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RAD-GHOST

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Backup Contracts?
« on: Aug 21, 2004, 09:35 »
Who has them?

Who's going to get them?

Over the past 4 to 5 years, a couple of people have tried to edge their way into the Nuclear Staffing game, with little success.  In the last couple of weeks, it seems that yet another player has emerged, Lucky for US! 

I remember this little guy back in 79/80, who did the very same thing!  At the time, his company was a breath of fresh air, compared to the major players of the day!  Checks arrived on time, ( a very good thing ), and a visit from the man himself was usually on a monthly bases. His company also gave Technicians another choice of options.   I don't know what happened to that guy, rumor has it he's surfing the big waves out west and cruising the sky's in a blimps.

Future Speculation:  Just my perspective.  As far as the commercial industry goes, everybody knows that two players exist today.  I haven't felt the rumble, but I can see it coming!  I see the industry relying on a single player for their staffing needs, which is only beneficial to one player!  Nobody would benefit by one company holding all the cards, not the Technician, or the  Utilities!  At this point Technicians have a choice to call the other guy for a better deal, or more favorable wages.  Even though wages are somewhat flat across the board, losing the option to choose, will prove disasterous. 

What if one company held all the cards?   More speculation on my part.  Everybody wants to save a buck, which is the appealing concept presented to the customers at contract time.  If one company held all the contracts, they could realisticly establish a geographic profile on each Technician.  They could tell you where you are going to work, not ask where you want to work!  The benefit of that, to the customer and company, the disappearence of the added expenses of Per Diem and Travel!  Saving four to five hundred dollars, per week, per Technician, will get the attention of any bean counter and directly influence the awarding of contracts!  To take it one step further, if you live within 50 miles of a plant, they could call and offer you an assignment at that plant.  If you turn it down, a simple call could be made to the HP annuity agency, UCI, and your cash flow would be gone!  I can think of a hundred other distastefull situation on this topic!  I know, you don't think that would ever happen!  Just remember, it's all Business and only Business!  Even though a company may present the Facade of having all the contracts, they don't have all the Technicians, not yet at least!

From my viewpoint, the emerging companies, need the support of the  Technicians.  It's your choice and may require some personal sacrifices, but if you don't do it today, you wont have a choice tomorrow!  I'm sure a lot of people will be reading this thread to see how it plays out, the utilities, the Technicians and future perspective staffing companies. 

So, who am I working for?  MYSELF!  I have learned to cash their checks and that is about all!  I do not sell myself as a representative of any company, I learned that lesson on Loyalty years ago!  Nothing personal, it's only business!  I pursue the highest compensation, based on my personal preference of choice, like many of you do!  Don't lose your option of being able to choose!

In those famous words, from the Indian Jones movie:

Choose, but CHOOSE WISELY!

PS: 

To the Companies who wish to venture into this market, this is what you don't want to tell Technicians on opening day!  Sorry, you aren't going to see dime for two weeks, it's your responsibility to have enough funds to get here and survive for that time period!  Cash in hand, on opening day, confirms a trust between the Company and the Technicians.  Without it, you Loose!

RG

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #1 on: Aug 24, 2004, 06:51 »
Looks like another one has popped up!

alphadude

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #2 on: Aug 24, 2004, 10:39 »
Rad-ghost

unless you are on a 1099 u do work for them, If u can swing a 1099 out of the contractor then u would be truely independent. there are some techs that have gotten 1099s, so its not as unusual as one would think.  legally, u do represent that company that u are getting the pay check from-you are on the payroll and legally obligated as a representative of the employer-so becareful with wayward attitudes-
with a 1099 then it becomes a different issue, it a contractual issue not a condition of employment.  perhaps "caveat emptor" is a better phrase for tech to follow when picking an employer!!
« Last Edit: Aug 24, 2004, 10:48 by alphadude »

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #3 on: Aug 24, 2004, 01:53 »
Getting a 1099 does not make you independent.  There actually are a set of IRS rules used to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor.
If the employer does things like; set your work hours or schedule, provide you with tools, supplies or equipment to do your work, provides you with a place to work...etc. then you are an employee.

I don't think that is the point Rad Ghost is making.  I think he means that his loyalty is not given to any employer.  He seems to believe that even though he is employed by a company he is not required to uphold that company's image in the face of the public, competitors, and clients. 

He also seems to think that the companies who pay our unemployment insurance have no right to expect us to work when work is available.
He seems to fear that a contract company, given any more power than it already has, will eliminate per-diem by hiring only locals.  (never mind that there are not enough locals near any site to staff an outage)

While I totally agree that lack of competition in any market is a bad thing, I still don't think it will be the cause of all our misery.  In the unlikely event that only one company survives, and nobody steps in to compete, they are no more likely to do these things than they are right now.

