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Offline mvtiller

Need help with new per diem rules
« on: Dec 09, 2013, 07:08 »
Hi everyone!  I recently received news that the company I work for is going to only pay me per diem for the days worked. I, along with a group of others, stay working almost year round for innage and outage between 2 or 3 plants. They are telling us for the weeks we only work 4 10's we will not receive per diem for fri-sun and they are also not going to pay us travel to and from home each week. This will go on until a month before an outage begins. Then they will resume paying us a full week of per diem (even if we are only working 40's for that month). I'm asking if anyone out there knows if this is legal or if anyone else has had this happen to them. Thanks!

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #1 on: Dec 09, 2013, 09:46 »
It is legal. They decide what you get paid, you decide if you work for them. They don't have to reimburse you for a damm thing. They (the employer) are likely only paid for your expenses the way they are paying it to you - sounds like they got a new contract - in most contracts, perdiem is a "pass thru".
You can still deduct your living expenses for the entire period that you are there, as long as you claim the perdiem you are paid.
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Offline Old HP

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #2 on: Dec 09, 2013, 09:51 »
It sounds like you have to make a choice. Just like in the past (when a utility would not increase their pay or offer returnee pay) you had to either accept what was offered or go someplace where the pay or at least respect level was better. With the "new per diem rates" the utility is essentially saying take it or leave it.
Yet another dilemma in the wonder world of nuke.

Offline Apollo

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #3 on: Dec 09, 2013, 09:55 »
Really ? I would quit and go home and spend time with my family, there are a lot of better companies out there. Any how that's what I would do and have done. If I am told the rate of pay, per diem, hours etc. etc.
etc. and that changes at any time I am there or over my course of employment I leave.
This seems to be happening a lot. Anyhow that's what I would do.

Offline hoghunter

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #4 on: Dec 09, 2013, 10:25 »
OLD HP hit it!! We have to make choices in everyday life not to say we must like them but we have to weigh our options and decide.The loss of diem is mainly a innage issue not outage  Hell I just lost my diem due to not being gone for 8 weeks 4 days short but with unemployment like it is and the fact I gave my word here I am. The days of the Nukes as we knew are slowly coming to a end. hang in there and keep your options open
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Offline 61nomad

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #5 on: Dec 09, 2013, 10:37 »
Innage?  I learn something every day!

surf50

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #6 on: Dec 09, 2013, 10:39 »
Quote
I, along with a group of others, stay working almost year round for innage and outage between 2 or 3 plants.

I wouldn't complain too much. It's unfortunate they've cut the per diem, but you're in a pretty good situation as is.

Offline 61nomad

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #7 on: Dec 09, 2013, 11:04 »
Keep a log book and receipts. Your mileage home and back each week is deductible as is your lodging and food on weekends you don't go home.

Maybe you could just live out of your car in the parking lot at work on the weekends. Do they have hot showers there?  You can hold up a sign that says "part-time homeless". The house people doing your job that get paid a lot more than you do might give you some goodies out of their lunch box.


chuckdhuff

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #8 on: Dec 09, 2013, 01:10 »
Hi everyone!  I recently received news that the company I work for is going to only pay me per diem for the days worked. I, along with a group of others, stay working almost year round for innage and outage between 2 or 3 plants. They are telling us for the weeks we only work 4 10's we will not receive per diem for fri-sun and they are also not going to pay us travel to and from home each week. This will go on until a month before an outage begins. Then they will resume paying us a full week of per diem (even if we are only working 40's for that month). I'm asking if anyone out there knows if this is legal or if anyone else has had this happen to them. Thanks!

There are no laws requiring per diem to be paid, and I have yet to see a bargaining agreement that requires it. In fact the NMA specifically states it is not required. The utility usually dictates what is paid and the eligibility requirements. It is a pass through cost for the employer, but it still shows as revenue. So, it is in their best interest for it to be as high as possible. Your employer is not trying to screw you over, they are just following their contract with the utility. There is talk in the industry that per diem will completely go away in the near future. Every one will have to maintain their expense records and get it back during tax season. It is my understanding that this is already the case at some plants.  In your case, some money is better than no money. If your expense records exceed your per diem received you should be able to deduct it come tax time.
« Last Edit: Dec 09, 2013, 02:10 by ksheed12 »

Offline pjtesqpe

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #9 on: Dec 09, 2013, 04:07 »
Hello,

Per diem is a contractual issue between you and your employer. There is no statutory requirement that you be paid per diem. It assumes that you have a permanent residence at least in most cases at least 50 miles from the job site. This can very by client and site.

Offline joejack45

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #10 on: Dec 09, 2013, 05:38 »
Out of curiosity....if per diem is cut can you quit and file unemployment? 

