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Thread: pay scale?

  1. #53
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    136
    "No I am not jealous, I work 8 I get paid 8 with union rate.
    I make $100,000.00 plus every year"

    How did you do your math. 8 hours a day equils 85,500 here. What the rate where you are ?

    you must work more than 8 hrs per day

  2. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    17,960
    Unions, who needs em? Just one big reason to protect lazy people. The hvac unions are the weakist unions out there too. Look at all the crack heads that work on the assembly lines making cars. These guys make tons of dough. A guess a unions motto is the old army saying "you have to f up to move up".
    Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

    Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    964
    They do have well stocked trucks, if the part is not on the truck they will usually have a parts runner bring out the part or whatever you need usually about the time you are ready to install it. Your right they don't work much commercial. FYI Mike Diamond is one of the most successful HVAC and Plumbing companies in Southern California, and he is spreading out through the US. He buys every company he can get his hands on and will run under the old companies "brand" that has already been established for 5 to 30 years in the same area. No different than someone buying a large company and retaining the well established name.

    As I already posted it is unlikely that ether side is going to influence the other, at least here on these boards, but I have a friend that turned his shops (two locations) to union a few years ago and they are having such a bad time now finding good people it's really sad. These "residential" companies that you are so quick to dismiss don't have any problems at all keeping employee or finding new ones that my friend with the now union shop would love to have.

    I'll keep doing what works for me, you keep doing what works for you, and we all will be happy............

  4. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    Where do you get lazy from. Folks. You all need to back off the screaming here. And seriously look at what all is being said. The examples of being non union and making 100 grand a year is true but for very few people and very few companies have that set up. Few.

    The truth is, for most commercial and industrial mechanics, working in the feild as service guys, union shops pay their men better. They provide for both a pension which include health in your retirement, and a 401K. Most non union don't have even close to the long term benefits of the pension or the health during retirement. Some non union shops don't even have the 401K.. And generally but not in every instance, the dollar per hour is more.

    Take a look at your local in your area and compare it entirely to your overall compensation you now receive. If it's more than the local, great, you da man, godspeed. But if it is lower, why on earth would you want to keep that job if you have an oppurtunity as a worthy tech to make more money.

    You all sound like the Union is evil and the reason for all things wrong. Our trade union is on your side. There against side jobs, against hacks, against many things we all share as complaints about low life competition. The guy on here and saying he earns 50 bucks an hour as a wage. Hey, who's argueing with you. As a Union, god we hope it gets there for everyone and more. Check it out and know what the facts are before dragging this issue through mud.

    It's a great and wonderful issue to talk about. It's about how we as a group can earn more money. I'd like to add here. Most Union Signatory contractors want to be and remain union. Few are dissenters. So basically chances are, you go union, and you may go to work for a owner who is union through and through and wants you to have your benefits and wants you to earn a good wage and wants you to have good training. What a concept hey??? WOW.

    Contrary to Popular belief, the United Association of Steamfitters is one of the most progressive and growing unions in the country. I said this in an earlier thread. You get through the 5 year apprentiship that is now in the program and get your journey staus, boy, you'll certainly can say you got an education. And especiaslly so now that Ferris State (top School in our trade) now honors all mechanics who are in the program and reach journey status with an accredited 2 years Associtaes degree.

    Isn't that good for our trade? Isn't that what were all about. Don't just give me the money. Let me learn it, then let me earn it..

    What is the union doing to stop things from going forward?

    The union is doing just the opposite. There trying hard to raise the bar and educate their members, trying to get things better for their contractors. Fighting for a better trade. I don't get why thats such an awful thing??

  5. #57
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    s.c.
    Posts
    287
    south carolina ia "right to work" state not many unions here . As for the talk of $50 an hour here you can be paid hourly which will range from 15 to 25 according to your skill level. or you can be paid piece pay ( billable hour) if you work by the billable hour you are responsable for any warranty work on your time also if a repair takes longer lets say 6 hours & the book calls for 4 hours you get paid for 4 hours. The problems I've seen with billable hour pay is some tech's get greedy & dis-honest in the process which is bad for our industry.most company's here pay a straight hourly wage.
    I can do all things...