What RG doesn't realize is that companies will shovel money at you if you are getting it done for them.  If any company could consistently provide a staff of professional, qualified, energetic and motivated techs, they'd make two or three times the money they can get now.

We get on this site, or in the bars after work, and bitch about lots of things without giving much thought to why things are that way.  We all want $30/hr and govt. rate perdiem, but we'd stab each other in the back to get that last spot on a job paying $20 & $75.  Why would anyone pay more?

Try to see it from their point of view for once:  "We want to hire 50 techs to work our outage.  We want them to help us accomplish our goals.  We need them to earn what we pay them and use a little initiative and intelligence.  Here's what we got instead - 50 techs committed, 2 no-showed, 2 failed the NEU twice, 18 of them are married couples who have to be on the same shift with the same days off, 8 dragged up early to go to another job, 1 is so overweight that we can't find PC's that fit, 7 are over sixty-five years old and think they are entitled to sit control points while others get dosed to the limit in the drywell, 1 is claustrophobic, 1 is on his third hip-replacement and can't climb ladders.  We turn a blind-eye to the 3-in-3-out rotation they are using, but when we asked one guy to do a 15 minute survey on his 3-out, he showed up 40 minutes late for his 3-in.  One guy has 22 years experience and still thinks that being hit by betas can make an atom radioactive.  Another won't stop telling everyone how they did things better at some other plant.  Yet another has seen better ways to do things, but won't offer a suggestion that might actually help.  Then there's the guy who's so sick of working with the others, so embarassed to be grouped in with them, so tired of seeing the lazy and incompetent get ahead, that he spends the whole outage in a foul mood and swears he'll get out as soon as he can."

Y'see?  It ain't necessarily "them" that's the problem.  If we don't straighten ourselves out pretty soon they're going to make us do unthinkable things like; work where they need us when they need us until they don't need us anymore, keep our word when we give it, do just as much work as the next person for the same pay, be at our work location almost 75% of the time, break a sweat once or twice an outage, act like adults... the list goes on.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

alphadude

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #4 on: Aug 24, 2004, 02:35 »
no a 1099 does not an island make.. true enuff.. you know a good training program on "how to negociate your employment status" would help a lot of techs.  seems most are a trusting lot, and have become cynical because of mistreatment or misunderstandings etc.  you dont know how many times ive hear that B*******screwed me, the first thing i ask-did u get a "terms of employment"  confirmation letter???  and all too often i hear Nooooo, I dont need one!!! ohh welllllllll............. and you got to remember.. that if u agree to a pay rate and perks, get to the site and find out something different... you did agree.... caveat emptor....

Offline Rennhack

Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #5 on: Aug 24, 2004, 02:47 »
Well said troy.

Offline PWHoppe

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #6 on: Aug 24, 2004, 03:52 »
Well Said Beer Court

We all need to take a look at our own actions.
If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, how many days will it take a grasshopper with a rubber foot to kick a hole in a tin can?

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Offline Already Gone

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #7 on: Aug 24, 2004, 05:28 »
Thanks, I hope you notice that some of those things could describe me too.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Offline Rennhack

Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #8 on: Aug 24, 2004, 05:49 »
"Some" ??

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #9 on: Aug 25, 2004, 08:37 »
1099, W2, W4, or a pink slip doesn't influence the situation.  Like Beer Court said, it's the loyalty issue.  Your a hero when they their staffing and pain in the arse when their not!  I will agree that I have never seen a contract company devoted to anything other than itself, but that's just business!  If the industry goes to a single player, I don't know how things will play out!  Some say the Technicians will have more control, I say different!

A major source of irritation, is hearing the Utility Management, explain how the Contract Company supplied such Quality Technicians.  I may be wrong, but I always explain that it is the Technicians themselves that supply the quality, not the contract company!  No Contract Company has a single red cent invested in my Qualifications or Education!  Today, that situation is becoming more intense!  I've seen many job postings requiring several qualifications, outside of the Health Physics venue, all at a cost of time and money to the Technician.  Obviously more avenues open to the Technicians who have them, but like I said, the contract companies aren't supplying a cent!

You get what you pay for!  Since many utilities have retreated behind the Co-employment issue, their complaint's fall on deaf ears!  If they ask for 3.1 seniors, they get 3.1 seniors!  3, 5, 10, 15, or 20+ years doesn't mean a thing, just 3.1 Technicians at 3.1 wages!  Contract companies concern themselves with Quantity first and Quality second!  To them, 3.1 is 6,000+ hours, their obligation is met!  They also ask a couple of caned question concerning limitations, but anybody can answer them anyway they want!  Once the techs arrive, they aren't going to be turned away!

