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Palo Verde

Above Average
28 (35.9%)
Average
26 (33.3%)
Below Average
24 (30.8%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: Palo Verde  (Read 305647 times)

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Offline RRhoads

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #175 on: Sep 20, 2006, 10:59 »
Geesh...an ~8 week run and unit 1 is back down...it just keeps getting worse!
Sorry RjC..it's not you, it's your management & their mentality
So much for that great PZR heater replacement...the last one fixed should have been the longest to run.

Offline Imaginos

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #176 on: Sep 21, 2006, 12:17 »
I hear ya. From what I gather, 36 shiny new heaters arriving onsite today. Current forecast is 15 days; see me later for revisions...

On a completely unrelated note, have you ever heard Ziggy Marley's *Lee and Molly*?

Cheers...
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Offline RRhoads

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #177 on: Sep 21, 2006, 01:17 »
nope haven't heard tht one b4..
hiring extra contractors for the dueling outages??
good luck to ya tho! ;)

Offline Imaginos

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #178 on: Sep 21, 2006, 09:50 »
"hiring extra contractors for the dueling outages??"

C'mon now, you know how challenging it is for us to even staff a scheduled outage, people taking house jobs and all...  ;)
"I'm not quiet; I just don't demand to be heard." ---George Harrison

Offline RRhoads

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #179 on: Sep 21, 2006, 11:44 »
wow....you got me there!
Kinda weird not being there this time of year but..ya know! ;)
Good luck to ya! :)

HPKC

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #180 on: Sep 24, 2006, 02:26 »
Been talking to RP management about the difficulty Palo has staffing outages.  They went to Bartlett with it and Bartlett said raise your wages.  Palo did (last spring - outage wages only tho') and still they have trouble with staffing outages.

Would like some feedback from road techs (RP and Decon) on why they don't work Palo. Is the main reason wages, cost of housing, distance to plant, 60 hours per week, too far from home state, doesn't mesh with other outages, or what?  Would you consider Palo if they offered a bonus to returnees?

Will present the feedback to management so bring it on!

Offline RRhoads

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #181 on: Sep 24, 2006, 11:36 »
This is all BS..
I heard the same stuff when i was there for the last SGR!
It was related to the "QUALITY" of some of the techs that were there as well as the shortage. And the issues HAVE been discussed here.
The "bonus" being part of the returnee wage IS already in place & still folks will not go....figure that one out!
Low wages for non-returnees...
Per-diem was JUST raised to what the other plants were paying BEFORE the fall per diem increases.
When the wages are already low & a 12 hr OT day(60's vs. 72's) is not offered, 450 bucks is a chunk of change over a 6 week(example) outage.
Housing is EXPENSIVE!!!! that's if one can even rent something...most is taken by the local AF base people..try a grand a month short-term housing on 80 bucks a day diem + gas + food
The drive from Avondale or Buckeye sucks! And is only made worse w/ the price of fuel.
Besides you guys will just keep recruiting Jr's/Deconners from the local college & your "regulars" you get for every outage & hope for the best.
Hate to say it but you guys deserve this situation you're in...PV has gotten by like this for a LOOONG time, at least the 5 years i used to go.
« Last Edit: Sep 24, 2006, 11:46 by RRhoads »

HPKC

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #182 on: Sep 25, 2006, 11:27 »
Thanks for the reply RRhoades.  I've printed it and will present it to management along with any others I get.

Here are the current rates for Palo Verde:

3-5 yr. Sr. R.P. $19/hr
3-5 yr. Sr. R.P. Returnee $22/hr (Returnee being having worked one of last two outages)

5-7 yr. Sr. R.P. $21/hr
5-7 yr. Sr. R.P. Returnee $24/hr

>7 yr. Sr. R.P. $23/hr
>7 yr. Sr. R.P. Returnee $26/hr

Jr. R.P. $15/hr (6-18 mo)
Jr. R.P. $17/hr (>18 mo - 3 yr)

All of the above get $90 a day per diem.  I'm a 1-3 yr. Sr. R.P., returnee, who lives local and I make $29/hr in outage.

