2012 Edition: What's your raise this year?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by flu on February 16, 2012 - 7:51am

We use to do this... Are you guys seeing employers giving more, giving less or about the same.

I'll start.
1)Side gig... I didn't give myself a raise this year.

2)In my full time rat race..4% bump,8% bonus cash bonus, and $80k worth of equity that now takes 4 years to vest, so I guess you can say that's about a $20k equity bonus per year. Looks like my bonus was cut in half, the equity was about the same and the base pay raise was about the same.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 18, 2012 - 9:36am.

CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
But if you perform below average you should fall behind. Its the private sectors way of showing you where the door is without getting sued.

ultimately that's the downfall of the public sector. the pay increases are all set in stone, regardless of performance.

I'm pretty familiar with a number of public employers and their compensation numbers. Of the ones I'm familiar with, almost all have had their compensation frozen or seen net decreases in total compensation since about 2008. No net raises in the vast majority of cases. Their compensation has gone down in real terms, and in many cases, in nominal terms.

But that's looking at a short term deviation from the norm secondary to budgetary crisis at all levels of government. Overall, the government employees are significantly overpaid.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf

Where does it say that?

From your link, on page 4:

"Comparing private and public sector data
Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of
private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and
administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local
government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry."

------------------

Here are some articles and studies regarding compensation in the public vs. private sectors:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/201...

And this more "mixed" analysis from the Reason Foundation -- hardly a "liberal" or "pro-union" organization:

http://reason.org/news/show/public-secto...

And from Mother Jones (to get all sides in here), another "mixed" bag:

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/0...

------------------

One comment I have to make about the higher pay for the jobs with fewer degree requirements -- many of which are public safety jobs -- there are no similar jobs in the private sector with which to compare them.

Not only that, but they mention the much lower turnover rate in many public sectors jobs; this is very important to public employers. The (necessarily) bureaucratic hiring process and extensive initial, and ongoing, training required for these employees is VERY expensive. They cannot afford to have high turnover rates. IMHO, even if they were to go to defined contribution plans (as many suggest), I don't think they'd end up saving very much (anything?) in the long run. One of the main reasons people are attracted to these jobs is the benefits packages. Take that away, and the turnover rates -- and related costs -- would be much, much higher.

If there are no comparable jobs in the private sector then why do we have to pay them so much? Why would they leave? Where would they go? There are no comparable jobs in the private sector. You just murdered your case. The defense rests.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 18, 2012 - 9:37am.

CONCHO wrote:
dumbrenter wrote:
I pay IT consultants for their services and always thought their rates are too high for what they do.

Their rates seem high because:

* They pay DOUBLE SS/MDCR tax
* They pay for their own health insurance
* They pay for their own life insurance
* They don't get 401K matching from you
* They don't get any bonuses
* They don't get a yearly raise
* They don't get paid vacation
* You can get rid of them at anytime, and they may be unemployed for a period of time with no income
* They have a lot more paperwork and taxes to deal with at the end of the year.

With consultants you are paying for the convenience factor. My experience is that most of them do not make any more money than your typical 9-to-5 employee at the end of the day and many make less.

SOunds like my job

Submitted by SK in CV on February 18, 2012 - 10:05am.

CONCHO wrote:
dumbrenter wrote:
I pay IT consultants for their services and always thought their rates are too high for what they do.

Their rates seem high because:

* They pay DOUBLE SS/MDCR tax
* They pay for their own health insurance
* They pay for their own life insurance
* They don't get 401K matching from you
* They don't get any bonuses
* They don't get a yearly raise
* They don't get paid vacation
* You can get rid of them at anytime, and they may be unemployed for a period of time with no income
* They have a lot more paperwork and taxes to deal with at the end of the year.

With consultants you are paying for the convenience factor. My experience is that most of them do not make any more money than your typical 9-to-5 employee at the end of the day and many make less.

We're talking apples and oranges. Most IT consultants work for/are employed by IT consulting firms, they're not independent contractors. Hourly rates for these firms commonly range from $100 to $400+ per hour.

Submitted by AN on February 18, 2012 - 10:52am.

sdrealtor wrote:
If there are no comparable jobs in the private sector then why do we have to pay them so much? Why would they leave? Where would they go? There are no comparable jobs in the private sector. You just murdered your case. The defense rests.

I was thinking the same thing. Why pay someone more when you know they can't and won't leave? Lets try to pay them less and less till we find where the breaking point is. Then that would be the market price. With the money saved, we can either lower taxes and improve service by hiring more.

Submitted by AN on February 18, 2012 - 10:54am.

SK in CV wrote:
We're talking apples and oranges. Most IT consultants work for/are employed by IT consulting firms, they're not independent contractors. Hourly rates for these firms commonly range from $100 to $400+ per hour.