The attitude of the old timers, the 22 year Technician, I'm with him!  In the past decade, I've been approached at several sites and been asked to keep an eye on the green seniors, the ones drawing the same wages as me!  What the people asking, don't realize, is it is impossible to carry a secret venue of overseeing other technicians when you have a job to do yourself!  Short outages, bring short staffing!  It's kind of hard to be in two places at one time!  Not to mention the reception you will get if you intervien, or interject yourself in the other technicians way of doing business!  I won't allow anyone to put themselves in a position of jeopardy, but then again I'm not going to physicly wrestle with anyone either!  If I see a better way of doing business, I'll offer it once, never twice!

I agree with the staffing description that Beer Court stated, it sucks!  I have even fallen under some of that criteria on occassions, but never without prior notice!  Then again, I can't think of a tech who hasn't!  What the industry doesn't seem to realize, is that the techs who work without restriction, are usually considered the problem children!  Whether they realize it or not, you can't have a dozen techs carry a 40 tech outage!  The dozen techs are going to get tired with the situation!  As a Supervisor, if you find yourself calling the same tech, on every job that comes along, let the lights go on!  Either you need a bigger staff, or start utilizing your other resources!  It's always nice to call someone you trust, but you can't keep beating on the same tech!  After a while they get irritated and eventially look for a quick out!  It's especially nice when one of these techs hears how management, wouldn't give certain techs any responsibility, simply because it isn't worth the trouble to ask, or they don't trust them!

As far as the logistics of the Technician work force?  I'd place my money on enough techs located near plants!  As far as the East Coast and Midwest goes, I feel fairly certain that their are more than enough techs, located with a 50 mile radius, of all sites, to adequately staff!  That situation would allow one company, the ability to eliminate Per Diem completely and apply the additional costs of commuting onto the Technician!  I believe the fifty mile radius also applies to the unemployment issues!  If a company could do it, they would do it!

Hey Alphadude, heard your heading west to Yankee country, C Y ou there!

radman5030

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 07, 2004, 01:18 »
With the "Great Merger"  we won't have to choose between primary and back-up contract companies.  Now isn't that a relief??? :)

Offline MrHazmat

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 07, 2004, 03:08 »
I have never been a Road Tech, but it sounds to me like both sides needs some "RESPECT" and we all know that it will have to be earned on both sides.
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radman5030

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #12 on: Dec 07, 2004, 04:57 »
You are so very right!

I stand corrected. 

Sorry if I sounded curt, or offended you in any way, but being a road tech for greater than 24 years, well it's hard to explain, I guess you just have to experence it first hand.   :) I appluad you.

dykeHP

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #13 on: Dec 08, 2004, 12:30 »
This is just proof of "speculation is king" in the RP world. Rent-A-Techs Talking about inner workings of contract companies. Most have trouble managing their own money.  As for being a part-time versus a fulltime employee, well that is based on laws in individual states. Most only require that you have a set start/stop/break times scheduled and meet a specified number of employees to be considered fulltime. I was at dresden this past outage (still there) and do not remember you there as a tech "BeerCourt". I would hope that you would not speak towards staffing that you have no real knowledge of. The quality of workers in the industry is reflected on everyone whether they like it or not. There have been quality issues(ie.. workers) for the last 15 years, that I have been employed as an HP/RP, and it will never change. Companies come and go but there is one constant, the employees.
  Anyway just my two cents worth, take it for what it is worth.
 
Once again Daniel Frew.

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #14 on: Dec 08, 2004, 02:17 »
Mr. Frew,
Thank you for signing your real name, but you might consider opening your own NukeWorker account.  There are several advantages, not the least of which is the ability to make up your own screen name and all that other neat stuff.

As far as my knowledge of how the staffing companies work, I find that you are speculating more than anyone, since YOU HAVE NO FREAKIN IDEA of what I do or do not know.  But thanks for your input anyway.

You are correct that I no longer work as an HP tech.  There are things called upward mobility, improvement of one's standard of living, promotion, rising to one's potential... etc.  Look into them.  Believe it or not, site coordinator for road HP's is not the top of the world.  It is only the second rung on a very high ladder.  See ya when you get up here.

From my limited interaction with the RP staff here at Dresden (both house and contract), I can say that they did pretty well this time.  Though I hear that they did not fully staff, they came close this time and the techs who worked with us were top-notch.  Didn't see a slug in the bunch.

