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ex-turbine_cowboy

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #25 on: Nov 12, 2003, 12:42 »
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 I don't know how it was for y'all to go from junior to senior, but from what I hear most of the techs who made the transition "back in the day" you had already established a relationship with contracting companies, utilities, and other techs.  It is kinda hard to do that when all you are as a junior now is a warm body biding their time.


Let me see if I can recall back that far.  The companies I worked with counted the days and weeks to make up my time.  It took me from March of 1980 to August of 1982 to get in my 24 working months.  Then I worked as a senior until July 1997.  Then I was a Project Support Engineer until June of 2002. Then I kicked back and Read Nukeworker every day until today.  Then I saw this thread on the famous Strike of 1990 and puked all over again. By the way in 1989 when Brucie Boy gave every body a dollar to please them I went to Rockie Flats - JS the site coordinator was to busy messing with everybodies wives and lives.

Iffin ya can't take the heat the git out of the drywell.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #26 on: Nov 12, 2003, 01:07 »
iffen ya can't hold out fer better pay, hold out fer a better job, better site, better hours.... the pay will come.
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RAD-GHOST

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #27 on: Nov 12, 2003, 02:24 »
 I isn't a sin to say, " NO "!  18.1 is 4,000 hours and 3.1 is 6,000 hours, what else is there?  New Seniors may be selling themselves short!  If a company feeds you some sort of story, on your limited qualifications, tell them thanks and move on!  Of course the contract companies are going to offer you less, it's happened to all of us, that is business!  If you except less, that is also your business!  But in todays world, Cheap is for Keeps!  If they can buy you once for under market wages, you'll always be offered below market wages!

 If nobody commits to a job, sooner or later, they'll raise the rate!  You would be surprised how much an 18.1 could earn hourly, if they just said NO a couple of times!  Funny thing, every plant I've been to, never limits the amount of work a new senior can do, just the wages!

Offline Rennhack

Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #28 on: Nov 12, 2003, 02:59 »
Quote
Cheap is for Keeps!  If they can buy you once for under market wages, you'll always be offered below market wages!


Amen.  When I was first inthe buisness, I NEEDED the experience.  I worked mostly with bartlett, and they kept me working.  They also paid me as little as they could (Thats good buisness).  I accepted the jobs, because I needed the time.  Once I bacame a Sr, I no longer accepted those jobs.  Make a little rule for your self.  Require that you make more money each job.  And look for the job the pays more, even if it is on the other side of the country. (Count per diem into the equation).

Once I quit accepting low paying jobs, they quit calling me with the low paying job offers.  Think of it from their point of view.  

Lets say:

1:  They have a guy that bids contracts,some are bid high, some are bid low.
2:  Then you have another guy that staffs the contracts.  He has one job for $15/hr and one for $30/hr.  
3:  You also have two guys that need jobs, and one always turns down low paying jobs, and one guy that takes any job offered to him.  -- Can you guess who gets which job?

JassenB

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #29 on: Nov 12, 2003, 04:20 »
I find this to be an interesting thread, since it reminds me of the similar situation that framers and finish carpenters find themselves in, especially with having to go from builder to builder to find work and the wages constantly varying.

Since this appears to be the common theme, what should I be holding out for in terms of wage in order to help the industry out? I realize this discussion applies more to the Senior HP folks, and I will be a brand new jr hp doing my first outages this coming spring, so this may not be of much matter to most of you.


Offline Rennhack

Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #30 on: Nov 12, 2003, 04:30 »
Quote
I find this to be an interesting thread, since it reminds me of the similar situation that framers and finish carpenters find themselves in, especially with having to go from builder to builder to find work and the wages constantly varying.

Since this appears to be the common theme, what should I be holding out for in terms of wage in order to help the industry out? I realize this discussion applies more to the Senior HP folks, and I will be a brand new jr hp doing my first outages this coming spring, so this may not be of much matter to most of you.