  6. #58
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    13
    Amen Dowadudda! Union or non, we as an industry need to discourage the hacks and fly by nights. Pipefitters do have some of the best journeymen out there! This from a non union supporter. If we on the whole could push everyone to pursue continuing education and minimum competancy licensing our industry as a whole would be better. The shop I manage is under contract to SMW as our owner is a past president of SMACNA and recognizes the benefits of keeping a union shop. Personally I wish our techs were represented by the pipefitters and have been very vocal about it. My personal experience has shown far superior training.
    Money wise, a good non union tech with good skills can find a good paying job with all the benifits if he looks for it and demands the pay. If he/she settles for anything less he's a fool.

  7. #59
    Originally posted by daytonafan
    Doesn't it depend on how good you are? Will a Union company keep a $40.00hr tech if he sucks? Is there oppurtunity for union guys to make above scale? Let's say a guy has been with the same company for 20 years and is the best tech in town will the company pay him above union scale to keep him around. Every situation is different. I am a non-union residential service tech in northern Indiana. I make $22.00 per hour, have a brand new take home truck, 2 weeks paid vacation, 6 paid personal/sick days per year. My employer pays the health insurance for me and my 5 dependants. (Granted it's not the hottest insurance in the world.) I also get a Christmas bonus each year that has ranged from $3500.00 to $9000.00 going up each year. I do have to buy all my own hand tools but employer provides guages, pump, meters etc... I have been trying for years to get in with a union company for pension and insurance reasons but for some reason they don't hire "rats". How can I not be a "rat" if they won't even give me a chance? As for skill. Please don't kid yourself. I have fixed union techs mistakes in the past.

    Union or non-union, there are worthless bums on both sides. I have worked both sides of the fence and I am happy to say that working union has been far better for me and my family. The answer to your question about mechanics making over scale is YES. I know at least half of the mechanics in our area who are union are making over scale. I know countless people in the non-union sector of our trade in my area of the country.........two of them make as much or more than I do. As for union workers being lazy yada yada yada, feel free to visit Nashville anytime and ride with me......rarely have an apprentice helping me, haven't had a 40 hour check in over 5 months (averaging 55 hours a week), have been working 12-14 hour days lately........yeah, we are all lazy. Yeah, there are those exceptions to all rules out there........non-union techs making $50/hr etc.........but it is rare. The highest paid non-union mechanics in our area make less than $30/hr.....the average is about $22/hr. Our scale is split based on experience and production.....all these just went up last month, but I am close....$25.06 journeyman rate......$27.46 for a "senior" journeyman........$34.66 for top of the food chain, can do anything senior journeyman. Most union mechanics I know are making a little over the $27.46 rate. I know one guy working non-union making $30/hr and the closest to him in the non-union sector that I know is making $27/hr.......2 out of the 50-60 that I know in my area are making what we make or a little higher. My insurance is paid, my retirement is paid, my life insurance is paid, and I have the opportunity for free training on a regular basis. I pay less than $100/month in dues........how many of you are paying $60, $80, $100/week just for medical insurance? Bust out your total package and see what you actually get on your check..........what I get on my check is what I get on my check (less my $93/month in dues)........figure your hourly rate after deductions of insurance, 401K, and whatever else you pay out of your check...........see what you actually make.........it might be interesting. As for not allowing "rats" into union shops.......that is not the norm across the country. We take in qualified mechanics all the time and seldom do they leave after making the change.

  8. #60
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077
    I would like to add this. I think it's not spoke of enough. I think it's very clear that a union journey status mechanic makes a good living. And I also know of Mechanics in the non union sector that make more dollars per hour. Exceptional and extraordinary type guys. But the glory of those guys ends at, your future. The union mechanics have the pension and 401K. Including in your retirment your health paid. Most any non union company I am aware of does not have the ability to provide a pension. I am talking contractor, not big big corporate type joint. Thats a biggie to most guys wanting a comfortable retirement. Sure you can slam your 401K to the hilt every year and I encourage that. But thats not a check every month till you die. Thats not your medical insurance and prescriptions every month till your dead.