The quality of work you get is directly proportional to the level of quality you are willing to accept.  In any other trade if 12 people are doing the work of 20, the other 8 get laid off.  In HP world, tha other 8 just hold down the break room floor while the 12 get flogged harder to take up the slack.

If money management is a problem, let me give you a rudimentary lesson:  Two cents is worth $.02
« Last Edit: Dec 08, 2004, 02:39 by Beer Court »
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dykeHP

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #15 on: Dec 08, 2004, 03:14 »
Well Troy, I have no problem giving my name as you have noticed. As for my position in life, I am willing to bet monetarily speaking you are not in any better position than I. Guess that is why I am still employed. Don't confuse moving lateral, with moving up.There are not too many position as a contractor that move any direction but lateral. If you take a position with a utility then upward mobility becomes a concern. I could argue with you all day, but you would just drag me down to your level and beat me with experience. ;D
 Oh yeah, I am not the site coordinator. I am just another one of the grunts. ;)

Anyway, Daniel Frew

Offline Already Gone

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #16 on: Dec 08, 2004, 03:23 »
Actually, I had a job with a utility once.  Upward mobility there was darned near impossible.  Short of asassinating your foreman, you just can't move up.  This is why house techs always bring in lots of greasy, spicy, fattening food.  Causing arterial sclerosis, ulcers, and iritable bowel syndrome among the lead techs is considered a career move.
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dykeHP

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #17 on: Dec 08, 2004, 03:25 »
Good point.........  I am not really a jerk, I just play one at work.

Offline Eric_Bartlett

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #18 on: Dec 08, 2004, 04:38 »
..From my limited interaction with the RP staff here at Dresden (both house and contract), I can say that they did pretty well this time.  Though I hear that they did not fully staff, they came close this time and the techs who worked with us were top-notch.  Didn't see a slug in the bunch...

sorry Troy, beg to differ, contract HP was fully staffed  ;D
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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #19 on: Dec 08, 2004, 04:47 »
It may have been on paper, but when we asked for support we were told a lot of times that there would be none because of short-staffing.  That may have been just an excuse, or it could have been due to layoffs that were perhaps a bit premature.
"To be content with little is hard; to be content with much, impossible." - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Surveyors_mato

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #20 on: Dec 08, 2004, 04:48 »
Why, why,why, do we always have to have a fight a Christmas? can't we all just get along? You know milk of human kindness stuff. BC & D......now kiss and make up and let's have a harmonious holiday season....................... ..will someone pass the salt please? :P

Offline Eric_Bartlett

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #21 on: Dec 08, 2004, 04:53 »
It may have been on paper, but when we asked for support we were told a lot of times that there would be none because of short-staffing.  That may have been just an excuse, or it could have been due to layoffs that were perhaps a bit premature.

probably all of the above, combined with a condensed crew = short staffing

Why, why,why, do we always have to have a fight a Christmas? can't we all just get along? You know milk of human kindness stuff. BC & D......now kiss and make up and let's have a harmonious holiday season....................... ..will someone pass the salt please? :P

come on now, no fight'n here just try'n to figure it all out - if Beer Court and I were fight y'all would know - speak'n of fight'n where's Rad-Ghost?  ;D
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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #22 on: Dec 08, 2004, 04:56 »
Why, why,why, do we always have to have a fight a Christmas? can't we all just get along? You know milk of human kindness stuff. BC & D......now kiss and make up and let's have a harmonious holiday season....................... ..will someone pass the salt please? :P

XOXOXO
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RAD-GHOST

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #23 on: Dec 09, 2004, 03:36 »
I had a movement yesterday, it was definitly downward!


Eric, You Rang?   ;D 

RAD-GHOST

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Re: Backup Contracts?
« Reply #24 on: Dec 09, 2004, 06:54 »
Sorry Eric,

I've been busy for a few days.  I had the choice of inventoring my bottle cap collection or engauging in a web conversation with you.  I must admit it was a tuff decision, at least you'll be happy to know you came in second. 

Hey, How's the Staffing thing coming?  Looks like their may be a growing list of hold outs developing.  Since most of the early outages are already staffed, no jobs available anyway, maybe the schedule will force the developments of backup contracts.  It's rather interesting to see 16 - 17 outages all hitting at the same time.  The demand for Techs should push the money higher. Unless the Industry buy's that we don't exist!! 

Maybe those techs to be layed off, at that Connecticut Decommisioning, will fill an outage. 

It's going to interesting!  Drop me an IM at 26/100! 

Until then, have a Great day, RG    8)

 


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