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On call advice

By gpastorelli ·
I have a bit of a situation that I wanted some advice on.

I work for a small community bank in PA. We're currently in the process of opening our third branch. Well it turns out they plan on having this branch open 7 days a week. The problem that this presents will be the lack of technical support as I am the only person in IT. I've been approached by my boss and forewarned that they (meaning the executives) may want some kind of support on sundays. He mentioned he had already explained that at minimum they will reimburse me for broadband internet at home, but he was unsure of additional compensation.

My situation is this, if the executives decide they want me to be on-call (which I am not and was not hired to be, it was discussed prior to my hire that the position was M-F, 8:30-5pm), what options do I have to negotiate additional compensation? I know of a few friends with positions similar to mine (but in larger companies) who do on-call work and they told me they make more money then they would if they didnt do on-call work. Is there a set percentage of increase that I should be requesting? Should I request an hourly rate for any work on-call? (I'm a salaried employee btw)

Reason I'm worried is because I'm not even on call and I've had run ins with branch managers who were angry I wasn't available on a Saturday for support (when they know I am not). I'm having my first child in March and if they expect me to sacrifice my time I feel I should be additionally compensated.

Please note that this is only for my information so that when/if it comes up I'll be ready. Thank you for any and all advice.

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by Ed Woychowsky In reply to On call advice

With me the first rule is always that I get something in return when I?m called, it could be money or paid time off. The second rule is that all calls are counted as at least one hour. The third rule is that if I?m doing something on my own time and have to come into the office I will be compensated from the time I leave for the office until I return to what I was doing. The final rule is that they pay for the means to contact me and connect from home.

They probably won?t like this and potentially will try to use the fact that you need the job, or at least the insurance until March, against you. Point out that that there is a sharp learning curve involved with the position and that you know the job.

There is another possibility that you haven?t considered, it is a small bank; you might be able to negotiate something that won?t cost them a dime. Go for a title that looks impressive on a resume. Good luck.

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My company's policy

by JamesRL In reply to On call advice

Re On call - and I have 4 employees on call.

1. Pay for being on call - 4 hours. This is strictly the money paid to be available, actually taking a call is extra.
2. Cell phone paid for by company
3. Computer at home to do work (or laptop) paid for by company.
4. Minimum call length - 1 hour. The team is pretty good about that - if they take two short calls in an evening, they usually just bill an hour.
5. There must be backup - no one is allowed to be on call all the time.


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Which brings up a point

by jdclyde In reply to My company's policy

who does support when you are on vacation?

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by gpastorelli In reply to Which brings up a point

I haven't been here long enough to take a vacation (going on 7 or 8 months). I dunno what they plan on doing when I take off for my daughers birth. My boss (the CFO) will probably do all he can, although the network has changed quite a bit since I took it over from him. I'll have to bring this issue up as well.

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Salary Negotiations

by BFilmFan In reply to On call advice

My advice is to break down the following:

Cost to replace me: 25% of my annual salary.

Cost to train new person to do my job at minimum of 3 months: 25% of my annual salary

Cost of downtime that will happen when no one is here to do the work: 10% of annual salary

Fines imposed for failing to follow state and federal banking laws due to down-time: 100 - 1000% of annual salary

Law suit collected by client lawyers: 100 - 1000 % of annual salary

Total Cost Known: 60% of annual salary
Total Potential Cost: 2060% of annual salary

Salary Increase that will prevent all this from ever happening? 15% increase in annual salary

Remember that it is business and businesses are compensated for additional effort.

Besides what are they going to do when you take time off under the Family Leave Act and NO ONE is there to handle things?

The wise old IT sage says, "management that only have one IT person have no business should that person go away (quit, death, incapacitation due to work stress induced cerberal flatulence, etc)..."

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Wrong analysis

by DC Guy In reply to On call advice

Unless you live in the Reddest of the Red States, what they're asking of you is probably illegal. Nobody but a neurosurgeon can be expected to be available 168 hours a week and for his salary you might consider it. So start off your negotiation with that little dose of reality.