As a junior, you should be looking for the longer jobs, so you can get the time,and the back-to-back-to-back jobs.  Take any job as a junior that pays enough to cover your bills.  -- Work your butt off, and make a name for yourself.  That way, when you DO have the time, you CAN demand top dollar.  The Control Point ranger types, with no reputation have to take those low paying jobs, but you don't need to.  When you get to the outage, go to the shift supervisor with a smile on your face, and a gleem in your eye.  Tell them you are willing to work your butt off, and want to learn, learn, learn!  I'll bet you a hundred bucks that you get all of the quality work experience you can handle.  
« Last Edit: Feb 17, 2006, 11:55 by Rennhack »

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #31 on: Nov 14, 2003, 01:52 »
  Like I said in a prior posting, an 18.1 is 4000 Hours!  A 3.1 is 6000 Hours!  The pays the same, no matter where you play cards, or what you do during the outage!  The only thing that seperates the Dweebs from the real techs, is the amount of satisfaction you get from doing a good job!  
 The utilities and contract companies don't give a rats Arse!  Bodies, simply Bodies!  It's kind of a nice thing to know, even with a labotomy, you still have a 100 percent chance of a good hit, five months a year!

Offline PWHoppe

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #32 on: Nov 15, 2003, 07:27 »
This thread has taken on a subtle but significant turn. Now we are talking about co-employment issues (good techs vs bad techs) we all remember getting black listed at plants because of being politically incorrect or not partying with the right folks. However because of these issues resumes typically no longer have names on them. This is a double edged sword for the person staffing the outage. I was the geek tasked with bringing in the techs for many years, the drill was the site coordinator would bring me resumes and I would check them for experience. I could rubber stamp many of them based on name alone because I knew the quality of the technician, in many many cases, I would wave senior entrance exam scores because I knew the technicians ability but also knew they were a little light in the theory area. Maybe not ethical but I wanted the techs at my outages that would be there every day, could cover a job, and knew what was what when the rubber hits the road. I would also help them buff up their skills in the area of theory. I learned long ago not everyone in this business had the benefit of formal training and as such were unaware of the fine points, but they were willing to work hard and put in the time. I digress

After the no-name resume phase it came down to a bean counter thing...so someone who had a lot of time hiding in the break trailer because they were the site coordinators girlfriend/boyfriend or party buddy got in while a tech who has been out covering work and doing their best to really learn got left out....doesn't seem fair does it?

I give up, I don't have an easy solution because I also realize there are too many jerkweeds reviewing resumes willing to screw over a good tech  for telling a joke that goes against their personal point of view.

'nuff said....pat now climbs off his flimsy soap box...sorry
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RAD-GHOST

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #33 on: Nov 15, 2003, 03:19 »
  Yes I agree, this thread has been twisted just a bit, but like any conversation it flows with input!  It started with reference to the strike of the 90's and techs unhappy with their present wages.  Now it seems like the kids are just getting testy!

  I also served in staffing positions many times in the past.  I also had the privelage of picking who I wanted, when they were available.  Most of the time I would communicate with the techs directly via telephone and wait for the resume to arrive!  You can't do that today!  It's like your neighbors, you can't pick them, you just have to live with whoever moves in!  

  I will also dedicate my time to helping those who wish to be helped, but their hard to come by.  Lots of newbies already know everything and everyone.  Funny, the first questions asked, by most of the newbies is, " How much time do you have"?  I guess it's some sort of way of establishing the pecking order!  Hell, I've seen three year techs with a twenty page resume.  I think they now hire based on paper weight and creative writing!  I can't tell you how many times, in the last four years, I've heard the same old saying from management, " They're a new senior, keep an eye on them"! It has come to the point where they can send whoever they want.  We may be assigned to the same area, but that doesn't mean I have to work with them!  I may sound a little bitter, but I'll give everybody a chance, I just don't give second ones any longer! I think they deem this, " A Personality Conflict"!

Pat, stay on the soap box!  It's good input and the way business was and should be again!

drdvv

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #34 on: Nov 15, 2003, 05:30 »
I just stumbled on to this post and thought it interesting. Up until last year I worked for a utility and may have run into to some of you. I have been an RCT/RPT, supervisor, Rad Engineer, and a trainer. So I can speak with some experience.

Becoming a Union is not always the best route, but it may be the only route.

Although I have not read all of the messages in this thread has anybody looked into seeing what the negatives of being in a union are?

They are also subject to favoritism. Seniority rules so if you have a Senior who is a good guy or a bad guy who can get the best jobs just because of seniority, then what?