$400+/hr for IT? Really? For software engineer contracting house, they're charging between $100-150/hr depending on experience. Those contracting house provide healthcare, 401k, etc., so they typically charge twice the hr. rate they pay their contractors.

Submitted by SK in CV on February 18, 2012 - 11:07am.

AN wrote:
SK in CV wrote:
We're talking apples and oranges. Most IT consultants work for/are employed by IT consulting firms, they're not independent contractors. Hourly rates for these firms commonly range from $100 to $400+ per hour.

$400+/hr for IT? Really? For software engineer contracting house, they're charging between $100-150/hr depending on experience. Those contracting house provide healthcare, 401k, etc", so they typically charge twice the hr. rate they pay their contractors.

Yes, $400/hr. The label "IT Consultant" spans a pretty wide range of services from programming to installation and customization plus tech consulting. Rates at $400+ per hour at some of the global SI's are not uncommon. We're not talking about come and set up my router. (I think that's usually about $100/hr.) Consulting related to installation of big ERP systems commonly run in the many many millions of dollars.

And it's more like 2.5-3.5 x hourly pay rate, which is lower than most professional service industries.

Submitted by AN on February 18, 2012 - 11:37am.

SK in CV wrote:
Yes, $400/hr. The label "IT Consultant" spans a pretty wide range of services from programming to installation and customization plus tech consulting. Rates at $400+ per hour at some of the global SI's are not uncommon. We're not talking about come and set up my router. (I think that's usually about $100/hr.) Consulting related to installation of big ERP systems commonly run in the many many millions of dollars.

And it's more like 2.5-3.5 x hourly pay rate, which is lower than most professional service industries.


I wasn't referring to the "come and set up my router" type. I'm talking about come and setup big ERP system. I've setup a small scale ERP system before (Microsoft Great Plains). It's not rocket science. It's much easier than writing those ERP software. I did that while I was fresh out of college too.

At $400/hr, that equivalent to hiring someone full time and pay them ~$800k/yr. I'm not in IT consulting, so I don't know, but I'm skeptical about the $400/hr rate since I was in the S/W consulting business. Even at the best of time, a S/W architect can't fetch anywhere near $400/hr.

I didn't know IT consulting is more lucrative than S/W consulting. Typical rate today for S/W consulting range for 1.5-2x hourly rate (Wipro type to more high end Teleca type). I'd impress to know that there are people who would pay that much more for IT consultant. Even at the high end of your range, 3.5x hourly pay, your typical Sr. IT is probably making around $40-50/hr., so 3.5x that would be $140-175/hr. That's a far cry from $400/hr.

Submitted by SK in CV on February 18, 2012 - 12:07pm.

AN wrote:
I wasn't referring to the "come and set up my router" type. I'm talking about come and setup big ERP system. I've setup a small scale ERP system before (Microsoft Great Plains). It's not rocket science. It's much easier than writing those ERP software. I did that while I was fresh out of college too.

At $400/hr, that equivalent to hiring someone full time and pay them ~$800k/yr. I'm not in IT consulting, so I don't know, but I'm skeptical about the $400/hr rate since I was in the S/W consulting business. Even at the best of time, a S/W architect can't fetch anywhere near $400/hr.

I didn't know IT consulting is more lucrative than S/W consulting. Typical rate today for S/W consulting range for 1.5-2x hourly rate (Wipro type to more high end Teleca type). I'd impress to know that there are people who would pay that much more for IT consultant. Even at the high end of your range, 3.5x hourly pay, your typical Sr. IT is probably making around $40-50/hr., so 3.5x that would be $140-175/hr. That's a far cry from $400/hr.

The guys that are doing the installs for the big ERP systems (not GP, which is now MS Dynamics), like Oracle and SAP systems pretty typically bill in the $175-$225 range. The EPM guys that do Hyperion and SAP's EPM solution tend to be a bit higher. Solution architects tend to be a bit more. The tech guys related to those installations are $250 at the very low end, up to $400. The $400/hr for the non-tech work is typically for the very esoteric stuff. (like SSM and PCM work) I may have exaggerated a bit, in that for one, there aren't too many of those guys out there, and second, there isn't that much work for them. (Literally, there may not be more than a dozen guys in the US that know SAP's SSM module inside and out.) But that is the standard rate for some firms.

These guys get paid more than $50/hr. Some of them a lot more. I've got a contractor I pay $165/hr because he has skills that very few had, and he won't become an employee. His 1099 was over $300K. he's being cut loose because of that, but the employees that have acquired his skills have W-2's >$200K, and they bill at $250+. On the lower side of margin %, but still a high margin $ for the industry.

Submitted by flu on February 18, 2012 - 12:06pm.

Can we all agree being salaried w2 sucks?

I look at my pretax paycheck on my full time gig, and look at it after all deductions and taxes. It's pathetic.

