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Thread: Union input

  1. #1
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    Union input

    I recently got hired by a union company as a tradesmen. I have some old post but I come with a redential service background. My first company was a mom and pop shop were I learned a lot but moved on wanting to gain more knowledge and experience in commercial hvac and better benefits. It has been hard for me to adapt for the reason Ill be listing:
    Scheduling: company gives us a number of pms in the beginning of the month and we have to schedule ourselves out. We have to set work time to schedule ourselves for other upcoming jobs or do it on our on time if we donít have the time during work hours. Some customs require 24 hour notices, 3 day or email. Being new Iím on the phone talking with other techs or on the phone trying to schedule jobs.

    Quoting: I told company that on my previous company we had a price book and they told me everything would be different so I was hoping to be taught how to quote but that hasnít happened. Iíve had to ask other techs and everyone seems to quote different.

    Phone: everything we do is through our phone; itís seems better part of our day we have to be on our phone scheduling ourselves, quoting, responding to the emails we get from dispatch, foreman and clients and also the phone calls.

    Dispatch and quoting department get upset and think I should have this down. Iím not trying to bash the company, I like to work and learn new stuff but this has made it difficult for me. Iíve talked to other tech and pretty much they say they throw you out to the wolfís and either sink or swim. Is this how commercial hvac company operate?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nando17 View Post
    I recently got hired by a union company as a tradesmen. I have some old post but I come with a redential service background. My first company was a mom and pop shop were I learned a lot but moved on wanting to gain more knowledge and experience in commercial hvac and better benefits. It has been hard for me to adapt for the reason Ill be listing:
    Scheduling: company gives us a number of pms in the beginning of the month and we have to schedule ourselves out. We have to set work time to schedule ourselves for other upcoming jobs or do it on our on time if we donít have the time during work hours. Some customs require 24 hour notices, 3 day or email. Being new Iím on the phone talking with other techs or on the phone trying to schedule jobs.

    Quoting: I told company that on my previous company we had a price book and they told me everything would be different so I was hoping to be taught how to quote but that hasnít happened. Iíve had to ask other techs and everyone seems to quote different.

    Phone: everything we do is through our phone; itís seems better part of our day we have to be on our phone scheduling ourselves, quoting, responding to the emails we get from dispatch, foreman and clients and also the phone calls.

    Dispatch and quoting department get upset and think I should have this down. Iím not trying to bash the company, I like to work and learn new stuff but this has made it difficult for me. Iíve talked to other tech and pretty much they say they throw you out to the wolfís and either sink or swim. Is this how commercial hvac company operate?
    I work for a union shop, itís not like that for us. All shops are different. Get into the apprenticeship, turn out, gain a lot of knowledge and you can write your own ticket. Knowledge is power.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nando17 View Post
    I recently got hired by a union company as a tradesmen. I have some old post but I come with a redential service background. My first company was a mom and pop shop were I learned a lot but moved on wanting to gain more knowledge and experience in commercial hvac and better benefits. It has been hard for me to adapt for the reason Ill be listing:
    Scheduling: company gives us a number of pms in the beginning of the month and we have to schedule ourselves out. We have to set work time to schedule ourselves for other upcoming jobs or do it on our on time if we don’t have the time during work hours. Some customs require 24 hour notices, 3 day or email. Being new I’m on the phone talking with other techs or on the phone trying to schedule jobs.

    Quoting: I told company that on my previous company we had a price book and they told me everything would be different so I was hoping to be taught how to quote but that hasn’t happened. I’ve had to ask other techs and everyone seems to quote different.

    Phone: everything we do is through our phone; it’s seems better part of our day we have to be on our phone scheduling ourselves, quoting, responding to the emails we get from dispatch, foreman and clients and also the phone calls.

    Dispatch and quoting department get upset and think I should have this down. I’m not trying to bash the company, I like to work and learn new stuff but this has made it difficult for me. I’ve talked to other tech and pretty much they say they throw you out to the wolf’s and either sink or swim. Is this how commercial hvac company operate?
    Contact the hall and find another contractor.

  4. Likes psehunter liked this post
  5. #4
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    Nandi, what you described more or less is the way many of us workload looks like, the thing is I get pay for every minute spent on work related issues let it be scheduling, calling customers etc. that business model is really good once you get used to it.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

  6. #5
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    Never heard of all of that, 90% of what your doing is the dispatchers job. Your a tech, not office worker.

