Would You Take A Pay Cut To Save Jobs?

Discussion in 'Pay, Benefits & Contract Discussions' started by StbbrnMedic, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. StbbrnMedic

    StbbrnMedic fraggle tamer

    Brett Fowkes invested in the American dream.
    For 28 years, the Las Vegas architect worked hard, and worked even harder to save money. When he parted with his cash, he bought U.S. products, he said. Through the years, Fowkes stayed out of debt and even paid extra on his mortgage.
    "Now, I'm out of work," said Fowkes, 47. "There are no jobs that pay any more than the unemployment check. My 401(k) will disappear in a year. ... I didn't cause this mess, yet we will pay for it for years. When will the managers of this country step up and face the problem head on?"
    Hundreds of readers like Fowkes responded swiftly to a question posed by msnbc.com: Given the reeling economy, would workers take a 5 percent cut in pay to save jobs at their company? In contrast to a recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll that found that two-thirds of those polled would take the cut, those who responded to msnbc.com were split.
    Half who wrote in said pay cuts were necessary in a climate of profound financial uncertainty, but others shared Fowkes' sentiment: "What I can't understand is: Why do I have to pay for doing everything right?"
    No, Fowkes will not take a pay cut, he said. He wants to work. Period.
    "I have a family to support," he said "Now, I'm having to collect unemployment for the first time in my life and there's a long line behind me."
    Todd Lowe of Lily, Ky., still has a job as an automotive engineer and doesn't want to lose it.
    "Would I be willing to take a 5 percent pay cut to keep my job? You better believe it," Lowe wrote in. "Even a 25 percent cut in pay is better than being out of work. At least I would be able to pay my bills without relying on unemployment.
    "The production schedules, in the manufacturing facility in which I am employed, have been reduced by more than 60 percent. I am proud to say our leadership saw it coming and made adjustment to avoid layoffs."
    When asked about the mood in their workplaces, readers expressed relief at escaping layoffs, anxiety about what's to come, and downright bitterness and anger over the nation's economic turmoil.
    "The mood here today is fear," said Rosemary Cheslock of Grand Rapids, Mich. "Many of our employees have spouses who work at the Big Three or a supplier. They are terrified of what could happen."

    More reader responses to a possible pay cut:
    "I've already got hit with a 10 percent cut. It was either take the cut or hit the street. In this economy there isn't any choice. I am glad to have a job. I know the alternative. There are people standing in line for jobs."
    -- Phil Parmelee, a computer technician from Harrisburg, Pa.
    "I would take the cut! This is insane what is going on. Why is it happening? Because people who controlled the economy were greedy. Simple as that. I am angry. I would give up 5 percent to help another American hold onto their job, because in the end, every job that we lose, it will chisel a little more away from the foundation of this country. It will leave families in ruin."
    -- Wallace Farmer of Baltimore, Md., a program specialist with the Library of Congress.
    "After 23 years at the same place, I earn $21.13 an hour and would be willing to do so. The UAW pay scale is ridiculous, as are the so-called bonuses of the elite. I should not have to pay to bail out any of those people, but as it stands, I will."
    -- Kay Hensley, Coffeyville, Kan.
    "No, absolutely not. My wife and I own a home, both work full time and have two kids getting closer to college. ... We have already cut back on what we can put in the bank for savings. We have a hard time saving just as the person across the street from us does, and we are not going to go into our savings if we don't have to. The people on Wall Street should be held responsible. Where was the regulation?"
    -- Gene S. Kapuscienski, a special education teacher from Grafton, Mass.
    "I would be glad to only take a 5 percent pay cut. I work in the real estate industry and we have taken over a 50 percent pay cut. Where is our bailout?"
    -- Greg Davis, Holiday Island, Ark.
    "No, I am not willing to take a pay cut until the senior management reduces their pay and incentives. The senior leadership pay and benefits need to be more in-line with the pay and benefits received by the employees. Excessive senior leadership compensation plans are outrageous and are hindering growth in many U. S. corporations."
    --Jim Frissell, Tampa, Fla.
    "I wish I could take a pay cut to save jobs, but I don't make enough to even survive myself, so that is really out of the question. We are relatively busy where I work and gearing up for a surprisingly good 2009 business, despite the economic meltdown, so the mood here is blessed, thankful and focused."
    -- Gina Stephens, a document control specialist from San Jose, Calif.
    "I am a mechanic at a local hospital where I live. No, I would not take a pay cut. My raise this year was 1.8 percent. I worked for TWA and have been down this road before. It just doesn't work. Most people are struggling today in our country and we're all feeling the pinch."
    -- Charles Blake of Olathe, Kan.