I spent twelve and a half years in the union and it certainly guaranteed me set wages and benefits, but on a personal level leaves very little room for personal or professional growth. That is when I opted to go to management. Point is this, being in a union may not be all it is cracked up to be.

But then the given the current situation, it may be the best thing going.

You have to ask yourself what it is you want from a union, where will it help and where is it going to hurt?

And most importantly that it takes time to put it together. Do you have to go on strike to get a union? I wouldn't think so but I don’t know. Will it mean training and who will pay for it?
Do you have people who are willing to commit themselves to putting this together and are the rest willing to support the efforts financially? Who will pay for the travel of the committee, how is the committee put together, getting a union lawyer, and what will go into the union doctrine?

Will you model existing unions or will you create brand new to fit this community, or a combination of both?
What will the union dues be? Will you have to be part of an existing parent organization?
The bottom line here is it worth it.

Whatever you decide know this, if you are going to pursue something like this do it as professionals not as loose cannons that the contract companies will quickly label you as. There is certainly a lot of potential and an idea whose time may be near. But is it what you really want.

I don't think the contracting companies want this it would put them put of businesses since isn't this what business agents from unions do?

Good luck

David

Offline DJ@BHIenegry

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #35 on: Nov 16, 2003, 02:35 »
Why don't you guys pick a plant the pays the least. Tell everyone that plant is off limits till it raises it pay. Do this one by one to each of the low ball plants intill they raise there pay. You should get some results. Sure you'll get local people going to a plant that you pick. But would you really go to a plant knowing that it might only be staffed at 50% for an outage. So Someone pick a low paying plant. Then get the word out. This site is the perfect for getting the word out. JMHO DJ
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alphadude

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #36 on: Nov 17, 2003, 10:26 »
as for performance evaluations-there are several metrics that may be readily used however the adminstration is only as good as those doing the evaluation.  the simple ones such as ontime-no sick days etc. are easy to track and manage. with the others,  goals must be set, managers must provide resources to reach those goals, and then they have to be monitored-and feed back provided-that is where this whole thing falls apart with RATS.  most of the supervision i have see are "field commission" supervisors.  you see very little "growth" situations provided by RAT companies,most are marginal on management training and very few have taken any formal college on business management skills.. its not a good fit for RAT companies

Chimera

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #37 on: Nov 19, 2003, 05:28 »
While I may agree, in principle, with the merits of a union to help standardize pay rates and per diem, there are other issues involved.  Back in the late '70's and again in the late '80's, there were serious movements to unionize the road techs.  My big fear back then (and now) was that the individuals we couldn't stand on the road would end up in charge of the union.  There just aren't enough Pat Hoppe's and too many Mel Hench's (did i spell them right?).

Because of the perils of lawsuit country, tech evaluations would have to come from the Site Coordinators and be handled by the contractor companies versus the utilities.  Does anyone else see a fundamental problem with this set up?  I have worked for some very good site coordinators but I have also worked for some less than stellar individuals holding that same job.  As an old site coordinator myself, I also realize that those evaluations would tend to be more subjective than objective - intangibles such as realibility, trust, and individual idiosyncracies would have a major role in those evaluations.

I don't like the principle of union seniority being the over-riding factor in job decisions.  I didn't like it when I was in the union and I like it even less now.

While I agree there has to be a happy middle ground where we can all (mostly) agree, I don't have a clue where it may be.  I do like the idea of the techs acting collectively to freeze out the low-paying sites and/or companies but I realize that would be very hard to coordinate.

As to the statement that we are all to divisive to cooperate on issues such as unionization, have you noticed the commonality to the comments in this thread?  We are speaking with pretty much the same voice!  We all seem to recognize the necessity for some sort of common action, but the conventional tools at hand offer poor choices.

I vote for Pat Hoppe to lead us out of this wasteland with Mike Rennhack as our navigator . . . yanno, that was only partially tongue-in-cheek.

In the meantime, live up to your own personal ethics and standards.  That's taken us a long way from $5/hour and $30/day and sucking rubber until the cartridges fall off.

Offline Rain Man

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #38 on: Nov 19, 2003, 08:38 »
Quote

Because of the perils of lawsuit country, tech evaluations would have to come from the Site Coordinators and be handled by the contractor companies versus the utilities.  