Submitted by flu on February 18, 2012 - 12:26pm.

SK in CV wrote:
AN wrote:
I wasn't referring to the "come and set up my router" type. I'm talking about come and setup big ERP system. I've setup a small scale ERP system before (Microsoft Great Plains). It's not rocket science. It's much easier than writing those ERP software. I did that while I was fresh out of college too.

At $400/hr, that equivalent to hiring someone full time and pay them ~$800k/yr. I'm not in IT consulting, so I don't know, but I'm skeptical about the $400/hr rate since I was in the S/W consulting business. Even at the best of time, a S/W architect can't fetch anywhere near $400/hr.

I didn't know IT consulting is more lucrative than S/W consulting. Typical rate today for S/W consulting range for 1.5-2x hourly rate (Wipro type to more high end Teleca type). I'd impress to know that there are people who would pay that much more for IT consultant. Even at the high end of your range, 3.5x hourly pay, your typical Sr. IT is probably making around $40-50/hr., so 3.5x that would be $140-175/hr. That's a far cry from $400/hr.

The guys that are doing the installs for the big ERP systems (not GP, which is now MS Dynamics), like Oracle and SAP systems pretty typically bill in the $175-$225 range. The EPM guys that do Hyperion and SAP's EPM solution tend to be a bit higher. The tech guys related to those installations are $250 at the very low end, up to $400. The $400/hr for the non-tech work is typically for the very esoteric stuff. (like SSM and PCM work) I may have exaggerated a bit, in that for one, there aren't too many of those guys out there, and second, there isn't that much work for them. (Literally, there may not be more than a dozen guys in the US that know SAP's SSM module inside and out.) But that is the standard rate for some firms.

These guys get paid more than $50/hr. Some of them a lot more. I've got a contractor I pay $165/hr because he has skills that very few had, and he won't become an employee. His 1099 was over $300K. he's being cut loose because of that, but the employees that have acquired his skills have W-2's >$200K, and they bill at $250+. On the lower side of margin %, but still a high margin $ for the industry.

The nice thing about when I use to work for a major EAI integration company was that I had a lot of exposure to a lot of the CRM and ERP systems, because my job was building automation to workflows between these systems. I can tell you although I worked for a competing technology, having experience in these ERP systems + having integration experience with things like Tibco/MQSeries, you could bill out at around $250-300/hr, because not many people at the time knew it. The most lucrative positions were big companies that and a mess of an infrastructure. This rate has fallen somewhat, but the trend has and always been that folks who were "solutions architects" with good knowledge of pre-packaged ERP/CRM and other major backoffice systems and could design the system architecture and walk the talk of non-techie's often could bill out more so than someone that can "write IT programs, particularly J2EE"...The way most things are going, it's all about pre-packaged solutions.

There's a common misconception imho.. Working in I.T. is NOT working in technology. Most likely, you are not working at the bleeding edge, but rather trying to fix sh1t that everyone else created. I.T. is NOT engineering and for the most part not software engineering these days.
Pay can be good if you realize your value is better knowing how to do solutions rather than coding. I.E. you're better off being a solutions architect versus knowing J2EE/Java/php/name_your_flavor_programing_language in and out. You can find many many people to be the code monkey, but very few people can do a decent job about being a solutions architect. If you find yourself in the coding category, and you're hired to be a coder, expect to compete with folks in Banglore or the likes who, given a perfectly worded specification and write a module or two for you. You're probably in the wrong role and you're probably going to be looking at yoy decline in pay as a result. If you're in the role of telling people what the solution should be like and finding people to actually write the code to implement your solution, then you'll do just fine.

If your heart really is about creating the most advanced, breaking technology/innovation hands on coding, work for a real technology company instead of being an I.T. consultant, or create your own products and push them.

It's for the very reason why I left the I.T./integration business years back and haven't looked back since. Was tired of spending so much time NOT focusing on technology and on internal bullshit of a companies. I mean, one company I spent years with had a cluster-f of an infrastructure and couldn't even send out targeted emails on demand because they decided to home-grow an email solution that got so coupled with their ERP system that it couldn't do anything else but send out email for that ERP system. Could don't anything related to the web solution and couldn't do anything for the SAAS offerings. The first thing I did was to help eliminate it and replace it with a SAAS third party system. Heck of a lot cheaper to run, and with guaranteed availability from the third party.. I don't understand why the company took so long to do it. I mean come on, email has been around for ages.

Submitted by blahblahblah on February 18, 2012 - 12:22pm.

flu wrote:
Can we all agree being salaried w2 sucks?

I look at my pretax paycheck on my full time gig, and look at it after all deductions and taxes. It's pathetic.