I'd like some feed back from road techs on how these rates stack up against other plants and if you'd be willing to work Palo at these rates.
« Last Edit: Sep 25, 2006, 11:30 by HPKC »

Offline Imaginos

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #183 on: Sep 26, 2006, 02:52 »
With due respect to the folks that work each PV outage, the following is worth pondering as well: at the offered rate of pay and per diem, what would lure someone to this facility, not only "in the middle of nowhere" but quite a hike from most other plants, knowing they will never get more than 60 hours in a week? That's not what the rest of the industry is doing...
"I'm not quiet; I just don't demand to be heard." ---George Harrison

Atomic_Punk

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #184 on: Sep 26, 2006, 10:45 »
They need to do away with the "(Returnee being having worked one of last two outages)" policy.  Pay everyone the higher rate (HIGHER than $26 hr) and they'll get alot of the REAL returnees back.

Raise the per-diem to the Gov. rate.

Give people the 'option' to work 72 hours like they used to.

To all the ex-contractors who are now in-house and in charge:  Remember how you liked/wanted to be treated when you were still one of us.  Alot of us can remember what you guys used to be like.  Can you?

Have a nice day.
« Last Edit: Sep 26, 2006, 03:32 by Colonel Angus »

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #185 on: Sep 26, 2006, 11:24 »

I'm a 1-3 yr. Sr. R.P., returnee, who lives local and I make $29/hr in outage.


There's part of the problem right there.  Let's use this as a hypothetical example.
I have over 17 years as a Sr. H.P.  Most of that time is in PWR's not significantly different from PV.
You, with your <3 yrs would be making $6/hr more than I would.  SIX DOLLARS!! for 14 fewer years experience than I have and a zip code closer to the plant than mine, you get SIX FREAKIN' DOLLARS an hour more than me?!?!?!
Let's knock off the BS about making up for Per diem.  Per diem is reimbursement for living expenses incurred away from home - PERIOD!!!!!  It would cost me about $135 a day in additional living expenses to come and work where you live - costs that you won't incur while returning to your own home every night.
If you are working at your home plant you (or I) are not entitled to per diem nor any substitute for it.  So, when that is taken out of the equation, the fact remains that your hours are compensated at a higher rate than mine would be.  It has been said that one reason is that "locals" (returnee or not) are more desirable than travellers for reasons that are too vairied and insignificant to discuss here.  What's left is that they seem to want you more for that job than they want me.  Guess what???  They're going to get their wish.


Secondly, I agree with the Colonel.  According to the returnee policy, a tech who has worked 8 of the last 10 PV outages isn't a returnee if he missed the last two, but someone who has worked only one outage in his life is a returnee if it was one of the last two at PV.

Third, 60 hrs is a killer when there are still some plants allowing you to work 84 and the majority work you 72.

Bottom line:  To come work there, I would have to spend my per diem PLUS part of my wages (which are already lower than yours) to pay my living costs, and then work only 5 days a week.  I'd have to drive 40 minutes each way from Buckeye or Gila Bend with all those vanpool drivers who don't understand the difference between the passing lane and the right lane.  AND, when I finally arrive at work, Sheriff Joe's Posse will ticket me for having out of state license plates - and PV management will publicly agree to that.

No thanks.
« Last Edit: Sep 26, 2006, 03:31 by BeerCourt »
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Offline RRhoads

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #186 on: Sep 26, 2006, 12:01 »
BC ..i didn't know you were at the last SGRP for all that outta-state ticket BS :P
Seems all the reasons are out there....Who here thinks things will really change at PV???
Not I...
They need to get a few more under-staffed outages...maybe then the lite will flicker.
It was also said that ..well we don't pay what the other plants pay but you won't work very hard here.
I don't think that kind of mentality will feed the kitty anymore!
Pay up or shut up!

