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How would you feel about being put on call?

By blair.howze ·
Our department is being put on call (the dept. has never been on call), with the duty rotating between 4 of us. Each of us will have the duty for a week. This is for a pretty small (for now, we're worried about feature creep) user group, and we suspect most of the work will be able to be done remotely. However, we will have to be within cell range at a minimum and within "reasonable" response distance. We live in a mountain area that has spotty cell coverage. Originally we were going to be paid $25/on call week, but this has been changed to $107/on call week. That is what our facilities dept. is paid for on call, but less than our Environmental Health dept. is paid ($125/on call week).
All of us were hired with the expectation that our work hours would be M-F 8-5 with very limited overtime(paid as comp usually) and no on call. I still have my original employment offer that specifically states this. We aren't being given a choice in this matter.
We do understand that if there is emergency work to be done that we will work until the job is done. We have never balked at this because that is pretty standard.

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Re: On Call

by christianshiflet In reply to How would you feel about ...

Bottom Line - Work environments and requirements change over time. This is especially true within the IT field as companies change to utilize technology in different ways or rely on it more heavily. If the changes are unbearable or you believe they are unreasonable, I would assume the company will not keep you from finding alternate employment.

Besides, there are many companies that do not compensate for on-call time in any way unless a call is actually made. And spreading it amongst 4 of you greatly reduces the personal impact, in my opinion. Consider the impact if you were a department of 1 with similar requirements.

I am really not trying to be rude. The company you work for has deemed your department integral to the ongoing operations. This is quite common place in IT departments everywhere.

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@christian

by blair.howze In reply to Re: On Call

bottom line:
Yep, I can look for another job. I am currently doing that.
compensation: I've never worked for a company that didn't compensate for on call. That seems pretty outrageous to me. If it is on an informal basis where you have a choice of answering the phone or not, I could see that though. As far as personal impact, for me it is a pretty big deal. I have kids, grandkids and hobbies as well as community service volunteer work. I work so I can afford to put my kids in extracurricular activities, enjoy our hobbies and donate time and money to pet projects. I don't live to work. Yes, I realize that it is all optional. No, I'm not willing to put my life on hold one week a month to satisfy the ego of an adminstator.
integral: IT is integral to most enterprises today. Our system is designed with redundancy to eliminate critical failures.
I appreciate your response and respect your opinion. It does give me food for thought.

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I Don't mind being on call...

by cmiller5400 In reply to How would you feel about ...

Depending on the state, they may not legally even have to pay you for the "on call", just for time worked. What you described sounds fair to me. Did you actually sign an employment contract with this company? If not it may be a moot point.

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Call outs paid overtime

by mjd420nova In reply to How would you feel about ...

Besides being on call, one week out of every four, we have committments to our clients on a M-F 8 to 5. If we get called out and have to work more than 5 hours, we get others to fill in for our daily work load and get paid five hours shift change pay. Our on call clients pay a hefty price for the 24/7 service and a premium price for any call outs. These are usually at gas stations and some satelite ground stations. We also have some extended service call outs but they stop at 10PM and are met by the on call guy/gal and are overtime as they don't interfere with regular day work. All out people are top notch and get paid superior rates to start with so no extra benefits from being on the rotating roster.

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My experience

by Choppit In reply to How would you feel about ...

I guess it depends on your lifestyle/family life. For me being on call means 1/3 weeks of 24x7 cover and staying within 10 minutes from home or the office. I get paid around 10% per hour on standby and at hourly rate for travel and time on the job (mostly remote support). For the most part the extra income outweighs the inconvenience factor for me but it does mean I have to plan around the rota and on occasion it may prevent you from making spontaneus decisions to go out for meals etc. Something else to think about is how it will fit with your lifestyle if 1/4 weeks becomes 1/2 due to reduced headcount, sickness, vacations etc.

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