The society in which we function has become such a legal battlefield on this issue that a lawyer would only approve of a totally unbiased, unprejudiced, objective evaluation.  And even then they would take issue with it.  I have yet to meet the "saint" who is totally unbiased, unprejudiced, and objective.  That person does not exist.  As in a previous post to this thread I stated that most companies will only verify employment which should send its own signal.  Haven't heard of any lawsuits against employers for saying someone was a good employee (at least not yet).  As far as Site Coordinators doing evaluations, this raises the issue of how objective can they be without daily and direct observation of the worker?  It is a sad day when good workers are held back because of slugs, no-loads and their lawyers that hide under the umbrella of the law.  It is so true that the law and justice are not necessarily the same thing.  Mike and PWHoppe carrying the flag on this??  It's tough being the point man when you know he's usually the first one taken out.  
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alphadude

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #39 on: Nov 20, 2003, 05:08 »
evaluations-- contracting and evaluations are not a good fit.. behavior and performance based evaluations are derived from at least 6 months of observation by the employer.. if u wish to get evaluated-get a perm job-the record keeping and risk is too much for a temp company to maintain.. those records have to be kept for while and who wants the hassle..  they are always subject to freedom of info..no records is best sometimes-unless u are on double secret probation

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #40 on: Nov 21, 2003, 01:54 »
When your not a Newbie!  I don't agree with the 30R club, even though I am over the mark.  Life time dose does somehow display a relationship to experience.  It's just hard to believe that a 3, or 5 years senior, with a lifetime of 200MR, has had much experience in the trenches.  Todays industry has adopted many new tools to prevent dose, even for the techs.  This may be hard to believe, for some people out there, but there was a day when CCTV's weren't available in the industry!

A few months back, I worked with a relatively new senior.  He was a great co-worker and had his head on his shoulders.  He didn't walk into the job acting like he was the greatest gift to the industry and knew everything there was to know.  His first question was, " Fill me in on that is happening "?  He actually put his respirator on and walked the job down and asked questions!  Over the course of the next five days, he came to the shift meeting, learned all the routines and all the workers by name.  I guess you would have to say, he took interest in that he was doing!  I was kind of nice knowing that he could answer the questions that I couldn't!

Now, here is how you know your a Newbie!  A couple of years back, while at a SGRP.  A junior was assigned with me at containment.  The junior had been on site for nine months!  While we sat at the desk, the tech kept looking at the containment entrance repeatedly.  I finally asked, " What are you looking at "?  They replied, " Whats inside there", pointing to the entrance.  I found out that the tech had never been inside the containment building, or any other containment.  I asked them if they wanted to take a tour.  The reply was, " NO, I don't want to go in there, unless I absoluty have to!

Draw your own conclusions from the two stories, that junior is now a senior!  Maybe working next to you!

I also noted a couple of postings on evaluations on this thread.  One major topic to consider in evaluations,  Missed Time!  This includes late days and absence, there the same thing!  If you have two late days and one absence, thats three incidence! In a thirty day outage, that is 10 % of the time!  Even your best worker isn't worth a damn if he doesn't show up!

Offline Rain Man

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #41 on: Nov 21, 2003, 03:56 »
Quote
When your not a Newbie!  I don't agree with the 30R club, even though I am over the mark.  Life time dose does somehow display a relationship to experience.


Relationship of dose to experience IS a bad trap to fall into.  High lifetime exposure definitely does not mean you know what is up.  Have known more that a few knuckleheads with a lot of employment related dose that couldn't keep their act together.  For many people with high lifetimes it is to a degree a badge of honor to have lived the days of 3 Rem/qtr, 12 Rem/year, ALARA was not regulatorily driven, and jumpers were run up to 2850 (and sometimes higher) on pencil dosimeters.  There are a lot of good people still out there who remember.  There's lots of great stories.  But be sure of one thing.....things were very different back then.
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Offline Already Gone

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #42 on: Nov 22, 2003, 08:55 »