    So say you got best case scenario about 500 grand in your 401K. You retire. Thats all you got. And thats good. But in the union for thirty years, you'll have that, you have a check of about 3 grand a month on top of that, (in todays dollars)thats every month, you'll have your social security with that, if it's there, you then will have medical and all that. You don't have to blow the 401K to take care of all things.

    Another thing. Having been small time contractor and trying to figure out how to grow, with recruiting good talent. Good talent costs money, forces me to offer good bennies. The cheapest way to offer a guy, a great wage, a great benefit package, also TRAINING, is to become a union contractor. I hear so many contractors moan and whine about the union being bad. Just the opposite. For a contractor, thats the cheapest way to offer all the bennies and wage. In my area it's roughly 50 bucks an hour for a guy. I think in the final analysis, I might be able to touch that as a non union entity but then I could not offer my employee (s) or even myself the pension part.

    And it is truly amazing how proactive the UA is. Take a look for yourselves this apprenticeship they now have. It's not even close to the days of old. These youngsters getting turned out honest to goodness know some stuff. Way more than you'll get out of a young man out of an associates degree at the local tech school. The continuous training alone for the upper level guys, you aint going to be able to afford what they give their guys for free or a minor 50 bucks or whatever for say a DDC controls class. As far as the union in your business. Not true. They do not really at all care to come in and tell you how to run your show. The guys working for you, they decide for themselves if they choose to work for you. I think the only time the union is going to show up at your doorstep is, if you somehow get behind financially with whats owed to your employees.

    All I want to really get across is, the UA is on the side of a tradesman whether your a contractor or tech, they want you to make money, they are on our side. The second thing is, I understand in days gone past the union was not great. Today is much different and the UA is adapting to the new way of conducting themselves and there is a hell of a lot more positives to it than in times past. Thirdly. The UA, The IBEW, The Plumbers, the actual trades unions, they can not be in the same conversation as the United Auto Workers, The teamsters. Those unions rely on muscle and numbers. The only way the trade unions remain a viable option for tech or contractor is to really be the best at what they do. If not, if no trade union did not offer these great things to both tech and contractor, the trades unions would not be alive. On the contrary, the trades unions are vibrant, strong, growing, and reinventing themselves with the same ideas I just said.

    The Trades Unions recognized that the reason they were declining is everyone was leaving, contractors were saying that, for the money, they were not getting what they were expecting. I am sure at some point the Trades Unions were this greasy hand type environment. So the Trades had to make a decision. Go away or actually start running things like a business. Things are very bright because they chose the smart way to be. It's not the same thing the last time you looked. I have been around this trade and the union stuff my whole life. I can tell you, you would not even recognize the UA of today than yesterday. Go take a look.

  9. #61
    Originally posted by Dowadudda
    I would like to add this. I think it's not spoke of enough. I think it's very clear that a union journey status mechanic makes a good living. And I also know of Mechanics in the non union sector that make more dollars per hour. Exceptional and extraordinary type guys. But the glory of those guys ends at, your future. The union mechanics have the pension and 401K. Including in your retirment your health paid. Most any non union company I am aware of does not have the ability to provide a pension. I am talking contractor, not big big corporate type joint. Thats a biggie to most guys wanting a comfortable retirement. Sure you can slam your 401K to the hilt every year and I encourage that. But thats not a check every month till you die. Thats not your medical insurance and prescriptions every month till your dead.

