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Thread: newb/piece rate bs

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    Default newb/piece rate bs

    i am new to the locating biz and was wondering who tha jacas was who invented piece rate!!!!! i was doing fine withe hourly pay and then i my 90th day these jerks go to piece rate system that everybody hates nobody can make money at, especially during the winter months and there are people trying to damage out so they can collect unemployment!! totally unethical!

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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    Quote Originally Posted by splattr View Post
    i am new to the locating biz and was wondering who tha jacas was who invented piece rate!!!!! i was doing fine withe hourly pay and then i my 90th day these jerks go to piece rate system that everybody hates nobody can make money at, especially during the winter months and there are people trying to damage out so they can collect unemployment!! totally unethical!
    Piece rate has had several forms so details of how it is being used is needed.

    Piece work is part of a much maligned system called PFP, Pay For Performance.

    PFP is disliked by many of the utilities that contract with locating firms. It encourages those employees who are so inclined to falsify their manifests to indicate tickets completed that have not actually been done in order to get more money. Some locators rush through marking and do a poor job. The problem here is that when the locator gets paid for work not performed so does the locate firm. Some of these firms have been less than diligent supervising their employees whether just due to a poor management team or that they know they are getting money from this and turn a blind eye.

    I worked in a PFP system and did very well, got a good production record and marked all my tickets properly. PFP is a powerful employee motivator but must be properly supervised. When an employee goes out and does a lot of work in a short time their productivity results in greater profits in the same time period for the company. What PFP does is reward the employee who does well with a share of the extra profits and those that do not turn out good productivity are accordingly paid less.

    Now by piece work do you mean x dollars per ticket times tickets per day? That is straight piece work and if you are required to remain in your work area after the work is completed it may not by law be legal. As I understand piece work you report to your job location and the company has the pieces of work to give you. When the company runs out of pieces you go home. If the company requires you to remain at the work location they have to pay you.

    A common way PFP worked was by period adjustments, what you are paid hourly in the current period is determined by your productivity the previous period. Commonly these periods can be monthly, quarterly, bi annually or yearly.

    On PFP your productivity during the slack months, usually winter, were down and your hourly rate in summer was lower. But in summer you got many more tickets and often extensive overtime. When winter came overtime disappeared but you got a higher hourly rate based on your summertime work load. Using this system many locators would work after hours and not report it as overtime. This got their rates up and when winter came they had a higher hourly rate. This gave the company the advantage of better budgeting as they watching these production figures plan the next periods pay expenses. Not with 100% accuracy but it was there plus overtime payments, which are really almost impossible to accurately forecast, are eliminated. Seemed to be the best of both worlds for all party's. Still someone upstream had to have looked and stated the famous "that's too much to pay a locator" and altered the pay scale. I am sure that person was scratching their head the next period wondering where all the overtime suddenly came from.

    PFP exists in some form in most firms but as far as I know due to bad press simply call it by another name.

    So how is your system set up?

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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    I get payed per ticket. No hourly here. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Sounds like the piece work system you are in has some kind of restrictions that prevent you from making money.

    I'm completely unrestricted. If I get 40 tickets in a day (I wish) and complete them on that day. I get paid my per ticket rate x 40. If I carry some over, fine, they go on the next days ticket count.

    The only true piece rate system I know of is you get a flat rate per ticket. No BS involved.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    You must just cringe when you get a 5 mile long road widening project and you are on piece rate.

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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    I get payed per ticket. No hourly here. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Sounds like the piece work system you are in has some kind of restrictions that prevent you from making money.

    I'm completely unrestricted. If I get 40 tickets in a day (I wish) and complete them on that day. I get paid my per ticket rate x 40. If I carry some over, fine, they go on the next days ticket count.

    The only true piece rate system I know of is you get a flat rate per ticket. No BS involved.
    So when you complete your tickets and the 8 hours for the day are not up you get to go home?

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    First off... I made an error. I get paid per locate, not per ticket. I only said per ticket because the majority of the tickets are single locates. I get 1 locate per hook-up point. However, if the locate goes quick and I have 2 hook-up points, I'll still charge for a single. We don't really want to put ourselves up to scrutiny by the utility company. Not that we are doing anything wrong, but the less they suspect us for gouging, the less chance they will put our contract up for bid. So, that having been said, a mile long ticket might give me 5 - 15 locates depending on the area. The longer the ticket, the happier I am. I may gripe and grumble about it but in the end I make more money.

    If I finish early I go home. The boss doesn't really want me to call him up and bug him about my whereabouts so I just head for home. I am on call til 5 though in case something comes up.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Default Re: newb/piece rate bs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    First off... I made an error. I get paid per locate, not per ticket. I only said per ticket because the majority of the tickets are single locates. I get 1 locate per hook-up point. However, if the locate goes quick and I have 2 hook-up points, I'll still charge for a single. We don't really want to put ourselves up to scrutiny by the utility company. Not that we are doing anything wrong, but the less they suspect us for gouging, the less chance they will put our contract up for bid. So, that having been said, a mile long ticket might give me 5 - 15 locates depending on the area. The longer the ticket, the happier I am. I may gripe and grumble about it but in the end I make more money.

    If I finish early I go home. The boss doesn't really want me to call him up and bug him about my whereabouts so I just head for home. I am on call til 5 though in case something comes up.
    Sounds like a decent deal.

    In Maryland the call before you dig laws allow government entities to charge a fee per ticket. I know at least Anne Arundel County Water and Sewer charges a fee of up to $35.00 per ticket and $15.00 per remark for each ticket. As a result contractors calling in tickets in AA County make them as long a possible. I have seen tickets there five miles long. Unless the locating contract calls for a footage fee it is all one locate.

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