Offline Camella Black

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #187 on: Sep 26, 2006, 01:31 »
There's part of the problem right there.  Let's use this as a hypothetical example.
I have over 17 years as a Sr. H.P.  Most of that time is in PWR's not significantly different from PV.
You, with your <3 yrs would be making $3/hr more than I would.
Let's knock off the BS about making up for Per diem.  Per diem is reimbursement for living expenses incurred away from home - PERIOD!!!!!  It would cost me about $135 a day in additional living expenses to come and work where you live - costs that you won't incur while returning to your own home every night.
If you are working at your home plant you (or I) are not entitled to per diem nor any substitute for it.  So, when that is taken out of the equation, the fact remains that your hours are compensated at a higher rate than mine would be.  It has been said that one reason is that "locals" (returnee or not) are more desirable than travellers for reasons that are too vairied and insignificant to discuss here.  What's left is that they seem to want you more for that job than they want me.  Guess what???  They're going to get their wish.


Secondly, I agree with the Colonel.  According to the returnee policy, a tech who has worked 8 of the last 10 PV outages isn't a returnee if he missed the last two, but someone who has worked only one outage in his life is a returnee if it was one of the last two at PV.

Third, 60 hrs is a killer when there are still some plants allowing you to work 84 and the majority work you 72.

Bottom line:  To come work there, I would have to spend my per diem PLUS part of my wages (which are already lower than yours) to pay my living costs, and then work only 5 days a week.  I'd have to drive 40 minutes each way from Buckeye or Gila Bend with all those vanpool drivers who don't understand the difference between the passing lane and the right lane.  AND, when I finally arrive at work, Sheriff Joe's Posse will ticket me for having out of state license plates - and PV management will publicly agree to that.

No thanks.


Bravo, Kudo's,Right On!!!!! I could not have said it any better. The End.

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #188 on: Sep 26, 2006, 03:36 »
BC ..i didn't know you were at the last SGRP for all that outta-state ticket BS :P


I wasn't.  But thanks to the magic of NukeWorker, those of you who were there for it shared that info with the rest of us.  Let's just say that there's nothing in this business that can be a secret anymore.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

HPKC

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #189 on: Sep 27, 2006, 10:41 »
Thanks for the replies.  I do appreciate them all.  The problem doesn't seem to be just money and that's what I wanted to find out.

BeerCourt I agree with you.  Why should I make more money than you as a just starting out senior? It doesn't seem fair in my book either and if I were where you are I'd probably feel the same way about it.

As for paying me more on the hour in lieu of per diem, that does seem to be the norm at the plants I've worked (I used to live in FL and traveled the east coast plants ~ still work them each spring). Six dollars more on the hour, maybe not that much, but they do pay the locals a few bucks more.

As for returnee bonuses, my belief is that has to do with training.  Duke's bonus is offered at the completion of the outage whereas Palo builds the bonus into the pay scale for returnees.  Duke offers their bonus if you've worked their plants within the past 18 (I believe) months~It's definitely 12 if not 18.  The point is they don't have to provide as much training to returnees as they do to those who haven't been there before, or to those who have been gone for a long time.  When working Palo I usually only have to take a few CBT courses before my badge is hung around my neck as my quals are still good from the last time I was there.  Same has happened at Duke.

I understand your point of view against paying me more on the hour in lieu of per diem and the returnee "bonus", but I do see where it's a norm across the industry to do both. Should the whole industry be re-vamped?  It's not just the "Palo Verde way".  As long as it's being offered, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth  ;D

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #190 on: Sep 27, 2006, 11:01 »
No way should you feel wrong about the money they're paying you.  But, I'm not going to get all joy-filled about the pittance that they are offering guys like me either.