Hey at least your employer pays you for vacation time, for half your SS/MDCR tax, for some health and life insurance, and maybe even gives you stock options or a 401K match. If you have a good salary and some job security (HA! who has that anymore?) it can be hard to beat actually.

Submitted by flu on February 18, 2012 - 12:37pm.

CONCHO wrote:
flu wrote:
Can we all agree being salaried w2 sucks?

I look at my pretax paycheck on my full time gig, and look at it after all deductions and taxes. It's pathetic.

Hey at least your employer pays you for vacation time, for half your SS/MDCR tax, for some health and life insurance, and maybe even gives you stock options or a 401K match. If you have a good salary and some job security (HA! who has that anymore?) it can be hard to beat actually.

Um... No. Actually my current employer eliminated vacation time, and it's just following what the going trend is... The newest vacation "policy" that employers are pushing goes like this.

You no longer can acrue vacation. Instead if you need to take time off, you just ask your manager for time off for up to 2 weeks. Longer than 2 weeks blocks need SVP approval. Technically, you have unlimited vacation time as you can request as many vacation blocks as possible, BUT it's always at the discretion of your manager to grant you the time off, subject to whether your work schedule permits.

They are doing this so that people no longer can accrue vacation and have an outstanding liability to pay employees for accrued time. The only people that this really screws though are people like me who work a lot...Since we rarely took vacation, we counted on being paid out for the accrual. Now you don't accure anymore....

This was documented earlier as a perk. Trust me it's not a perk. Because you're now subject to the whime of
1) whether your manager likes you (mine happens to like me)

2) whether your schedule permits

http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/31/news/com...

Consider this. If you're an old timer, and didn't always take your 4+week of vacation, at least you accrued the time so that when you left the company, most of it was paid out.. No longer the case. If you don't take your vacation each year, it's really you lose it.

P.S.... I doubt you would ever find this done in the public sector.

Submitted by blahblahblah on February 18, 2012 - 12:44pm.

flu wrote:

Um... No. Actually my current employer eliminated vacation time, and it's just following what the going trend is... The newest vacation "policy" that employers are pushing goes like this.

You no longer can acrue vacation. Instead if you need to take time off, you just ask your manager for time off for up to 2 weeks. Longer than 2 weeks blocks need SVP approval. Technically, you have unlimited vacation time as you can request as many vacation blocks as possible, BUT it's always at the discretion of your manager to grant you the time off, subject to whether your work schedule permits.

Yeah that sucks and you are probably right about the reason they are doing it. It's like a stealth pay cut. Time to start taking vacations!

Submitted by AN on February 18, 2012 - 1:13pm.

SK in CV wrote:
The guys that are doing the installs for the big ERP systems (not GP, which is now MS Dynamics), like Oracle and SAP systems pretty typically bill in the $175-$225 range. The EPM guys that do Hyperion and SAP's EPM solution tend to be a bit higher. Solution architects tend to be a bit more. The tech guys related to those installations are $250 at the very low end, up to $400. The $400/hr for the non-tech work is typically for the very esoteric stuff. (like SSM and PCM work) I may have exaggerated a bit, in that for one, there aren't too many of those guys out there, and second, there isn't that much work for them. (Literally, there may not be more than a dozen guys in the US that know SAP's SSM module inside and out.) But that is the standard rate for some firms.

These guys get paid more than $50/hr. Some of them a lot more. I've got a contractor I pay $165/hr because he has skills that very few had, and he won't become an employee. His 1099 was over $300K. he's being cut loose because of that, but the employees that have acquired his skills have W-2's >$200K, and they bill at $250+. On the lower side of margin %, but still a high margin $ for the industry.


OK, that makes a lot more sense. When you know something that only a tiny portion of the population know, then you can charge that rate. Especially when your job is not steady, since not everyone need that service all the time. I thought you were talking about your average IT guys. At the $400 level you're talking about, it's almost like being hired on as a CTO.

Submitted by Ricechex on February 18, 2012 - 7:32pm.

Fed gov pay raises have been frozen for 2 years and looking at several years more.

Submitted by CA renter on February 18, 2012 - 11:21pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
But if you perform below average you should fall behind. Its the private sectors way of showing you where the door is without getting sued.

ultimately that's the downfall of the public sector. the pay increases are all set in stone, regardless of performance.

I'm pretty familiar with a number of public employers and their compensation numbers. Of the ones I'm familiar with, almost all have had their compensation frozen or seen net decreases in total compensation since about 2008. No net raises in the vast majority of cases. Their compensation has gone down in real terms, and in many cases, in nominal terms.

But that's looking at a short term deviation from the norm secondary to budgetary crisis at all levels of government. Overall, the government employees are significantly overpaid.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf

Where does it say that?

From your link, on page 4:

"Comparing private and public sector data
Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of
private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and
administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local
government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry."

------------------

Here are some articles and studies regarding compensation in the public vs. private sectors:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/201...

