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Thread: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

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    Member The Marlboro Man's Avatar
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    Default USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Are any of the other veterans sick and tired of the noobs getting hired in at $3-$4 less than you? I mean when in the hell is this going to change? I've got 15+ yrs of locating all the major utilities (gas, electric, copper, tv, and fiber). The noobs come in off the street with no kind of clue about this trade and start out at $13-$14 an hour. Then after only 18 months most are only at a couple dollars less than a 10-15 yr vet. What the hell? I mean, Me and my fellow vets have pretty much made a career out of this skilled trade of locating and I'm getting very fed up with the bullshit. I'm just pissed that I know I can locate circles around any noobie and get no respect for it.

    Mr. Stayton has said that they want to get the new hires up to par with pay before they compinsate the veterans, but we all know that's a crock of shit. Nothing against you noobies, it's great that you guys are getting treated well. When is it going to be our turn? We just feel like we're up shit creek without a paddle. Nothing we can do about it.
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by The Marlboro Man View Post
    Are any of the other veterans sick and tired of the noobs getting hired in at $3-$4 less than you? I mean when in the hell is this going to change? I've got 15+ yrs of locating all the major utilities (gas, electric, copper, tv, and fiber). The noobs come in off the street with no kind of clue about this trade and start out at $13-$14 an hour. Then after only 18 months most are only at a couple dollars less than a 10-15 yr vet. What the hell? I mean, Me and my fellow vets have pretty much made a career out of this skilled trade of locating and I'm getting very fed up with the bullshit. I'm just pissed that I know I can locate circles around any noobie and get no respect for it.

    Mr. Stayton has said that they want to get the new hires up to par with pay before they compinsate the veterans, but we all know that's a crock of shit. Nothing against you noobies, it's great that you guys are getting treated well. When is it going to be our turn? We just feel like we're up shit creek without a paddle. Nothing we can do about it.
    Amen Brother!!!
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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    you noobs starting off making that much an hour .....well.....guess you don't need my help ! good luck !
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    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by The Marlboro Man View Post
    Are any of the other veterans sick and tired of the noobs getting hired in at $3-$4 less than you? I mean when in the hell is this going to change? I've got 15+ yrs of locating all the major utilities (gas, electric, copper, tv, and fiber). The noobs come in off the street with no kind of clue about this trade and start out at $13-$14 an hour. Then after only 18 months most are only at a couple dollars less than a 10-15 yr vet. What the hell? I mean, Me and my fellow vets have pretty much made a career out of this skilled trade of locating and I'm getting very fed up with the bullshit. I'm just pissed that I know I can locate circles around any noobie and get no respect for it.

    Mr. Stayton has said that they want to get the new hires up to par with pay before they compinsate the veterans, but we all know that's a crock of shit. Nothing against you noobies, it's great that you guys are getting treated well. When is it going to be our turn? We just feel like we're up shit creek without a paddle. Nothing we can do about it.
    I think Wisconsin starting wage is $13.50,when I left IL they were $13.95 which was what CLS was paying before the merger. A girl with one year in was protected by her supervisor (her best friend) and she was making more than me. Had a guy about to be fired by sm&p and went over to CLS. When we merged he was making almost $5 more than me with half the years in and not as good locator. I left when I knew I would never catch up to his salary, and other stuff.

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    Senior Member Turk182's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    And yet you refuse to organize, you really have no one to blame except yourselves.

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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    And yet you refuse to organize, you really have no one to blame except yourselves.
    I totally agree Turk. When you have no leverage to use against a company like USIC, and they know it, it will NEVER get any better. Why do you think every time management hears of a possible union organization that they try to stop it. They have the leverage, or in USIC's case they have the iron hand against their employees.

    I left because my district manager promised me a raise after 1 year. When that year came and went I reminded him and my immediate supervisor of my raise promise. Lo and behold there wasn't any recollection of talk about my raise. Imagine that. Shady management= shady practices= bad work environment= revolving door of employees.
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    How bout those union phone techs !?!?

    that's the way you do it...

    maybe get a little blister on their finger...

    that's the way you do it...

    let me tell ya them guys aint dumb...
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Nothing new, at one place I was a two year tech making 50 cents an hour more than a new hire.

    It works like this; They pay the minimum amount needed to get a new hire to sign on. They pay the minimum amount needed to get the current techs to stay.

    As long as people leave without putting on their resignation that pay is an issue it stays this way. The head office is run by office people and office people believe their paperwork. They are not going to listen to their supervisors and manager have to say.

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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    maybe with Synergy one in the mix you guys can use that as leverage to get raises. There has been quite a few people that worked for USIC that are now with Synergy one, grouping together is your only chance against the office people.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by Turk182 View Post
    And yet you refuse to organize, you really have no one to blame except yourselves.
    It's kinda hard to organize an industry that isn't "skilled" or easily replaceable as locators are. Before we do the million locator march on Washington, we should think long and hard about how to properly elevate the stature of the locator where the skills we bring to the table are actually worth something.

    Just my two thoughts

    Mke
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    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman View Post
    I totally agree Turk. When you have no leverage to use against a company like USIC, and they know it, it will NEVER get any better. Why do you think every time management hears of a possible union organization that they try to stop it. They have the leverage, or in USIC's case they have the iron hand against their employees.