While I agree in principle that techs need to prove competency by showing knowledge (measured by testing) and experience (measured by their resumes), I totally disagree with his idea that a monkey could do this work.
The fact is that a monkey could "go through the motions" and end up with a positive result most of the time, simply because no technical ability was required.  (We all can name scores of jobs when we asked ourselves "what am I diong here?")  It is the minority of cases where a tech is actually needed on a job that make our knowledge and experience necessary.
Yeah, I complain about making the same money as a Senior tech who has been sitting at a control point knitting a scarf as the sum total of her career.  I also get a little miffed at the techs who think that they are "the be-all and end-all" of rad protection.
The way I see it, I have been a senior HP for 16 years, was a Navy ELT before that, and I still have something to learn about my job every time I show up.  Every job is a unique situation.  Knowledge and experience might get you there.  But I have to admit that I don't know close to everything before I pick up the meter.  Even the sharpest knife begins to dull with the very first cut.  So, a rusty butterknife like me has to stay on the ball or it will surely roll over me.
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #43 on: Nov 22, 2003, 12:22 »
Wow, I can't believe that I have missed all of this vitriolic fun over the last few days.

People who think dose relates to experience need to pull their heads out of whatever cavities into which they have found their way. If you find value in dose, you need help.

The only way to determine the worth of another tech is to work with them or trust the opinions of those who have. In short, reputation is the most valuable thing that each of us has and what we must nurture and protect.

How good are you at what you do? Have you developed a keen intuition when things are about to go bad, or do you just recover from problems that have already occurred? Are you willing to share your experience, teach others freely what may have cost you to learn? Do you put your best effort into each assignment or feel slighted when you don't get the 'plum' job? Do you pitch in and help without being asked or are you just another victim of personal inertia?

Bottom line: Do people want to work with you or avoid you?

If you build your reputation carefully you will be able to go where you want, get better assignments and get rewarded for your efforts. Too many of us are looking for the free ride. If you are, get off the bus -- we don't want you here.

Now back on subject, please.
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Offline HousePuke

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #44 on: Nov 26, 2003, 12:10 »
Right on the money Mr. Troja.
Show up with a positive attitude every day.  Do what is ask / expected of you.  Have good attention to detail.  And depart on good terms.  You will find that there are plenty of good opportunities out there with better than average pay.
The point on reputation that Mr. Troja so eloquently expressed is exactly what will open or close doors for you.
I would work with / for Mr. Troja anytime, anywhere.
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Offline Showme T. Money

Road Techs Unionize???
« Reply #45 on: Feb 12, 2006, 02:31 »
Why haven't Road Techs (HP and Decon) ever tried to unionize?  Every outage I go to I always hear that we got the short end of the stick, so why don't we do something about it.  I guess that it would be to easy to have someone looking out for the working road tech.  Would anyone else out there be interested in trying to start or join some Union?

Offline RRhoads

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Re: Road Techs Unionize???
« Reply #46 on: Feb 12, 2006, 04:15 »
geez..you must must be kinda new...it was a dismal failure in 1990??(89')...memory escaping me at the moment.
My POV....
Great idea in theory...
There has been only 1 plant where that i've worked where i got ALL the bennies of being unionized..Clinton...The only place i got paid 12 hrs on DT!
The rest of those "union" plants...it is nothing but Dues to work..really SUCKS!!!
It is a very difficult concept & practice to get all of the "road" techs to organize.
We have been non-union for so long now...it is nearly impossible for everyone to agree on even the issue of having some sort representation.

Offline SloGlo

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Re: Road Techs Unionize???
« Reply #47 on: Feb 12, 2006, 08:20 »
we agreed on the issue of representation.   our reps, ibew 1500, sold us down the river.  it was a nice dream while it lasted.  one local for the entire country.  unfortunately, the union couldn't handle it and gave us up without a fight.
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Rad Sponge

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Re: Road Techs Unionize???
« Reply #48 on: Feb 12, 2006, 10:03 »
Companies may lose or make money.

Workers may lose  or make money.

Your union always makes money.

Surveyors_mato

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Re: Rock the Boat
« Reply #49 on: Feb 15, 2006, 04:52 »
I believe now that my position of almost two years ago, was in error. I'v grown so much :P, my old BA would be disappointed. Union is as union does.....very little anymore.
« Last Edit: Feb 15, 2006, 04:54 by Surveyors-mato »

 


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