And this more "mixed" analysis from the Reason Foundation -- hardly a "liberal" or "pro-union" organization:

http://reason.org/news/show/public-secto...

And from Mother Jones (to get all sides in here), another "mixed" bag:

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/0...

------------------

One comment I have to make about the higher pay for the jobs with fewer degree requirements -- many of which are public safety jobs -- there are no similar jobs in the private sector with which to compare them.

Not only that, but they mention the much lower turnover rate in many public sectors jobs; this is very important to public employers. The (necessarily) bureaucratic hiring process and extensive initial, and ongoing, training required for these employees is VERY expensive. They cannot afford to have high turnover rates. IMHO, even if they were to go to defined contribution plans (as many suggest), I don't think they'd end up saving very much (anything?) in the long run. One of the main reasons people are attracted to these jobs is the benefits packages. Take that away, and the turnover rates -- and related costs -- would be much, much higher.

If there are no comparable jobs in the private sector then why do we have to pay them so much? Why would they leave? Where would they go? There are no comparable jobs in the private sector. You just murdered your case. The defense rests.

"No comparable jobs," means no jobs that have the same skill requirements and responsibility/liability levels in the private sector. It doesn't mean they can't make more in the private sector (many have made more prior to working in the public sector), but most public employees choose public service because of the benefits/security, not because of the pay. They make less during the "good times" and more during the "bad times," and this is a calculated decision on their part. It's also why public sector employees are pissed about being scapegoated for Wall Street's fVck-ups and having the major PR war being waged against them right when the sacrifices made during the good times are supposed to work in their favor.

Submitted by UCGal on February 19, 2012 - 10:57am.

Aca

CONCHO wrote:
flu wrote:

Um... No. Actually my current employer eliminated vacation time, and it's just following what the going trend is... The newest vacation "policy" that employers are pushing goes like this.

You no longer can acrue vacation. Instead if you need to take time off, you just ask yourmanager for time off for up to 2 weeks. Longer than 2 weeks blocks need SVP approval. Technically, you have unlimited vacation time as you can request as many vacation blocks as possible, BUT it's always at the discretion of your manager to grant you the time off, subject to whether your work schedule permits.

Yeah that sucks and you are probably right about the reason they are doing it. It's like a stealth pay cut. Time to start taking vacations!


I agree it sucks. I have a director that would totally be blocking time off requests because he personally never takes vacations.
It would impact the Indian employees a lot... the ones in my office tend to do long trips to India every 2 years, much to the annoyance of management who has to plan for 6 week absences.
It would impact me because I like to take 3 week vacations to help justify the expensive airfare overseas. Plus I'm at the Max of vacation because of long tenure so I'd probably get screwed trying to take it under that system.

In today's compressed schedules there's never a good time to take vacation.

Submitted by kev374 on February 19, 2012 - 11:28am.

The Sr. Enterprise Architects I know in the Java EE space are making around $80/hr, nothing more. Sr. developers make around $60-65/hr but I have seen as low as $50/hr. which equates to around $100k/yr with no benefits, so equivalent "with benefits" pay is around $75k/yr. In Southern California that is a pretty low pay for someone with over a decade of experience.

In my view development work is going overseas and/or performed onsite by L1 resources shipped here by companies like Infosys. This is the trend.

Given the skyrocketing cost of obtaining a college degree it would be foolish for anyone to obtain a Computer Science degree with the hopes of getting a development job for any money that will be worth their time.

If a person with over a decade of experience would get $75k/yr a person just out of college would probably be paid $40k/yr, that is the current reality...and that is IF there are entry level jobs in the first place.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 19, 2012 - 1:13pm.

CA renter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
But if you perform below average you should fall behind. Its the private sectors way of showing you where the door is without getting sued.

ultimately that's the downfall of the public sector. the pay increases are all set in stone, regardless of performance.

I'm pretty familiar with a number of public employers and their compensation numbers. Of the ones I'm familiar with, almost all have had their compensation frozen or seen net decreases in total compensation since about 2008. No net raises in the vast majority of cases. Their compensation has gone down in real terms, and in many cases, in nominal terms.

But that's looking at a short term deviation from the norm secondary to budgetary crisis at all levels of government. Overall, the government employees are significantly overpaid.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf

Where does it say that?

From your link, on page 4:

"Comparing private and public sector data
Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of
private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and
administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local
government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry."

------------------

Here are some articles and studies regarding compensation in the public vs. private sectors:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/201...

And this more "mixed" analysis from the Reason Foundation -- hardly a "liberal" or "pro-union" organization:

http://reason.org/news/show/public-secto...

And from Mother Jones (to get all sides in here), another "mixed" bag:

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/0...