    I left because my district manager promised me a raise after 1 year. When that year came and went I reminded him and my immediate supervisor of my raise promise. Lo and behold there wasn't any recollection of talk about my raise. Imagine that. Shady management= shady practices= bad work environment= revolving door of employees.
    There are lots of benefits to a union. I know, I was in the IBEW 1393 for a few years as a locator with Reliant Services. I was working there before the union came in and remember all the purks they got us. First off my pay went from $12.00 to $14.75. On-call went from $35 to $50. Anything over 8 hrs was time & 1/2. We got a $100 boot allowance on the first paycheck of the year for new boots. If you worked over 6 hrs you got paid for 8.hrs. During the winter, they had to inform you before 9:00 p.m the previous night if there was not enough work for you the next day. If they did not, then you got paid for 2 hrs. They had a level scale for all locators. New hire, level 1, level 2, level 3. You had to have in 4 1/2 years to be eligible for level 3 which was a top pay of $16.50 at the time. That doesn't sound like much of a top pay, but that was over 10 years ago. That's what I liked, all level 3's made the same amount. You didn't have locators all over the place with rate of pay. It didn't matter if Joe Blow was the bosses buddy, he would not be able to make more then you.

    And before you anti-union dudes tell me that going union will brake a company or force them to sell, I dont think so. Not a company as big as USIC. I've seen their revenue's. They're doing just fine.
    Last edited by superman; September 9th, 2013 at 12:17 AM.
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    Mke
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Kal-el, I'm anti-starting a union without the proper ground work. As of Right now, there is so much turn over in the industry, I don't see how a Union is going to get a foot hold. You can say that the IBEW is established and would back us, but realisticly, they are not a locating union. Locators are usually attached to the IBEW because of the Utility connection. This is usually pushed by the local union of a local utility in order to get some control over these positions. Back in the day the Locating position was used as either a "new hire training" position or a "on the way out the door" pre-retirement position for their linemen.

    Due to the narrow scope of concern by the Union (The tend to care about having representation on a paticular utility, not neccessarily for locating other utilities i.e. water)

    I'm glad to see Reliant with Representation, question is... Do they still have it?

    It's not about the Locating company "breaking". It is solely about what the utilities are willing to pay for the service. Why would you pay a company $50 a locate when there is a company willing to take $14 a locate? If a locate company is forced to up its benefits due to union involvement, they will do so. Up untill the contract renews. Then the contract will have to reflect any benefit increases. These increases usually will elevate the bid price and successfully put them out of the running.

    Life is all about the "shell game". The one running the game gets the money.....unfortunately we are the Pea under the shell.

    mke
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    I have been part of unions in other professions. Unions have there good and there bad. But it does create a level playing field for all. You get a set paid grade levels. you get set vacation levels. you get most times better insurance levels. But it will not work if you try to do one company. Like Mke said, the utilities will just award the contract to another contractor. The only way you can beat this is to have a closed shop, all locators nation wide across all companies. to do so you would have to set up a union such as the players union for professional sports. No I dont mean their union but one like theirs is done. Different owners but all one union. Can this be done. YES. Would it be hard to do. YES. Would there be a benefit to it. YES in the locate industry. Will everyone like it. NO. I am not preaching here for a union or no union. Hell I am not in the locate field anymore so it dont really matter to me. But I have seen where it will help the biggest part of the industry. But dont let anyone tell you it cant be done because it can but IT WILL BE HARD. Remember one thing. If you get a union, DONT CRY THE UNION DONE THIS OR THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE THE UNION. You decide what you want and who you want by a vote. Again, I am not a locator any more and not a union promoter. You need to decide if you do or do not want one or leave the subject alone and stop crying about how a company treats you.

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    Senior Member superman's Avatar
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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by Mke View Post
    I'm glad to see Reliant with Representation, question is... Do they still have it? mke
    Reliant was swallowed up by SM&P back in the mid 2000's.

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    Default Re: USIC Noobies vs Veteran Pay Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by retired View Post
    I have been part of unions in other professions. Unions have there good and there bad. But it does create a level playing field for all. You get a set paid grade levels. you get set vacation levels. you get most times better insurance levels. But it will not work if you try to do one company. Like Mke said, the utilities will just award the contract to another contractor. The only way you can beat this is to have a closed shop, all locators nation wide across all companies. to do so you would have to set up a union such as the players union for professional sports. No I dont mean their union but one like theirs is done. Different owners but all one union. Can this be done. YES. Would it be hard to do. YES. Would there be a benefit to it. YES in the locate industry. Will everyone like it. NO. I am not preaching here for a union or no union. Hell I am not in the locate field anymore so it dont really matter to me. But I have seen where it will help the biggest part of the industry. But dont let anyone tell you it cant be done because it can but IT WILL BE HARD. Remember one thing. If you get a union, DONT CRY THE UNION DONE THIS OR THAT BECAUSE YOU ARE THE UNION. You decide what you want and who you want by a vote. Again, I am not a locator any more and not a union promoter. You need to decide if you do or do not want one or leave the subject alone and stop crying about how a company treats you.
    Retired, you bring up some really great point of views. I aggree with a players type union. All locating companies in the same union, (just different owners). I believe that would be the best case senerio to resolving some of the issues we locators all have. I mean, think about it. Do you realize what the unions do for the sports players in this country? Do you really think that without a union, the owners would pay their players millions upon milloins of dollars? Do you know that the players have bonuses set up in their contracts? If they hit certain numbers (points, touchdowns, homeruns, etc) they get a bonus. These are things we are missing out on. If we hit the numbers that a union would help set for us, then we should get compinsated for it. Do you really think the the electric linemens would be getting over $40.00 hr if it weren't for their unions? Do you really think the owners of the gas companies would be paying their workers what they do without the pipe fitters union? I feel that utility locating is just as important as those jobs.

    We as a united team of locators are all out here day-in day-out dealing with peoples lives and only making a little more then half as much as the local gas station attendant. Think about that. Since we are all mostly non-union, all the locating companies have done is take-take-take and blame it on the economy. We dont even get an at aboy anymore. The days of getting on-call pay, bonuses, etc. are gone unless we band together and do something about it. I dont understand why we have so many locators against a union. We are losing out on so much.

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