    The comments are about as mixed as I expected.
  2. HousingCop

    HousingCop Czar of Cyncism and Satire

    In one word, NO. I'll take my paycut right after Congress & the Massachusetts legislature does.
  3. 78thrifleman

    78thrifleman Smurf theft victim

    As long as I knew that i could pay my mortgage and provide all of the bare necessities for me and my fiancee, I would take a cut to save any Trooper's job.

    On the other hand, I already don't turn the heat on until the house reaches 49 degrees.... so a pay cut might not even be feasable. (Yes, my finacee loves it when it;s 49 and I tell her to put another sweatshirt on.
  4. 7costanza

    7costanza Supporting Member

    Thats way to cold for me...especially when it 5 degrees out.
  5. adroitcuffs

    adroitcuffs Subscribing Member

    I would not agree to a pay cut simpy because I can't trust that the powers that be would actually save others' jobs. Call me cynical, but I could forsee accepting the pay cut in lieu of others being laid off, only to see those same people laid off a few months down the road.
  6. Simon

    Simon Guest

    I agree without hesitation that I would CERTAINLY accept a paycut to save my brothers from the axe as long as it was a sure thing.
  7. TopCop24

    TopCop24 Working in the land of misfit toys

    Snipe how can layoffs be looming at the mall with all of the money the movie has made?
  8. StbbrnMedic

    StbbrnMedic fraggle tamer

    This is our issue too. If we knew we could still feed our kids, keep the roof over our heads, and pay for gas to get back and forth, absolutely without a doubt.
    However, as 78th said, we keep the heat way low already, down by 55 at all times during the winter. And days we can shut it down further we do.
    I'd love to be able to say absolutely. But our family has to come first.
  9. BrickCop

    BrickCop Subscribing Member

    Yes, I would take the cut.
  10. rg1283

    rg1283 MassCops Member

    I don't know if I would. The place I work in is cut to the bare min. for staffing. So if they cut positions the whole place would shut down.
  11. j809

    j809 Subscribing Member

    I would love to see the same people say "YES cut my pay" when the time comes and department says that they will reduce your salary by $5-$7000.
  12. 5-0

    5-0 Guest

    I am not against the idea in principle... I would have to see the total picture, what else they were planning, and what they have done so far. I would also say that your title is misleading...

    The issue is How are you going to deal with the pay cut that IS coming. You may not have a say in the matter.
  13. Irish Wampanoag

    Irish Wampanoag Subscribing Member

    0-0=0 Sure why not!!! I'll take a cut:lol:
  14. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    A delicate subject....I would and will agree to any proposal that delays (not cancels) raises, as long as I had a reasonable assurance that it would save jobs at the end of the seniority scale.

    I can very willingly do without my $20-30 per week raise for a year or so, if it means saving a brother/sister officer's job.
  15. HousingCop

    HousingCop Czar of Cyncism and Satire

    Let them lead by example. The people "asking" you to take a paycut are those who actually make the most on the municipal payscale (minus the details and overtime "perks" we've bargained into our contract). During the Great Depression in 1934, Congress voted a 14% paycut and led by example.

    When I see the saber ratteling on Beacon Hill by Govenor Devalue and his ilk, I take it for what it is, NOTHING. He & others run around like Chicken Little saying gloom & doom is forecasted, but when I see people still at Best Buy buying $1,400 plasma flat screens, I can't really say things are all that bad.

    Sure, it's a s#itty economy and people are getting laid off but some people used their houses as personal ATM's and maxxed out their credit cards, went on expensive vacations, bought luxury cars & boats while I scrimped & saved and put money away for such an eventuality which any boob could have predicted was coming. Shame on those who find themselves in a financial bind in these tough times. They are the people who brought us here, now let them reap what the sowed.
  16. Truck

    Truck MassCops Member

    Sure I would take a pay cut to save other jobs, but. Lets be fair this all cannotbe plced on the back of cops. Is the fire department and DPW and other city/town workers making the same cuts. Don't reduce my QUinn and also ask me to take a pay cut anf then have flaggers work and take away any chance I have of making a supplemental income.
    Hey, Duval and you other Beacon Hill slugs, listen up. Cut some from the schools, does every little Johnny with ADD (discipline problem) need one on one care?
    Lets get the aliens out of the schools and emergency rooms being treated for the flu or having their fifth welfare kid. Once you do that come back and ask me for a pay cut.
    Sorry climbing down off my soapbox with head bowed in shame!
  17. HousingCop

    HousingCop Czar of Cyncism and Satire

    [QUOTESorry climbing down off my soapbox with head bowed in shame!][/quote]
    No need for that, hold your head up high. When you say things that are spot-on, it's hard to argue back. The criminalien problem sucks 5 BILLION alone out of CA and they say it's only getting worse.

