Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 28 of 28
Like Tree23Likes

Thread: USIC and All These New Contracts

  1. #16
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,943
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    134

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    Piece work will never work . it only speeds up the greed process !
    I work on piece work. I don't do my locates any differently than if I were on hourly. I could say that I'm much more efficient in my routing and how I approach a locate. But, as far as the quality of my work. I haven't had a damage in quite a while. I'm thinking over 2 years now.

    I'm guessing when you say it speeds up the greed process that you mean locators will bang out as many tickets as possible while letting the quality of work suffer. I can see that happening, but, in my case I also have to pay for my own damages. That means ALL damages. My largest bill so far has been $9,000. My insurance picked that one up. If they didn't pay it I would have. I also realize that my insurance company won't keep picking up the tab on these damages. I've only claimed that one damage and have paid others up to about $500 or $600 out of my own pocket. That really puts the stops to the greed factor.

    I've been on piece work for 5 or 6 years now and wouldn't have it any other way.

    Another plus to piece work vs. hourly is the company knows they won't lose out by paying lazy locators an hourly wage while the locator knows that they can come out ahead if they put a little hustle in their bustle. If it is structured properly, everyone wins.
    FieldTech561 likes this.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  2. #17
    Mke
    Mke is offline
    Senior Member Mke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Republic of Washington
    Posts
    1,536
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    34
    Rep Power
    77

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Steve, I understand your stance, but you are treated more like an independant contractor then an employee. You give the piece rate option to a big company and they will pervert it like everything else. Can you imagine doing piece work if you didn't route your own tickets? Or if you were not able to orginize your work load appropriately? Big companies will still want you to follow company proceedures while performing piece work.

    The only saving grace would be that they would push to qualify everyone as independant contractors and would demand them to carry their own liability insurance and charge them for individual damages. Since this is a huge liability for the company, they may relax on the other company policies if the workers would personally accept the liability on the damages.

    I for one believe that you should have the best of both worlds. Treated like an employee who is in control of their own work responsiblities, but have the backing of a large corporation in the rare instance an "at-fault" damage would happen. There are certian companies out there who bill the locating companies first knowing that they tend not to fight to hard. I would hate to be paying lawyer fees, taking time off, paying for an arbitrator, etc.. all because Qwest automatically sends a bill to all parties in a damage no matter who is at fault.

    Just saying

    (Back story- On one of our large summer projects, the crew was grading in a field and caught an old abandoned 900pr Qwest telephone cable. During the design phase, we had the Qwest field engineer out and he verified that this cable was abandoned and can be removed. Two days after the grading crew uncovered the 900pr the buisness nearest the cable (1500' away) lost service. The Qwest tech came out and was trying to find the fault in the cable. He talked to a laborer who pointed to the pile of rainbow roots in the spoil pile and the tech proceeded to blame the outage on that cable. We were billed 15,000 bucks, as well as the Locating company and the excavating company. The $15,000 covered 4 Qwest techs on the emergency rate for 2 days tracking down a service fault to a service line that wasn't effected by the 900pr. The Excavating company and the locating company were let off the hook for reasons unknown to me. We however were left holding the bag. We had emails from the qwest field engineer stating that the line was abandoned. We had journals from the inspectors stating that the cable was damaged 2 days before the buisness was out of service. We had our IT department track the fault and splice to a cable in a manhole over 2000' away from the damaged 900pr. Qwest was still looking for someone to pay for the Field technicians time. It finally went to arbitration where the arbitrator told Qwest that they had no proof that the two incidents were connected and qwest's main argument was that they were never notified that the 900pr was damaged and that they were only trying to get back the money for the techs time on site verifying the 900pr was abandoned.

    From start to finish, from damage to the end of the arbitration was over a year. The arbitration and depositions took over a month and was settled with both sides paying each other the same ammount of money.

    In situations like this, which are not uncommon, it would be nice to have the backing of a corporation.)
    superman likes this.

  3. #18
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,943
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    134

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    You are right on all points Mke. I am actually, for tax purposes, an independent contractor. I pay for everything. My own transportation, repairs, gas, insurance... etc. And I still come out ahead of when I used to locate as an employee. Way ahead. Because of this I get the majority of the ticket price. I don't know what the percentage is I just know the amount... and I'm really even guessing that I am getting the majority. I know I used to but the contract has been renegotiated so I don't know the details of what I get verses the ticket price.

    I get total freedom in all aspects of my job. My boss doesn't bother me or question me about how I do my job unless an issue comes up. If there is a damage and it is not my fault he has my back. If it came down to a legal matter I also believe he will have my back to a point. After all, I am an independent contractor and I know this. I also know what that means for me. I am an LLC under the name "City Locating". So on and so forth. All he asks from me is to never lie to him and get my tickets done on time. We also work as a team. I'm willing to go anywhere he needs me to at anytime of the day or night he needs me to because I know he is willing to do the same.

    Bottom line is this. If locate companies treated their employees like I am treated and paid, this would be a high demand job. People would be clamoring to be locators.