Offline Apollo


Offline Rennhack

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #12 on: Dec 09, 2013, 07:52 »
Out of curiosity....if per diem is cut can you quit and file unemployment? 

You can always quit.  You can always file.  However, you will be treated like anyone else that quit a job.  Ineligible.

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #13 on: Dec 09, 2013, 08:08 »
What i do and most of my friends do is calculate the amount of money after taxes in the job u have now and other jobs available to you.  Per diem isn't required, it is just another legal vehicle  for employers to reimburse employees.  Basically you got a pay cut, just decide if u want to work for that amount taking into account what is available and how much you like what u are doing right now.

Offline Apollo

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #14 on: Dec 10, 2013, 01:02 »
There are plenty of companies that pay well. Don't settle for less, contracts change, people move around, if you are a good tech, you will get calls. If settle for less its not worth it.

SCMasterchef

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #15 on: Dec 10, 2013, 04:29 »
Per diem is becoming or should I say is a huge deal with many jobs.  As has been said, you can claim your perdiem as unearned income and deduct some of your incurred costs of living but remember you would normally eat at home, you would normally drive to work, and many of these expenses are only partially accepted by the IRS.  You will need to keep very good spreadsheet records of all of your expenses and it is advised that a good accountant who knows the in and outs of the contractor world and understands what per diem means in our business.  The IRS has started looking closely at individuals who receive per diem and still write off expenses incurred.  They look even more closely for those receiving perdiem, claiming perdiem, and writing off the expenses.  So as a veteran of the nearly 30 years of contracting experience choose wisely on the choices you make and tread a slow treadmill if you are trying to skim the tax man.  He bites, even today.

Offline MercTech

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #16 on: Dec 11, 2013, 02:12 »
The 2106 form is your friend...

That is the form you file with your tax return showing expenses, per diem paid, etc.

Now, don't forget other "employee business expenses".  If you buy an outage bag, it goes on the form.  If you buy a lanyard pen for work, it goes on the form.
Clothing can be questioned if it can be worn for casual wear.  But, scrubs for beneath the PCs, safety shoes, prescription safety glasses, etc. are certainly fair game.

The little stuff adds up.

It gets a bit confusing as you have to line out "lodging", "meals" and "other expenses" separately and most people are paid a daily "per diem" for expenses.  The IRS won't give guidance really.  So, I picked a method and stuck with it.  I went to the GSA per diem tables and looked at the percentage break out used by the government for the meals and lodging for the area and split my per diem by the same proportion and call it "meals" and "lodging".  It hasn't been questioned yet.
Steven Jerkins
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Fermi2

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #17 on: Dec 11, 2013, 05:52 »
There are plenty of companies that pay well. Don't settle for less, contracts change, people move around, if you are a good tech, you will get calls. If settle for less its not worth it.


The point being eventually all nukes will head this direction. Less Plants. Same work force...

BetaAnt

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #18 on: Dec 12, 2013, 12:10 »
@Rennhack, If a company is reorganized and lowers the RCT compensation, do you quit or suck it up?  :-\
PD is taxable after a year but living expenses are still deductible provided you maintain a primary residence elsewhere (i.e. pay property taxes and utilities). Some places will give an increase in wages in lieu of paying PD. Others want only locals or dragging people in to become locals.  :-\

Or a company pays an RCT $A/hr and a laborer $A+$2/hr (union scale). Do you quit or suck it up?  :-\

Companies and utilities will continue to step on staff augment radcon and HPTs since we have no where else to work.  :'(

Until an incident or accident occurs (like Fukushima) and a shortage of 'qualified' HPTs occurs, we will be stuck with lower wages.  :'(

We have degenerated to the 1940's when companies flouted radiation safety for a few extra bucks (corporate-speak for cost savings bonus). The DOE is finding out the hard way with thousands of workers diagnosed with radiation induced cancers and other ailments (asbestos and silicosis). But, that is far down the road as some DOE sites settle with surviving family rather than provide treatment and comfort to older weapons complex workers.  :(

I have worked with Ra, Pu, HEU, Np, Am, Be, asbestos, silica dust, HF, and classified chemical processes (MSDS was classified, so much for right-to-know) in the DOE. I have had FP uptakes at commercial plants due to control room and WCC screw-ups (innocent bystander as containment rover). My last chest x-ray showed a spot and I am afraid.   :(

I have warned all the younger techs to get out of the business and do something else. RCT and HPTs are viewed by management to be a nuisance, counter productive, and work hindering. I have stopped numerous jobs due to safety and radiological issues. RPMs are powerless in the operations group (most entities have taken RP out of the QA/QC group and place them into operations). Many operators will over-ride an RP decision due to operational concerns. I was informed by an RP supervisor that industrial safety was not my concern. Now I let the accidents and violations occur at a natural rate (Darwin Law of work place attrition - the stupid will be hurt or fired, I don't see a thing anymore).  :(