    Boo hoo, Boston to lose 400 teachers and 400 other aides / helpers. Well considering the dummies they graduate, they should be the ones with their heads bowed in shame. They spend millions to bus one kid from one side of the city to another and then they expect me to feel bad when they have to tighten their belts? Their budget goes up 10% a year for the last 10 years while mine is slashed by 5% this year to cover this mess?

    At least we in the Police business can point to stats that say we are doing our jobs. FF's & EMS can point and say what they've done as well. Teachers just point fingers at City Hall & say "We need more money"
  18. fra444

    fra444 MassCops Member

    OK I cant take the cut they are offering. I would do what Delta said, delay a raise but they want to cut 8% now and then another 2% in July. They also want to cut health insurance and make the 8% retro! This meaning that I would have to give them back money I earned from July 01, 08 up to when we agree on this! WAYYYY too much too ask!

    I would love to keep the guys I work with. They are a great group of guys and we all work well together. I have spoken to them and they are all saying that it is foolish to take this cut! They have said that they do not believe that the cut will keep them and they don't believe we will ever get that 10% back!

    It has taken at least 8 to 12 years to get that 10% from the city in contract negotiations and now they want to take it all back at once. Cant do it!
  19. SgtAndySipowicz

    SgtAndySipowicz Supporting Member

    I am all for the pay cut to SAVE a Police Officer's job. With this said, there should be written promises not to lay off anyone if an Association agrees to this (no handshake agreements). When the economy recovers, the Officers should recoup any lost wages (not neccessarily back pay, but they should get the raises that they passed on "temporarily" IE: there base pay should go back to the proper level). Under these circumstances, any Police Officer who votes against saving fellow Officer's jobs is a disgrace. I would expect a 100% vote to save jobs with my association, but there always seems to be someone...........
  20. HousingCop

    HousingCop Czar of Cyncism and Satire

    What you don't take into account is that if they sign that paper, it ain't worth the ink & paper it's written upon. How many times do you see the PTB trash your CBA and tell you to grieve it? They've invented this mess, don't clean it up on the backs of the lower paid municipal workers (us). Tell them to trim the fat & pork first before taking money out of my wallet. Perfect example is Devalue's neighbor making 125K per year in a job that never existed before. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

    I hate to see layoffs anywhere and I know quite a few people who were on my PD who left and are now on the bottom of the totem pole at their respective jobs. These are the risks associated that we take when we leave for sometimes greener pastures. With that said, they are making up this mess and making us look like greedy pigs at the public trough, which we aren't.
  21. fra444

    fra444 MassCops Member

    I have friends that will be loosing their jobs more than likely! I do not take my previous statement lightly but I cant take the cut. Just is what it is! I don't want layoffs but if they are not willing to look anywhere but at the bottom instead of the top I cant help!

    They have not even done anything to try to cut before they threatened to layoff people. Time to tighten other belts besides ours!
  22. 94c

    94c Subscribing Member

    When do you say enough is enough?

    If you were approached at the beginning of the fiscal year and asked to give up a pay raise for x amount of months to save jobs would you do it? We did.

    Six months later and they are back a second time for a paycut, reduction in holiday pays and attacks on the Quinn Bill.

    But wait, they already said that they'll be back again for more cuts in July for the next fiscal year.

    Enough is enough. I gave once, I won't give again.

    Lay them off.

    Many cities and towns have reserve/rainy day accounts.

    This helps with their bond ratings as it shows they have a good "savings account."

    Well, not only is it raining, but it's going to pour.

    Free up some of that money.
  23. StbbrnMedic

    StbbrnMedic fraggle tamer

    I hate that it has come to this. A choice between our family at home and our family at work? Why should we have to choose?
    Why does it have to be us that cuts back or loses our homes? Why can't the big men and women on top take a cut? I don't remember being the one that made the decisions that put this country into the hole it's in. I remember paying my bills, and having good credit, and making ends meet comfortably until someone f*cked it all up and now suddenly I'm floundering.
    I'm having to chose between keeping my children housed and fed, and seeing people I call friends facing the fact that they may soon be out of jobs.
    Why does it have to be us?
  24. 94c

    94c Subscribing Member

    Because it makes it look like you're the bad
  25. StbbrnMedic

    StbbrnMedic fraggle tamer

    Yes it does. :(

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