    Dowa, from where I am sitting you have hit the nail right on the head and done it very nicely without all of the usual slamming and slander. Everyone has a choice and I made a choice a long time ago to go union. It's been 27 years with a brief 1.5 years stint non-union in another state. I am close to being able to cash out of the trade (at 55) with a baisic pension benifit of about 6K / month. Medical for life will cost me only 320/month. My 401K has not done all that great but it is still in the + and that is mine to invest or leave to draw at a later time when the market improves. There was nothing close to this offered by the non-union shop I worked for. They were good people and treated the mechanics good, and the pay scale was on par with the local economy, but they did not have the negotiating power of the UA and there was no training for the new people they hired. It was learn or get hurt.

    My suggestion is this. If you are working in an area where the unions are well represented then that is the way to go. You can change jobs and not have to NEGOTIATE WAGES with your new employer. If you work in an area where unions are weak or non existant learn the trade the best you can by taking trade school classes, and then consider a move to an area where you can join a union. Long term it is a better invesment for the majority. There are those people that can plan their future and stick to the rigorous saving scheme to achieve the same results, but the masses just don't seem to be able to do it. I am one of those. I know my trade, but am a poor financial planner.

  10. #62
    The UA, The IBEW, The Plumbers, the actual trades unions, they can not be in the same conversation as the United Auto Workers, The teamsters. Those unions rely on muscle and numbers. The only way the trade unions remain a viable option for tech or contractor is to really be the best at what they do.


    Amen........It's like being on a different planet being in the UA etc. compared to the UAW or the Teamsters. If you don't cut it in the trade, you will not stick around long. The union has no power to protect slackers in our trade. The reality of our union is far different than the fiction many in the non-union side seem to be fed. I have a friend that I have encouraged for years. I have tried to tell him that he would make more money if he would join the union. The non-union contractor he was working for continually told him that there was no way he could make the money we told him he could. His boss constantly discounted the union as a farce..........he finally made his mind up to find out the real deal about 6 weeks ago. He is making $4/hr more than he was where he was at......not a huge deal until you consider that he is no longer paying for his insurance or 401K. Effectively he got a $7/hr raise. He is glad to pay the monthly dues of $93 to gain $280/week. People like him are the rule, not the exception. There are very few out there making the $50/hr on the check in the grand scheme of things. I'll take my check plus benefits any day over anything you can find around here. Not to mention the brotherhood that develops among union techs........not just the ones working for the same contractor.......but throughout the entire Local. We help one another within the company of course, but even between contractors we help one another. Back-stabbing is not tolerated. We do not "knife" our brothers to get ahead. We take care of one another, our customers, and concentrate on doing the best job possible. For those of you who envision the mob running around forcing our customers to use us, or have this vision of 5 of us changing out a 5 ton compressor on some "Mickey Mouse" rooftop unit, you have been sadly misinformed. I have no desire to organize every non-union tech on this forum.......to each his own......but for those of you who think that we all joined the union for an "easy" job with little work to do..........you are listening to fairy tales spun by those who fear you will someday find out the truth.

  11. #63
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Peoria
    Posts
    2
    The UA would be the 6th largest school district in the U.S. based upon money spent for member education in the trade. The UA realizes the only way we will remain strong and grow is to keep ahead of the new technoligies driving our industry and keeping our members trained to install and service this equipment. The new UA Star program will provide HVAC certification to UA service technicians which will add credibility to our members extensive training background. The UA offers benifits to our members that remain unavailible to the non-union sector of the industry. Contact a local UA office in your area for more information.

  12. #64
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    12,077

    Keep adding things here you guys. This is so important to our trade and to our members here and in the UA. Keep it above the belt as well. But keep talking. I invite anyone to add to this. Tell me and the rest of us where you benefited. Many young guys are reading this, many in the middle guys are reading this. It's incredibly important to keep this conversation going..

    I see positives but I don't hear the negatives for contractor or tech. I hear some arguement against but those arguements so far have been untrue statements about the UA and not truth.

    I also encourage questions from anyone wanting to know and understand the real way it is. Ask away..

  13. #65
    We will all be making "Walmart" wages shortly if nimrods on this discussion board continue to try to walk incompetent people through complicated problems. We've all seen the posts, some of us just shake our heads in disbelief, others try to be a hero.


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