    Quotes, give it your best shot at how many men and hours it takes to do a job, there must be a supervisor or service manager you can ask for guidance?

    I try to make my quotes 4 or 8 hours, anything else is a hassle and I think it interferes with job scheduling.. I mean what the heck is someone gonna do for 2 hours at end of day if you quote 6 ? may take 30-45 min to next site, if it aint a service call and slow time of year, just not worth the hassle, I can always find enough to write up to justify the time... So I try to do 4's and 8's only, has worked out well this way.

    No, most commercial companies are nothing like that.. Yes you will need to write your own quotes, but no you will not be scheduling anything with customers.. or do much of anything on your time off except relax.

    Is this local part of the UA? or is it one of the rogue unions? If you haven't been put into the union yet stay with them until you are, than call the hall.
    HVAC Magician @ UA Local 638

  7. #6
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    Some of the bigger shops in our local do operate that way as in scheduling your PMs. But never do it on your own time, if you are doing something for work you get paid. Quoting is part of the job, figure out your labor rate and your parts mark ups and your fine.

    You best be careful, I don’t know what tradesmen means in your area. But if you’re doing union work turning a wrench you better be a Jman or an apprentice or might be p***ing of some coworker and scabbing.

    I work in a small shop. I’m still newer and the boss is giving me jobs but we got plenty going on. I do quote my own jobs.

  8. #7
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by psehunter View Post
    Never heard of all of that, 90% of what your doing is the dispatchers job. Your a tech, not office worker.

    Quotes, give it your best shot at how many men and hours it takes to do a job, there must be a supervisor or service manager you can ask for guidance?

    I try to make my quotes 4 or 8 hours, anything else is a hassle and I think it interferes with job scheduling.. I mean what the heck is someone gonna do for 2 hours at end of day if you quote 6 ? may take 30-45 min to next site, if it aint a service call and slow time of year, just not worth the hassle, I can always find enough to write up to justify the time... So I try to do 4's and 8's only, has worked out well this way.

    No, most commercial companies are nothing like that.. Yes you will need to write your own quotes, but no you will not be scheduling anything with customers.. or do much of anything on your time off except relax.

    Is this local part of the UA? or is it one of the rogue unions? If you haven't been put into the union yet stay with them until you are, than call the hall.
    Yeah its part of the UA. I think hardest part has been trying to schedule myself, especially because a lot of my pms are 2.5 ,3, 5, 7 etc. also itís been hard/ frustrating for me to at least get my 40. I do quote customer for repair but seems I get the crappy account where customer doesnít want to fix nothing.

    Quoting is getting a little easier, company just gave us an app to do our quoting on and thatís helped me out. I could see where youíre come from quoting jobs for 4 or 8 hours.

  9. #8
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    On the rarity I get PMs I schedule them myself. If it's some odd hour I just move it over to the next day. You have to get creative with moving your hours around. Our service manager has tried to tell us that getting filters isnt part of a PM. To me it is. I usually try to get a bunch of different PMs filters at once so I'm not constantly going to the filter place after each PM.

    As for quoting stuff we have a sheet that we fill out and turn into the office. We put what parts are needed and how long it will take. Then the office sends out a formal quote to the right person.

    If you go over on a PM and you get *****ed at just tell them not to under quote the hours on it. That happens alot.

    I went from residential to commercial as well but I was never given PMs at the first place I worked, I mainly did repairs and deliveries as the service manager didnt like me. Mind you I was more qualified than the two guys they hired after me and they still kept me in the warehouse. The place I'm at now basically let's me do what I want. If it's a bid job or something they just point me in the direction and I just get the job done. Same with T&M jobs, but I just have more leeway with those.

    Still seems to shock people when I tell them that I run my own jobs as a 2nd year apprentice.

  10. #9
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    Not sure where this is going on but that sounds like your at another mom and pop union shop. I work Union and have never heard of another union company working this way. Some of them make you do some quotes or a few of the things but not all of them. You could start looking for another job or you could let your company know you need to know how they want things priced out how much mark up you need to put on items and how much you get for selling work for them. If your quoting labor and doing everything a sales guy does then your 7 hour inspections can be sold at 8 hours by you when the contract comes up. If there is not a sales guy attached to the job then you get to renegotiate how much its going to cost to do inspections and anything else you do. If some salesman sold that inspection at 7 hours then he can also write up a quote for doing a compressor for you because I would bet he is getting commission off that job anyway. Otherwise its your job and can be renegotiated by you.

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