------------------

One comment I have to make about the higher pay for the jobs with fewer degree requirements -- many of which are public safety jobs -- there are no similar jobs in the private sector with which to compare them.

Not only that, but they mention the much lower turnover rate in many public sectors jobs; this is very important to public employers. The (necessarily) bureaucratic hiring process and extensive initial, and ongoing, training required for these employees is VERY expensive. They cannot afford to have high turnover rates. IMHO, even if they were to go to defined contribution plans (as many suggest), I don't think they'd end up saving very much (anything?) in the long run. One of the main reasons people are attracted to these jobs is the benefits packages. Take that away, and the turnover rates -- and related costs -- would be much, much higher.

If there are no comparable jobs in the private sector then why do we have to pay them so much? Why would they leave? Where would they go? There are no comparable jobs in the private sector. You just murdered your case. The defense rests.

"No comparable jobs," means no jobs that have the same skill requirements and responsibility/liability levels in the private sector. It doesn't mean they can't make more in the private sector (many have made more prior to working in the public sector), but most public employees choose public service because of the benefits/security, not because of the pay. They make less during the "good times" and more during the "bad times," and this is a calculated decision on their part. It's also why public sector employees are pissed about being scapegoated for Wall Street's fVck-ups and having the major PR war being waged against them right when the sacrifices made during the good times are supposed to work in their favor.

I call total BS on this. Name 5 jobs that someone without a college education can get that pays over $100K (not commission based) that provides full health benefits, liberal vacation, cost of living raises, full pension with early retirement, stable employment etc. Heck just name 5 that offer that much money and forget the rich benefit package.

Submitted by CA renter on February 19, 2012 - 4:46pm.

Electricians, plumbers, commercial fishing, linemen, foundation specialists, multiple jobs in the entertainment industry...just off the top of my head. Some of those provide benefits, some don't, but they can all pay that amount and more; none require a college degree.

Oh, forgot a couple more...real estate agents, mortgage brokers (I knew one who was making over $80,000 PER MONTH), house flippers, etc.

[edit: Some mechanics can make this as well.]

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 19, 2012 - 5:46pm.

None of those jobs do you walk in and get 100k. They require years of training and most of them still don't make that unless they own the business which is an entirely different thing. Commercial fisherman don't make the money if they don't catch the fish so they are commission paid as are realtors and mortgage guys. Sometimes they make it and most times they don't. I am still waiting for five jobs that someone could leave their 100k public safety job and get a salary or hourly position paying more. Still calling b.s. on this.

Submitted by SK in CV on February 19, 2012 - 9:18pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
None of those jobs do you walk in and get 100k. They require years of training and most of them still don't make that unless they own the business which is an entirely different thing. Commercial fisherman don't make the money if they don't catch the fish so they are commission paid as are realtors and mortgage guys. Sometimes they make it and most times they don't. I am still waiting for five jobs that someone could leave their 100k public safety job and get a salary or hourly position paying more. Still calling b.s. on this.

No one walks into public safety jobs and makes $100K a year either.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 19, 2012 - 9:27pm.

Agreed but not the point. There aren't high paying private sector jobs waiting for them. That's the point

Submitted by SK in CV on February 19, 2012 - 10:04pm.

sdrealtor wrote:
Agreed but not the point. There aren't high paying private sector jobs waiting for them. That's the point

Fair enough. I wasn't really following the entire conversation. Thought maybe my comment wasn't really pertinent. On the other hand, I'm not sure there aren't some pretty high paying jobs waiting for some safety workers. For experienced cops anyway.

Submitted by CA renter on February 20, 2012 - 12:45am.

sdrealtor wrote:
CA renter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
CA renter wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
sdrealtor wrote:
But if you perform below average you should fall behind. Its the private sectors way of showing you where the door is without getting sued.

ultimately that's the downfall of the public sector. the pay increases are all set in stone, regardless of performance.

I'm pretty familiar with a number of public employers and their compensation numbers. Of the ones I'm familiar with, almost all have had their compensation frozen or seen net decreases in total compensation since about 2008. No net raises in the vast majority of cases. Their compensation has gone down in real terms, and in many cases, in nominal terms.

But that's looking at a short term deviation from the norm secondary to budgetary crisis at all levels of government. Overall, the government employees are significantly overpaid.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf

Where does it say that?

From your link, on page 4:

"Comparing private and public sector data
Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in
private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work
activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of
private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Professional and
administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local
government workforce, compared with one-half of private industry."

------------------

Here are some articles and studies regarding compensation in the public vs. private sectors:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/201...

And this more "mixed" analysis from the Reason Foundation -- hardly a "liberal" or "pro-union" organization:

http://reason.org/news/show/public-secto...

And from Mother Jones (to get all sides in here), another "mixed" bag:

http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/0...