Then tell them what IS realistic. In general it would be exactly half of the week so that the OTHER tech support person can cover the other half. Yes, it's time for these cheap pendejos to grasp the fact that if the business is expanding and they're opening a new branch and raking in money hand over fist, they need more staff and they can afford it!

You have no backup. That's no way to run a growing business. What if you were sick? What if you took a vacation? What if you got fed up with their exploitative attitude and resigned?

It's your professional duty to help these naive people understand that they're not doing their business any favor by understaffing a vital function. Once you get that point across, the rest is details.

I set a guideline of at least three dollars an hour for being on call in a professional capacity, but five would be more respectful both ways. If you don't actually get called in very often you can leave it at that. If you do, then you should be paid time and a half for coming in off hours, and you can quibble over whether that includes travel and whether fractions count.

But if you're that important you should simply have a salary that covers it all without all the fine print, in a nice big number. I don't know where you live, how old you are, what level of education, experience, etc., but I'm thinking at least $60K.

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by gpastorelli In reply to Wrong analysis

You're completely right. Unfortunately this bank is SO "community" and small in thought it's not even funny. Every department is a "one man" dept. Everything from finance to HR is run by one person. My boss is the CFO, if something ever happened to him, there is no one who can do his job, so I know they wouldn't go for an assistant for me.

I really enjoy my current position and the people I work with, I wish my salary was higher which is why I wanted to post this here first. I think I may just negotiate for a higher salary. I'm young (21 y/o) and have only been in IT for 3 years. No college as of yet (attending in fall) but I have a few certifications (MCSE:Security, MCDST, Sec+, Net+, A+, C|EA). I'm currently making about $34,000 salaried so I think if I go the route of higher salary I may shoot for $46-$48K. Not sure if that'd be too high since I'd realistically only be on call Sat, 9AM-2PM and Sun, 9AM-12PM (those times are pending of course).

Well I'll see how things go when the decision on what kind of support they are expecting comes down. Only thing that kills me is how cheap they are salary wise and equipment wise (took me 4 months to get my new backup equipment to replace the tape drives we had outgrown). Although in talking to other IT guys in smaller banks (not the PNCs or Wachovias but community banks) this seems to be the norm as far as IT spending goes with banks.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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time off option

by flmagman In reply to

If you think there are certain times of day that would benefit being off, you could swap time off for the weekend on-call. We used to have 4 rotating people, and each got 1 day off for being on call for a week (24/7), whether a call was taken or not. Since my kids' school situation made it nice for me to be off early, I took 24/7 for all time (with a backup) and get off a couple hours early a day. This reduced my child care expense, plus others. It has been worth it. So I think you should look at what means the most to you, and that would be the direction to go in.

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I used to get

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to On call advice

a percentage for being on call and nothing for actually being called. This was secondline support, but it was a one man shop, in that if they couldn't fix it (cycle the power basically) I was the only one that could do it. I put a great deal of effort into not being called out. No new applications installed on friday for example.

Doing it for nothing is not an option for you or them.
So your deal is to get a handle on how many calls you can expect and then split them between those that you can engineer out and those you can't.
The other thing to sort out is how quickly can you respond. Even if you do it remotely (it's in their own intetest to provide the pc for this). You still need to be where the kit is, so do you have to stay at home all the time ?
Just run through a few potential scenarios or even actual ones if suitable, they'll soon see they need to reduce their intake of strange chemicals.

1 hours pay for any remote call. Minimum of three hours for having to attend was what I used to be on.
Then I moved to four percent out of hours monday to friday and five percent for one weekend in three. When we went down to one man they never changed my rate, but If they couldn't get hold of me or I couldn't attend I simply said this was the weekend they weren't paying me for.

Get an assistant, get paid a %age for being on call, get upgraded to IT manager while you are it.
This is an opportunity

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Service Level Agreement

by lesnol In reply to I used to get

You should try to hit them with an SLA for out of hours work ,basically they would be hiring you in the same capacity as an outside consultant and you also keep your day job.This takes away some of the normal staff budgeting restraints , as most companies are stricter about what they can pay empolyees within salary scales than they are about outside contractors

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