The fact that a lot of plants are doing something doesn't cut it.  I was taught by my mother at a very young age that "everybody else was doing it" would not be an acceptable excuse.
Paying locals extra hourly in lieu of per diem is the EXACT same thing as paying travellers per diem in lieu of hourly pay.  That is what the IRS would love to prove.  As soon as the feds catch on, it's going to end the days of tax-free per diem altogether in this business.  They are not legally required to pay per diem to travellers.  They do it to get people to travel.  As soon as they start getting slapped by the IRS, they're just going to cut it all off.

All that stuff about returnees is true, but the monetary value of it is limited.  Look around you and see how many returnees can't do a job without being led by the hand.  Sure, I have to take about three more CBT's to get into PV than you do.  I also don't have to be told how to cover an RCP seal replacement, or a core barrel move, or an entry into any of the holes in a steam generator.  Maybe you don't either, but being a returnee isn't the reason why.  Neither you nor I have to ask for a lot of directions to get to a job location, and neither of us is going to be surprised by whatever we find there.

If PV still thinks that a returnee is worth an extra $3, that's fine.  I'm just not going to work there for $23 an hour.  There are just too many better options out there.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

HPKC

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #191 on: Sep 27, 2006, 12:17 »
BeerCourt what's the average pay at plants for someone with your experience?

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #192 on: Sep 27, 2006, 02:26 »
There's no answer for that.
Not every plant differentiates by experience.  (This really p.o.'s the more experienced ones.)
There is a vast regional disparity between pay rates.
Those plants which do have progressive pay rates usually cut off at seven years.  I don't know why this number is significant.  Perhaps someone really believes that you can learn all there is to know in 7 years and coast for the next 20 on that.  OR. maybe anything that happened over 7 years ago is irrelevant to current methods.  Both assumptions are flawed.
There are also (as you should know) three widely different definitions of the word "average".  There is the mean, the mode, and the median.  Anyone can use whichever one of those suits his own argument.  Not having worked at all of the plants in the world, I don't personally have enough data points to calculate any average.

Most importantly, I do not CARE what the average is.  I don't decide on what is an acceptable pay rate based on any statistical formula.  I make a subjective judgement based on the offers in front of me at any given time.  I usually pick whatever job is going to be better for my family's interests overall.  (That means that I make short-term decisions with my eye on the log-term implications.)  Translate that to read: "where can I make the most money in the shortest time without killing all my other options?"  If an outage is scheduled so that I could have worked two others, but had to miss them both to do this one, I better bring home as much as I would have for BOTH of the other two or I'm going to choose the other two.  If I can get 3 weeks of 84's or 3 weeks of 60's, I'm going to do the 84's.  Sometimes higher pay makes up for fewer hours or shorter duration, but you put any combination of low pay, short hours, and/or short duration together and it will probably go to the bottom of my list.

As a side note, you don't see this in some specialties.  Some contractors (not HP) send people to whatever outage needs the people.  They pay them essentially the same no matter where they assign them, and give them all the hours they can.  Then, they send them right to where they need them next.  Employees don't hold the sites hostage over pay rates, hours or working conditions, and they don't have to.  These jobs are always staffed.  When's the last time you heard refuellers have discussions like the one here?

Palo Verde shouldn't care about the average either, at least not beyond using it as a reference point.  What they should care about is how much it will cost to get what they want - namely, the required number of qualified techs.  Arbitrarily offering incremental pay rates based on returnee status, etc. isn't going to guarantee this.  Essentially, they should be able to staff every outage with the exact same group of techs, save for those who cannot return because of prior committments. 
The fact that they need to pay people more to come back says something about the way they treated them the first time.  Why would a tech not want to return to a good job without being bribed?
If you're getting a really good percentage of returnees, then it is non-returnees you need to attract in order to get enough people.  So, in theory, a plant that treats people well enough that they don't mind coming back would actually have to offer more money to the NON-returnees.
Does that make sense?  NO!
How about this --- First, you pay people the same money for doing the same job.  If you hire two people who are both capable of covering high-risk work (like S/G's or Refueling) you should pay them the same, PERIOD!!  If you have two or three people who are so physically limited, or unreliable, or unskilled, or inexperienced, that they can't do anything but escort laundry and trash, why should they be getting paid the same as the heavy-hitters?
Second, you pay everybody enough to be competitive with all the other jobs they have to choose from.  You don't base your pay rates on the tourist attractions in the area, the climate, or the fishing, or "we won't work you as hard here".
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #193 on: Sep 28, 2006, 08:17 »
I have been web deprived for a couple of weeks and missed this whole conversation... but I am very pleased to see that our official-unofficial-curmudgeon-at-large has once again stated his informed, intelligent opinion and covered the same ground I would have. Kudos to you, Troy, and well stated.
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DJM75