------------------

One comment I have to make about the higher pay for the jobs with fewer degree requirements -- many of which are public safety jobs -- there are no similar jobs in the private sector with which to compare them.

Not only that, but they mention the much lower turnover rate in many public sectors jobs; this is very important to public employers. The (necessarily) bureaucratic hiring process and extensive initial, and ongoing, training required for these employees is VERY expensive. They cannot afford to have high turnover rates. IMHO, even if they were to go to defined contribution plans (as many suggest), I don't think they'd end up saving very much (anything?) in the long run. One of the main reasons people are attracted to these jobs is the benefits packages. Take that away, and the turnover rates -- and related costs -- would be much, much higher.

If there are no comparable jobs in the private sector then why do we have to pay them so much? Why would they leave? Where would they go? There are no comparable jobs in the private sector. You just murdered your case. The defense rests.

"No comparable jobs," means no jobs that have the same skill requirements and responsibility/liability levels in the private sector. It doesn't mean they can't make more in the private sector (many have made more prior to working in the public sector), but most public employees choose public service because of the benefits/security, not because of the pay. They make less during the "good times" and more during the "bad times," and this is a calculated decision on their part. It's also why public sector employees are pissed about being scapegoated for Wall Street's fVck-ups and having the major PR war being waged against them right when the sacrifices made during the good times are supposed to work in their favor.

I call total BS on this. Name 5 jobs that someone without a college education can get that pays over $100K (not commission based) that provides full health benefits, liberal vacation, cost of living raises, full pension with early retirement, stable employment etc. Heck just name 5 that offer that much money and forget the rich benefit package.

Perhaps there's some miscommunication.

You asked for some examples of jobs that can pay $100K+ in the private sector, without requiring a college degree, and I named a few examples (very quickly and easily) off the top of my head. I can find more if you'd like.

You didn't say that these jobs had to pay $100K+ on the first day (though some do). But public employees don't make anywhere near $100K on the first day, either; especially not in positions that don't require degrees.

One more thing...why are we not including commission-based jobs? Those can be some of the most lucrative jobs and often have the fewest requirements WRT education, skills, and experience.

I know a LOT of people who took pay cuts to move from the private sector to the public sector -- some took very large cuts. I personally took a 35%+ cut when I went from private to public employment. My dad also took a large cut, and my husband took a (smaller) cut as well. I know many others who took similar pay cuts, too. All did it because of the benefits/security of public employment; they clearly didn't do it for the pay.

Conversely, a lot of public employees leave public service because of better opportunities in the private sector. It was especially bad during the RE bubble when many people left to become RE agents, mortgage brokers, and house flippers (not kidding). In many departments, that's why they had to pay so much overtime -- there were a lot of vacant positions in the public sector during the bubble, and police and fire departments everywhere were having a difficult time trying to fill them.

BTW, you DO realize that public safety personnel also have to have years of training and experience (usually a couple of promotions, too) before they can make $100K, right? Even after many years of service, most don't make anywhere near this unless they work a lot of overtime.

Let me turn your argument around on you now. How many people can leave their current jobs and go into a completely different field and make more on day one? If they can't do this, does that mean they are overpaid?

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 20, 2012 - 4:04pm.

Here is where you continue to murder your case. Leaving the private sector for the safety and security of the public sector at less pay is one thing. Why would any rational human being making $100K in the public sector with all the safety and security they get leave for a lower paying, less safe, less secure job in the private sector? The answer is they wouldnt and they dont.

The hysteria of the bubble was something we all agree was a once in a lifetime thing. Lots of naive people got in RE related businesses thinking there was easy money. There wasnt and nearly all of those folks are now gone from the business. That craziness is gone not return any time soon so spare us the examples from the bubble era. That climate doesnt exist anymore and probably wont again in our lifetime.

The "jobs" you named arent jobs that pay that much they are businesses someone could start taking on substantial risk and making a big investment that may pay off with a $100K profit down the road. I am still waiting for 5 jobs (as in someone hiring you with a salary) that someone in the public sector without a college degree could get. A job that would pay as well or better than their current gig. A job with benefits, security, a pension and liberal paid vacations. They dont exist.

Submitted by flu on February 20, 2012 - 4:31pm.

kev374 wrote:
The Sr. Enterprise Architects I know in the Java EE space are making around $80/hr, nothing more. Sr. developers make around $60-65/hr but I have seen as low as $50/hr. which equates to around $100k/yr with no benefits, so equivalent "with benefits" pay is around $75k/yr. In Southern California that is a pretty low pay for someone with over a decade of experience.

In my view development work is going overseas and/or performed onsite by L1 resources shipped here by companies like Infosys. This is the trend.

Given the skyrocketing cost of obtaining a college degree it would be foolish for anyone to obtain a Computer Science degree with the hopes of getting a development job for any money that will be worth their time.