I am getting out of this field. After 27 years with DOD, DOE, NRC, USACE, and EPA experience, I am tired of being told, "safety is not your job". It was documented in Fukushima that the workers were pressured into shielding dosimetry to extend their TEDE. It has happened here in the past but, it will occur again in the future. Corporate utilities like to brag about dose goals and THEY DON'T CARE HOW THEY GET THERE. Cut work, cut corners, or dose reconstruction.  :o

To the remaining techs that are trapped, GOOD LUCK.  :D
To the remaining techs that are still mobile, save your soul and escape, now.  :-\
To the young techs out there, change your job. Pipefitters get paid a lot more than an HP, with less grief. And, you can be a plumber in the off season.  ;D

Welcome to AllMart,  O:)

BA  8) 8) 8)

chuckdhuff

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #19 on: Dec 12, 2013, 01:17 »
@Rennhack, If a company is reorganized and lowers the RCT compensation, do you quit or suck it up?  :-\
PD is taxable after a year but living expenses are still deductible provided you maintain a primary residence elsewhere (i.e. pay property taxes and utilities). Some places will give an increase in wages in lieu of paying PD. Others want only locals or dragging people in to become locals.  :-\

Or a company pays an RCT $A/hr and a laborer $A+$2/hr (union scale). Do you quit or suck it up?  :-\

Companies and utilities will continue to step on staff augment radcon and HPTs since we have no where else to work.  :'(

Until an incident or accident occurs (like Fukushima) and a shortage of 'qualified' HPTs occurs, we will be stuck with lower wages.  :'(



Wow, it only took you ~120 words and 5 emoticons to segue into the poor state of the RP/HP lifestyle. It may not be a new record, but it is impressive just the same. ;)

To the young techs out there, change your job. Pipefitters get paid a lot more than an HP, with less grief. And, you can be a plumber in the off season.  ;D

This is a true statement and a good pipefitter/welder can find good work outside the Nuclear Industry as well. If the want to they can pretty well work year round. However, I would never seriously refer to an Industrial Pipefitter as a Plumber. Maybe as a joke, but only if I knew them well enough to speak to them in such a derogatory manner.  [2cents]

Offline retired nuke

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #20 on: Dec 12, 2013, 06:31 »

This is a true statement and a good pipefitter/welder can find good work outside the Nuclear Industry as well. If the want to they can pretty well work year round. However, I would never seriously refer to an Industrial Pipefitter as a Plumber. Maybe as a joke, but only if I knew them well enough to speak to them in such a derogatory manner.  [2cents]

Most licensed plumbers make more than RP techs, work indoors, OT when they want it, and have retirement through union (at least up here in MA). They don't travel, stay fully employed. Friend up the street just went back to plumbing after a couple years with Home Depot while he got his back fixed. Even HD paid him more than most RP techs...
Remember who you love. Remember what is sacred. Remember what is true.
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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #21 on: Dec 12, 2013, 06:33 »
Derogatory?  I wish I made as much money and was as important to a community as some of the top plumbers out there.

Offline 61nomad

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #22 on: Dec 12, 2013, 06:48 »
 Even HD paid him more than most RP techs...

OK HouseDad, I call your bluff on that one!

(Sorry to hijack the thread but it was falling apart anyway)

Offline Rennhack

Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #23 on: Dec 12, 2013, 07:06 »
PD is taxable after a year but living expenses are still deductible provided you maintain a primary residence elsewhere (i.e. pay property taxes and utilities).

The IRS would not agree with that statement.
« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013, 07:07 by Rennhack »

chuckdhuff

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Re: Need help with new per diem rules
« Reply #24 on: Dec 13, 2013, 09:01 »
Most licensed plumbers make more than RP techs, work indoors, OT when they want it, and have retirement through union (at least up here in MA). They don't travel, stay fully employed. Friend up the street just went back to plumbing after a couple years with Home Depot while he got his back fixed. Even HD paid him more than most RP techs...

Derogatory?  I wish I made as much money and was as important to a community as some of the top plumbers out there.

It was mostly tongue in cheek. However, every card carrying industrial pipefitter I know would be offended to be called a plumber. It is a running joke in a split local (plumber/pipefitter). I do not dispute the fact that a plumber makes good money or has steady/important work, because they certainly do. In a split local they make the same money as the pipefitter. The point is, there is a difference between the two and any proud pipefitter would not hesitate to point it out to you if you got the two confused. It also makes a big difference when filling a call for a power plant that is specifically asking for pipefitters.

 


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