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #194 on: Nov 22, 2006, 01:36 »
Hello everyone.  I'm a long time lurker to this site but I finally have a question or two.  I'm coming to PV on Dec 7th for POSS testing and interviews if I pass the tests for Nuclear Auxiliary Operator Trainee.  First do you guys have any suggestions for the testing and the interviews?  I've gone to a couple sites with the practice tests and am going to practice but I'm not sure what to expect in the interviews.  Next what is the pay for a trainee?  Last but not least what is the area like?  My family and I are from Oregon so we are not accustomed to the super heat that you get there.  Any help or suggestions would be great.
  Thank you,
          Don

Atomic_Punk

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #195 on: Nov 22, 2006, 10:54 »
Hello everyone.  I'm a long time lurker to this site but I finally have a question or two.  I'm coming to PV on Dec 7th for POSS testing and interviews if I pass the tests for Nuclear Auxiliary Operator Trainee.  First do you guys have any suggestions for the testing and the interviews?  I've gone to a couple sites with the practice tests and am going to practice but I'm not sure what to expect in the interviews.  Next what is the pay for a trainee?  Last but not least what is the area like?  My family and I are from Oregon so we are not accustomed to the super heat that you get there.  Any help or suggestions would be great.
  Thank you,
          Don

Being that you're ex-navy, they'll love you for that.  Don't worry about the POSS test.  If I passed it, anyone can.  Just make sure you go to the bathroom before you begin testing because they won't let you go once it's started.  I had a pot of coffee in me and it wasn't much of a treat to sit like that for 3 hours.  The interview are the typical BS questions like "Did you ever disagree with a decision management made, and if so, how did you deal with it?" crap.  Tell them what they want to hear.

The area used to be awesome (15 years ago) but it totally sucks now.  It's turned into east, east, east L.A.  Traffic is horrible, everything's crowded all the time, and the cost of living is through the roof.  The pay PV offers doesn't cover the cost to live there, unless you like trailer living.  Some of the guys working there might disagree, but they bought their homes before the housing boom.  Expect home prices to be $350K (for the cheap ones) on up.

Sorry to sound so doom and gloom.  Good luck.

M1Ark

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #196 on: Jan 25, 2007, 12:10 »
When does the Spring outage start at Palo Verde and how long is it scheduled?

Thanks,

M1Ark

HPKC

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #197 on: Jan 25, 2007, 12:47 »
Spring outage starts about May 12th and is scheduled for 5 weeks.  Hubby, who works out there regularly, just said a notice put out yesterday has the outage starting May 19th and over June 24th.

Fermione

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #198 on: Jan 26, 2007, 08:45 »
If you like mexican food try Raul & Thereas at 519 Main Street in Avondale.  Great food for a good price.  Loved it 20 years ago, little place maybe 10 tables.  They have expanded but the quality of food is still there.
Fermione

Atomic_Punk

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Re: Palo Verde
« Reply #199 on: Jan 27, 2007, 02:11 »
If you like mexican food try Raul & Thereas at 519 Main Street in Avondale.  Great food for a good price.  Loved it 20 years ago, little place maybe 10 tables.  They have expanded but the quality of food is still there.
Fermione

YES!  Two thumbs up for Raul and Theresa's.  A couple doors down from there is (at least when I was there) Tony's Mexican Food.  Great stuff as well.


 


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