If a person with over a decade of experience would get $75k/yr a person just out of college would probably be paid $40k/yr, that is the current reality...and that is IF there are entry level jobs in the first place.

J2EE is outdated.. Sr. Java Architect != Solutions Architect.... Sr. Java Architect only means someone that has some design work with J2EE... Most IT stuff these days doesn't require J2EE anymore. Someone that says they have years of J2EE experience is equivalent of someone from the past that use to say they know cobol and do a lot of work on mainframe...Also, it doesn't require a 4 years computer science degree to be doing anything related to J2EE or a lot of IT work. It is entirely possible to pick it up without any com-science...

Don't stick with J2EE. It's like folks holding onto cobol or mainframe. Technology changes, don't be on the boat clinging to something that is going to be outdated. It's not about a specific technology you want to hold on to..

Submitted by CA renter on February 21, 2012 - 12:12am.

sdr,

We've rehashed this public vs. private thing multiple times on multiple threads. You keep wanting to change the conditions (can't be commission-based, can't work for yourself, etc.). Well, lots of public sector workers have done those jobs and can easily do them again. The point is that the people who migrate from the private sector to the public sector almost always do it for the benefits/security. That's a fact, and that's why public employers offer those benefits. They cannot afford to have the high turnover rates in the public sector like they do in the private sector for the reasons stated in my post above. They offer these perks to attract the most qualified candidates and to retain them during the "good times," which includes any time the economy is doing well, not just during bubbles.

You and I will always disagree about who gets paid too much -- you think public sector workers are overpaid, and I think that commission-based middlemen are overpaid -- many of whom have very active lobbying groups that buy our politicians and use taxpayer money to pad their profits. They are no different from the public unions, so step off your high-horse. It's doubtful either one of us is ever going to change our minds about this, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Since this thread is about raises, I offered input regarding the public sector in response to more of the myth-based nonsense that thrives on the internet (public employees always get raises, even during the hard times -- totally untrue, and that is a fact). Now, I'm going to stop the thread-jacking and let everyone else respond WRT the original question:

Did you get a raise this year, and if so, how much?

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 21, 2012 - 12:52am.

I have to laugh because you constantly miss the point. Its not public vs private for me. It is socialism vs capitalism. You beleive in the former and I in the later. The public sector is simply the workplace of choice for socialists. I believe in expanding one's mind through education be it public school or private school. There are winners and loser in that environment. You beleive in a sheltered and controlled education such as home schooling where there are only winners. Sorry but that contradicts your zero sum game philosophy. We cant all win.

I beleive in the risk taking and innovation that is the core of the American Spirit. These are the things that make this the best country in the world. You beleive that everyone should put their head down and work hard as part of a large machine. That work ethic while admirable can be found anywhere in the world. No where else in the world do you find the innovation, creativity and spirit that exists in our country.

I am not a right winged rah rah USA patriot. If anything I am left of center, live and let live liberal. But I am a beleiver in the American Spirit that recognizes the value of someone willing to put their ass on the line and take the risks that create a better world. That can be through pursuing higher education or pursuing an entrepreneurial enterprise. Just being being another cog in the machine is not what got us here nor is it what will keep us here.

Submitted by CA renter on February 21, 2012 - 2:12am.

If you're right, then where are these "free market" countries with all the innovation and creativity? Are they in no/low-tax countries with no/few social safety nets, or are they in places where there is a stable government, rule of law, and safety nets for those who are less fortunate -- along with the relatively high taxes required by those systems?

If you have to focus on basic survival (which is what you see in countries with weak/no governments, weak law enforcement, and unpaid or low-paid public employees), you will not likely be coming up with new, innovative inventions. Let's not forget all the basic research that enables this "innovation" to take place -- with most of that being funded by good ol' taxpayers, not private industry.

Where you and I disagree is that you seem to think that "socialism" and "capitalism" are two disparate systems; I think the two are absolutely essential for the other to exist successfully -- it is a symbiotic relationship.

BTW, where in the world did you get the idea that I was opposed to entrepreneurial enterprise or education? I come from a long line of educators and college graduates, and have always emphasized learning for the sake of learning (one of the many reasons we homeschool, BTW).

There is a HUGE difference between entrepreneurial enterprise where someone creates or improves upon a good/service vs. leveraged speculation. A HUGE difference. I favor the former and oppose the latter because it drains money from the economy while not providing any material benefits to society.

Going to Vegas and throwing $100K on red is "taking risks," but I fail to see how that should entitle someone to any kind of reward. You and I define "risk" differently, and we differ on what we feel is beneficial vs. detrimental to society as far as those "risks" are concerned.

I also have to comment on your persistence that "rich" people take risks, as if they do so with their own money. The most successful speculators rarely use their own money; they usually borrow it or obtain it from suckers in some kind of "investment" scheme.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.