a place.
    UULC likes this.

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