    I believe I have the best of both worlds.... Well, when we figure out how to locate from a warm building then I would have the best of both worlds.
    FieldTech561 likes this.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  4. #19
    Mke
    Mke is offline
    Senior Member Mke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Republic of Washington
    Posts
    1,536
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    34
    Rep Power
    77

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    .... Well, when we figure out how to locate from a warm building then I would have the best of both worlds.
    So.... I won't tell you that i've only located once in the past 2 weeks and i've been stuck in my office going over design prints. Unfortunately I only have this to stare at through the office window
    window.jpg

    Mke
    Nb22x likes this.

  5. #20
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    3,910
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    167

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    yes Steve that is exactly what I meant. thanks for that clarification. I agree with what you guys said both times . I am happy for you Steve and I hope that way of locating continues to work for you up that way.
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  6. #21
    Senior Member The Big-E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tampa
    Posts
    247
    Years of Experience
    10
    Rep Power
    19

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    If it is structured properly, everyone wins.
    These are the "key" words here in a piece-rate system whether you are an independent contractor like Steve or an employee of a company.
    When I located for CUS in Illinois where I first started out, I went on piece-rate and loved it because it was structured properly. But I had fair and uncorrupted supervisor and District manager to work under also.

  7. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    around the corner
    Posts
    548
    Years of Experience
    21
    Rep Power
    30

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Same here big e when I worked piece rate at cus I made huge money. We had 2 or 3 way areas fair footage rules and as you said fair supes. Every locator had a certain area no cherry picking I would love to go back to that system, the nice thing was you never had to beg for help I would have 3 or 4 guys call every day asking if I needed help.
    .
    yahoo likes this.

  8. #23
    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    2,943
    Years of Experience
    16
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    134

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    My first piece work job in locating was with STS. We went from hourly to piece work because they were hoping it would help the bottom line. According to our manager it pulled us out of the financial hole we were in. Then, as I understand it, STS saw the money we were making at piece work and the numbers we were putting up and they thought we should go back to hourly cause they wouldn't pay us as much but we should still put up the same numbers. Well, in theory that is fine but the simple facts are, you get what you pay for. STS paid good money for piece work and people wanted more tickets to make more money, so they were now getting what they paid for. When we went back to hourly nobody wanted to bust their ass for the pay so STS was now getting, again, what they paid for.
    yahoo and FMSkid like this.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

  9. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    us
    Posts
    4
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    they might have 4800 today but 156 will quit tomorrow
    union_YES and Nb22x like this.

  10. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    everywhere
    Posts
    15
    Rep Power
    4

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    I have noticed in the last few weeks that i know that usic has 4 locators in my area . Not a big area and they only do doubles . Do they have this much over kill in all areas ?
    And if they do how they staying afloat . I know what these guys are making and they aint cheap .
    Any thoughts ?

  11. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    around the corner
    Posts
    548
    Years of Experience
    21
    Rep Power
    30

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    They have WAY more than 4800 last I heard was just over 6000

  12. #27
    Senior Member ProfessionalLocator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,312
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    102

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    My first piece work job in locating was with STS. We went from hourly to piece work because they were hoping it would help the bottom line. According to our manager it pulled us out of the financial hole we were in. Then, as I understand it, STS saw the money we were making at piece work and the numbers we were putting up and they thought we should go back to hourly cause they wouldn't pay us as much but we should still put up the same numbers. Well, in theory that is fine but the simple facts are, you get what you pay for. STS paid good money for piece work and people wanted more tickets to make more money, so they were now getting what they paid for. When we went back to hourly nobody wanted to bust their ass for the pay so STS was now getting, again, what they paid for.
    Yes, STS and Utiliquest are really the same firm, their corporate office addresses are the same. I was working at Utiliquest when their piece work was called Pay For Performance. Our hourly production rate was tallied by the month and pay adjusted quarterly. At the same time was a very good damage free bonus. We often would come in one the weekend and do a long job and close it out Monday. Although we did not get overtime if we did this, the company never ordered this, we felt it was fair as next quarter it was made up in a higher pay rate. Often worked a 9 hour day and recorded 8 on our time sheet for the same reason.

    They began chipping away on PFP a little bit at a time. One locator noticed his production rate for the month was a little low. They had, without telling us, added our oncall hours in with our regular production time artificially reducing our production rate. Latter the numbers were off even more and found out that they put or scheduled vacation hours into our production time. The response , I kid you not, when this was challenged was "you should have come in on your days off and done tickets".

    Then they dropped PFP altogether thinking production levels would remain high, they didn't.

    The damage free bonus they just eliminated. After all they said, not every locator got a damage free bonus so it could not possibly be effective.

    They repeated an old story and tried to gut the goose that laid their golden eggs.

  13. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    815
    Years of Experience
    11.75 yrs
    Rep Power
    41

    Default Re: USIC and All These New Contracts

    I just heard from my friend that Mike Stayton is going to retire.going to stay on board of directors until june 2015.
    yahoo likes this.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •