Join your fellow employees who are fighting for your benefits -
Join the Alliance!
Retirees, Vendors, Contractors, Temps, and Active Employees are all eligible to become members of the Alliance.
Highlights—November 18, 2006
- Information Week Weblog: Why
IBM Stands for India Beijing Machines. By Paul McDougall.
Excerpts: If there were any doubts left about IBM no longer considering itself a
U.S. company that operates internationally, but rather an international company that
happens to operate in the U.S., those doubts should have been erased over the past
couple of weeks.
November's not yet half over, but already the month has seen
a flurry of announcements from IBM with more international flair than the cafeteria
at the UN. Specifically, IBM is focused like a laser on Asia. Based on news out
of IBM this month and in recent quarters, it's not far fetched to speculate that
in several years the company's combined presence across India and China will dwarf
its American operations. [...]
All of this might not be great news for IBM's U.S. employees--check
out the griping over at AllianceIBM.org
. Many of the company's American workers are
worried about their jobs, and probably with good reason.
- Motley Fool: The
Problem Your Grandparents Never Faced. By Hope Nelson-Pope. Excerpts:
They went through the Great Depression, a dozen presidents, and a couple of world wars.
They endured hard times, celebrated the baby boom, and with any luck lived -- or are living
-- to a ripe old age. We may have it easier in many ways here in the Digital Age, but
in other ways we're shouldering one burden our grandparents didn't have to face.
We're on our own when it comes to retirement.
message board post by "bits_bytes_and_bugs". Excerpts: In Server
Group, the vast majority of those being cut are those older employees just short of
the magic age 55 benchmark for the FHA. Most contractors were cut months ago.
Manufacturing is now almost entirely staffed by on-demand supplementals
- most permanent employees have been layed off.
I have a report from one manager who stated HR selected the older
employee they had to let go. The manager also mentioned that the fired employee was their
best, but when the manager challenged HR, HR responding by threatening the manager's
Of course, as reported elsewhere, IGS operations, application
development and technical services jobs are moving offshore as fast as possible regardless
of whether the global resources can perform the responsibilities. meet productivity
requirements or meet quality standards.
Whether it is true or not, executives see virtually ALL of us
US employees as fungible resources - easily replaced by lower cost, global sourced,
cheaper, less experienced resources. All that matters to execs is the apparent cost,
not to be confused with the real cost. Skills do not matter, nor does experience or
Life sucks at IBM in the US and it will get worse
- Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: Report:
IBM Joins Citi in China Bank Bid. IBM Corp. is joining Citigroup Inc. in a bid to take a majority stake in
China's Guangdong Development Bank, a news report said Monday. The reported deal would
mark the first time a major U.S. technology company has taken a stake in a Chinese
bank before it goes public. Chinese lenders have been popular targets for other foreign
investors, such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., American Express Co. and Allianz AG of
- Associated Press, courtesy of Forbes: IBM
Launches China Initiative.
Excerpt: International Business Machines Inc. said late Monday it plans to work
with China's government to help the country develop its service industry, including
working with its education ministry to introduce a services science curriculum in
- CNET News: IBM's
chief steps into 'Second Life' for incubator launch.
Excerpts: IBM's chief executive, Sam Palmisano, is set to launch a $100 million investment
to incubate new businesses--and he will make the announcement in both the physical
and virtual worlds.
Palmisano is scheduled to host a "town hall" meeting
in Beijing and in the Second Life virtual world on Tuesday to tell IBM employees
about the investment, which will be spread over two years. [...]
Palmisano plans to give details of the 10 initiatives that came
out of the InnovationJam in Beijing, a move that underscores IBM's commitment to
working in China. Meanwhile, Palmisano's avatar will discuss the announcement in Second
Life's Forbidden City, a space created in the virtual environment by IBM and the Chinese
government, an IBM representative said.
- Pension & Benefits Week: Cash
balance controversy rages on as courts disagree over whether plans are discriminatory.
Excerpt: Just when the heated debate over age discrimination and cash balance plans
appeared to have settled down with the Seventh Circuit's Cooper decision,
and the 2006 Pension Protection Act's "legalization" of cash balance plans,
along comes a pair of cases from the Southern District of New York proving that nothing
is so unsettled as "settled" law.
While one New York court was finding that the PriceWaterhouseCoopers' cash balance
plan was not age discriminatory (Laurent v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (2006, SDNY)
2006 WL 2546805), another court held that a similar plan sponsored by J.P. Morgan
Chase did discriminate against older workers. (In re J.P. Morgan Chase Cash Balance
Litigation, (2006, SDNY) 2006 WL 3063424)
- Wall Street Journal: Offer
for Delta Raises Questions on Some Pensions.
By Mary Williams Walsh. Excerpts: US Airways’ bid for Delta Air Lines has cast
new uncertainty over the pensions of roughly 90,000 Delta employees and retirees,
just months after a new law was supposed to have assured their future. [...]
In his memo to the employees, Mr. Grinstein said Delta would “continue
to fund the defined benefit plan,” and cited the reduced rate allowed under the
relief measure. But Delta must still secure financing to emerge from bankruptcy,
and a Delta Air Lines without the pension plan might be more attractive to prospective
suitors than a Delta with the plan — even with the funding relief. Few companies
may appreciate that as well as Delta’s current, unwelcome suitor, US Airways.
It tried to secure a 30-year relief package for its own pension
plans in 2002, but was rebuffed, first by the federal pension guarantor, which said
it had no legal authority to give pension relief, and again by Congress, which let a
bill specifically to help US Airways die. Faced then with having to pay the pension
contributions it owed under law, US Airways defaulted on all of its plans. In the painful
process, it became a much more attractive merger candidate to America West. The two
airlines completed a merger in 2005.
- Point of Law: How
a lawsuit almost strangled pensions. By Alvin Lurie.
Excerpts: In August the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision
which for three years had cast a long shadow of uncertainty on the employee-benefits
sector of the economy. The appeals court upheld the design of IBM’s pension plan
as not unlawfully discriminatory against older workers. The episode demonstrates
how much damage a single lawsuit can inflict, even one that proves unsuccessful in
the end. [...]
IBM, of course, appealed. And yet the looming threat of liability
was enough to play havoc with the world of pension administration. Many employers terminated
or froze their plans, and many others which had been on the verge of adopting such plans
pulled back. An alarmed business community began pressing for legislation to correct
the judge’s reading of the law. That measure, which was included in a more general
pension reform bill in Congress, was endangered for a while as both parties insisted
on loading it up with extraneous provisions disliked by the other side (estate tax repeal
for the Republicans), a minimum wage boost for Democrats). At last, this August 3, a
clean bill received final Congressional approval. Since members had declined to give
it retroactive effect, it could only safeguard plans with respect to actions they took
following the new law’s effective date (and then only if they complied with certain
preconditions). IBM and other plan sponsors would still face ruinous liability based
on actions taken before then.
- CNET News: Tech
asks departing Republicans for favors. By Anne Broache.
Excerpts: As Republican politicians return this week to Washington for the waning
days of their rule of Capitol Hill, technology lobbyists are frantically pressing for
last-minute legislation before Democrats take over next year.
At issue are proposals including renewing a popular tax credit
for research and development expenses and expanding the number of H1-B visas, which
are temporary visas designed for skilled foreign workers. Many spending bills to
fund the federal government through the next year have yet to be considered, and
the final versions could include antipiracy measures and Web censorship requirements.
On Monday, more than 200 companies, universities and organizations
circulated a letter supporting further action on a Senate proposal to boost the quota
for H1-B visas, which proponents argue are necessary to fill gaps in their operations
where qualified Americans aren't available. They said the need for action sooner than
later is especially urgent because U.S. companies exceeded the H-1B quota for the next
fiscal year scarcely two months after the application window opened.
- Denver Post: Qwest
gives its retirees a motive to die. By Al Lewis.
Excerpts: If you are a US West/Qwest retiree and wish to collect full life-insurance
benefits, you must die within seven weeks. On Jan. 1, the phone company will slash
retiree life-insurance benefits from as much as a full year's pay to $10,000. This
economic incentive to croak by year-end was not lost on Don Mitchell, 85, of Murray,
Utah, who worked 38 years as a lineman, cable splicer and district manager.
"On Wednesday, I was in the emergency room suffering from
a perforated bowel," Mitchell wrote in an Oct. 26 e-mail to Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert. "I
actually considered not having the recommended life-saving surgery. At least if
I died before the end of the year, my family would receive the full life insurance
that I had counted on for them!" [...]
Mimi Hull, president of the Association of US West Retirees,
says she's spoken with other retirees who are weighing medical treatments versus
quiet deaths. "They're considering these medical remedies and going, 'Do I want
to do this, or do I want to leave life insurance for my family?"' Hull said. [...]
Meanwhile, corporate executives now make hundreds of times
more than their average employees. And they are rarely in danger of losing their own
benefits. Notebaert earned nearly $15 million in compensation last year. He recently
sold $18 million worth of stock options - his first sale since joining Qwest - but
says he's giving the proceeds to charity.
On Nov. 5, Pam Barncastle of Albuquerque wrote Notebaert on
behalf of her husband, Rudy, who retired in 1990 after 33 years of service. He now
suffers from Alzheimer's and can't replace the insurance benefits he will lose. "He
is unable to speak, bathe or dress himself," Barncastle wrote. "He ... is
not aware of the changes you have made to the contract your company negotiated with
the retirees back almost 17 years ago. ... Once you have the death sentence of a disabling
disease like Alzheimer's, it is financially impossible ... to obtain ... additional
- Deloitte's Washington Bulletin, courtesy of BenefitsLink: What
Will the New Congress Mean for Employee Benefits? Excerpts: One of the easier predictions
to make at this point is that health policy issues will return to prominence in the
110th Congress. Specific priorities may include extending health coverage to the
approximately 42 million uninsured Americans, with a renewed emphasis on implementing
a universal health insurance system and/or employer mandates. Additionally, Medicare
Part D could return to the spotlight. On the campaign trail Democrats talked about
giving Medicare the authority to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies
and using the savings to close the oft-maligned "doughnut hole" in current
Part D coverage. If Congress re-opens Part D, other changes might be considered -
including the 28 percent retiree drug subsidy for employers.
With the leading edge of the baby boom generation approaching
retirement age, retirement policy undoubtedly will be a concern for the 110th Congress.
However, the chances for comprehensive legislation relating to employer-sponsored retirement
plans during the next two years are slim due to the recent enactment of the Pension
Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 (P.L. 109-280), which addresses a wide range of issues
relating to defined benefit and defined contribution plans. Technical corrections to
the PPA are needed, and that task may be left to the 110th Congress. It is possible
the 109th Congress will take up a technical corrections bill during a lame-duck session
in November or December, but unlikely.
- SmartMoney: 10
Things Your 401(k) Provider Won't Tell You. Excerpts:
We're making a mint on your 401(k) — even if you're not." [...] "You're
buying wholesale, but we're charging you retail."
- PlanSponsor: Support
for Family Members Alters Retirement Plans. Excerpts:
A survey conducted for Putnam Investments found 15 million workers age 45 or over
are providing financial support for an aging parent or adult child, and that is altering
their retirement plans.
Of those providing support for grown children, 43% said they
expect it will force them back to work after retirement; 38% said they expect to save
less; and 29% anticipate delaying retirement. Seventy percent of respondents providing
support for adult children said they did not consider that in their financial planning.
- IndexUniverse: 25
Years of Mediocrity. By Jim Wiandt. Excerpts: I recently came across a rather glib
press release trumpeting the 25th anniversary of the 401(k) plan. It noted that 47
million Americans now actively participate in 401(k) plans, compared to the 21 million
who now participate in traditional defined benefit plans. Essentially, we are well
on our way to a wholesale shift of risk from large entities to the individual ... the
magical ownership society. And *presto poof* we kill (or maim at least) three birds
with one stone: 1) nettlesome pension deficits; 2) 1,000 points of ownership light
blink on; and, 3) the financial middlemen enjoy an unprecedented boon.
Call me a skeptic, but I’ve met a lot of individual investors
and financial advisors in my travels, and the level of knowledge, even among those
who are paying any attention, is, well, appalling. In the 401(k) business, you
end up with a potent cocktail of this investor cluelessness paired with a generally
horror-show lineup of investment options in the plans. It adds up to an old joke
I remember from when I was growing up in rural Ohio: “He may be small, but he
sure is slow.” [...]
In short, a system where most -- not just many -- investors
don’t even have options with expense ratios under 1 percent, and where investors
generally pay chunky built-in maintenance fees on top of that, is a broken system, and
the recent reforms to the system are unfortunately too little, too late. We have worked
ourselves into a morass of increasingly well funded interests that are essentially writing
the laws governing retirement savings. Much like a medical system of unsustainably spiraling
costs, there needs to be some vision and leadership in what should be a complete overhaul
of the existing system.
- BusinessWeek: Secrets,
Lies, And Sweatshops. American importers have
long answered criticism of conditions at their Chinese suppliers with labor rules
and inspections. But many factories have just gotten better at concealing abuses.
- Washington Post: Organized
Labor Pushes Pro-Worker Agenda. By Will
Lester. Excerpts: Organized labor will press for an increase in the minimum wage
_ the most likely item on labor's wish list to be passed because President Bush may
go along with it if certain benefits are included for small businesses.
Labor also wants:
- Changes in the Medicare prescription drug program to introduce price negotiations
with pharmaceutical companies.
- Changes in bankruptcy laws that allow companies
to abandon pension and health care commitments to workers.
- Trade agreements
that protect workers' rights.
- Improved mining safety laws.
- Increased retirement
- Expanded health care.
"One of the best ways we can address stagnating wages and
lost pensions and health care is to restore the bargaining power of workers," Samuel
said. The most effective way to restore that bargaining power, he said, is passage
of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow formation of a union once there is
majority support, and increase penalties for management violations of efforts to organize.
Current procedures that call for an election can be drawn out by managers to allow time
to campaign aggressively against formation of a union, he said.
- BusinessWeek: HP
Poised to Unseat IBM. In its fourth quarter, Hewlett-Packard's business divisions
pulled together to deliver solid revenue and profit growth. Watch out, Big Blue.
By Peter Burrows. Excerpt: Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has taken a big step toward laying
official claim to the title of world's biggest tech company. On Nov. 16 the Palo Alto
(Calif.) company reported fourth-quarter earnings that, thanks to all its business
units performing well, exceed the annual sales IBM is expected to post in its
fourth quarter, which ends Dec. 31. "This has been a defining year for HP," a
buoyant Chief Executive Mark Hurd told reporters during a conference call. And no,
he wasn't referring to the pretexting scandal that dominated headlines earlier this
- BBC News: Computer
industry 'faces crisis'. Excerpts: The computer industry faces a skills crisis,
the president of the British Computer Society has told BBC News. Unless steps are taken
now, there will not be enough qualified graduates to meet the demands of UK industry,
warned Professor Nigel Shadbolt.
Prof Shadbolt said there was increasing demand but decreasing
supply of graduates in computer science. "If we're not careful, the UK is going
to lose its pre-eminent position as a knowledge-based economy," he said. In his
first major interview since taking charge this month, Professor Shadbolt warned that
UK was in danger of no longer being a provider of "really major insights in the
Dilbert Newsletter, "The Official Newsletter of Dogbert's New
Ruling Class". Issue 64.
- Kolkata Newsletter (India): IT
majors ‘alert, but not worried’ By
Indranil Chakraborty. Excerpts: DON’T worry — but be wary. That seemed
to be the mood among representatives of information technology (IT) majors operating
in Kolkata as they gathered here today to discuss the sector-specific union being
set up by CITU, the CPI(M)’s labour wing.
After a marathon meeting this evening, the 60-odd representatives
of companies ranging from IBM to Globsyn, found that this was possibly the first time
they were all meeting together. While nobody was ready to come on record about the proceedings,
sources said the decision that emerged was a non-confrontational stand with the “union”.
Among the IT majors which were represented at today’s
meeting were IBM, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and Cognizant Technology Solutions.
Then there were smaller US-based players like Acclaris and Databazaar, homegrown Descon
and Globsyn. These firms have activities ranging from software services to BPOs.
- Indlaw Communications Pvt. Limited (India): First
IT employees union launched. Excerpts: In what could have far reaching consequences, an employees union
in the Information Technology sector was launched for the first time in the country
here today. The formal announcement of the launch of West Bengal Information Technology
Services Association (WBITS), the CITU-affiliated new entity, was made at a function
at Salt Lake sector five, the state's IT hub. [...]
The formation of WBITS, which had already created ripples in
the state, especially among employers in the IT sector, who held a meeting among themselves
last week to discuss strategies in the event of any strike in the 24-hour service sector.
IT big names, including Wipro, Congnizant, Tata Consultancy, IBM and Globsyn, have their
units in sector five.
|News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and
Health Care Reform
- Los Angeles Times: How
last century's money wars may lead to healthcare, pension reform. The boom, busts and tension between the private and public
sectors that led to the modern Federal Reserve could provide a blueprint for
today's reforms. By H.W. Brands. Excerpts: The secret of the Federal Reserve
Act — and of the subsequent success of the Fed — was the willingness,
born of exhaustion, of the two opposing camps to turn the money question over
to a partly capitalist, partly democratic agency — and thereafter to
keep their hands off. It's a model that works and that might be applied to
other vexing problems. The healthcare and pension questions, for example, have
defied solution in much the way the money question did during the 19th century.
On healthcare and pensions, both the private and public sectors have strong
interests in the outcome — so strong as to prevent, thus far, any outcome
besides a muddled extension of the status quo.
- New York Times: Administration
Opposes Democrats’ Plan
for Negotiating Medicare Drug Prices. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: The Bush administration
said on Sunday that it would strenuously oppose one of the Democrats’ top
priorities for the new Congress: legislation authorizing the government to
negotiate with drug companies to secure lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.
In an interview, Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of health and human services,
said he saw no prospect of compromise on the issue. [...]
Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who
is in line to become the House speaker, has said the House will take up legislation
to repeal that ban in its first 100 hours under Democratic control. Senate
Democrats have expressed a similar desire. The eight Democrats newly elected
to the Senate all say Medicare should have the power to negotiate with drug
government negotiates big discounts for the prices of drugs for our veterans,” said
Senator-elect Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. “But the drug companies got Congress
to make it illegal to negotiate for lower prices under Medicare.” Secretary
Leavitt said he did not want the power to negotiate drug prices. “I don’t
believe I can do a better job than an efficient market,” he said. [...]
The approach that Mr. Leavitt described as unacceptable
is already used in other government programs. Under federal law, drug makers must
provide a discount, or rebate, equal to at least 15 percent of the average manufacturer
price for most brand-name drugs covered by Medicaid, the program for low-income
people. Federal law also guarantees discounts for the Department of Veterans Affairs,
which negotiates with drug makers to secure discounts on top of those guaranteed
- Boston Business Journal: Light
fines may hamper new health law. By Todd Wallack and Mark HollmerJournal.
Excerpts: Under the state's new health insurance law, Bay State officials hope
95 percent of uninsured individuals will sign up for health insurance within
three years. Whether that will happen is anything but certain.
Experts say the penalties are so slight that relatively few
additional Bay State companies will start offering health insurance. Similarly,
thousands of individuals could refuse to sign up for health insurance, figuring
they either can't afford the premiums or that it's cheaper to pay the fines.
Michael Ash, an economist with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst,
said he thought many businesses, especially those with low-wage workers, will likely
just pay the $295 fee because it's a "relatively cheap penalty" compared
to the cost of offering health insurance. Ash says the $295 fine could encourage
some firms to start offering health care plans and cut wages by a similar amount.
| New on the Alliance@IBM
- From the Job Cuts Status & Comments
- Comments 11/12/06: Just heard of an engineer in Hudson Valley NY missing
his 30yr window and age 55 medial by less than 30 days in a recent 're-deploy'
layoff scam! He had a sick child and was racking up medical costs so out the
door he went. Seems he was so caught up in family personal medical problems
he didn't have the will to fight so he got cut out of hundreds of thousands
in long term benefits! This company has become cruel beyond measure; the executives
are now wickedly greedy in taking advantage of workers like this. It time to
start calling many of our new legislators, passing these stories on and saying,
remove all incentives to offshore American workers now, while there's still
a small slice of middle class yet to save. And of course, keep organizing folks;
wake the sheep up before the trip to the shearing tent becomes a trip to the
slaughter house!!!!!!! -ibm-shame-has-no-bounds-
- Comments 11/13/06: To: ibm-shame-has-no-bounds, they did a
similar thing to me. I will never forget or forgive my manager. The company
has no mercy when an employee is down and overwhelmed. To do things over again,
I would have taken a leave of absence. Don't worry, what they do to others will
come around back to them someday. -Anonymous-
- Comments 11/16/06: Global Administration announced that approx.
40 people will be part of a notified redeployment, effective immediately.
No "end" date
was given. Anyone know how long before you go from redeployed to a resource
action? What the real benefit to having a redeployment action as opposed
to a good old fashioned resource action? I know IBM isn't doing this to
help or benefit the employees. -Anonymous-
- From the General Visitor's Comment
- Comment 11/09/06: Heard a strong rumor that PSD has been sold to Ricoh
...announcement in late Nov./Dec...anybody else hear rumblings ? -Anonymous-
Alliance reply: The alliance office has heard the same thing from Endicott
- From the Pension
- Comment 11/10/06: Its amazing that we still don't have a proper tool
for financial planning the impact of the move of our pension to this
lovely new 401K plan. How can I do proper planning and estimating without
a real tool. I guess this tells me for sure I am screwed probably even
worse than the almost 20K less a year I will receive. How the hell
do you make up that kinda money when you are only 5 or so years from
- Comment 11/16/06: For those 65+ retirees, Medicare
advantage programs provide better medical coverage than IBM and the
rates are less. My coverage is $65 per month for medical plus Part
D prescription drug coverage. -Retired IBMer-
- Comment 11/16/06: "For those 65+ retirees,
Medicare advantage programs provide better medical coverage than
IBM and the rates are less. My coverage is $65 per month for medical
plus Part D prescription drug coverage. -Retired IBMer-" So
much for IBM providing medical coverage. What a worthless slime ball
company IBM has become. It is run by a bunch of arrogant managers
that want to weasel out of all commitments. -Anonymous-
- IBM employees on employee
- Comment 11/10/06: Salary = 96000; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Advisory
Software Engineer; Years Service = 9; Hours/Week = 50; Div Name = STG;
Location = west coast; Message = Not great for this area of country,
probably about 10% below market. 6% raise last year, but many in group
got none. Solid 2+ performer -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/10/06: Salary = $103K; Band Level = 9; Job
Title = Sr Program Manager; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name
= STG; Message = Pay was $16,000 more in 2002 and steadily downward despite
2+ rating 3 years running. I haven't had a raise in 3 years and I have
an advanced degree and 18 years of experience. I used to work 65 hours
per week but realized it didn't make a difference so I stopped. I am
paid at least $35K under market rates for similar positions in my immediate
local area. Yes, I'm looking for a job outside of IBM. Worst managed
company I have ever seen. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/10/06: Salary = 130K; Band Level = 9; Job
Title = Software Architect; Years Service = 24; Hours/Week = 40+; Location
= RTP; Message = I got a decent pay rise last time but that was because
I had a manager who was actually interested in his people...but he gave
up and left IBM. Back to a new manager who doesn't give a damn apart
from looking after his own neck. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/11/06: Salary = $140K; Band Level = Not at
IBM; Job Title = Director; Years Service = 18 at IBM in the past; Hours/Week
= 60; Div Name = None; Location = South; Message = +25% bonus, 40,000
options all valued above strike price! No Layoffs. On the way from IBM
to Independence! -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/12/06: Salary = 98k; Band Level = 8; Job
Title = advisory software engineer; Years Service = 24; Hours/Week =
40; Div Name = stg; Location = pok; Message = No raise in 5 years except
for the year almost everyone got a raise. -sad about what IBM has become-
- Comment 11/12/06: Salary = $152k; Band Level = 9; Job
Title = Research Staff Member; Years Service = 9; Hours/Week = 55; Div
Name = Research; Location = Watson; Message = Not a manager. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/13/06: Salary = $70,000; Band Level = 7;
Job Title = Technical Consultant (IT Specialist); Years Service = 5.5;
Hours/Week = 70; Div Name = SWG; Location = UK; Message = Spent 5 years
in IBM (I've been mugged) and saw 1 raise of 2% - despite scoring 2+
every year. Worked my ass off and got screwed while the ass kissers got
raises and promotions. I left and immediately got a $30,000 uplift -
just goes to show how underpaid people are in IBM. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/14/06: Salary = 93000; Band Level = 7; Job
Title = Staff Software Engineer; Years Service = 5; Hours/Week = 50;
Location = San Jose; Message = Joined fresh out of college 5 yrs ago.
Is 93K good? -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/16/06: Salary = $58K; Band Level = 7; Job
Title = Project Office Manager; Years Service = 8; Hours/Week = 2; Div
Name = I don't even know; Location = Work from home; Message = Even with
all of this salary disclosure, I still have not seen a more poorly paid
band 7, let alone Project Office Manager. It's funny to see people making
6 figures complaining about their low salary—all a matter of perspective,
I suppose. The 2 hours a week isn't a typo. In my last 6 months at IBM
(I finally left in June), I was so bitter about my pay that I spent my
days playing online poker to earn supplemental income while doing the
bare minimum at my job to not get fired. I was in the PSO organization
(Project Support Office) which is essentially IBM's internal temp agency
for Project Offices, and the Executive running the account I was assigned
to had to pay PSO over $100K a year for me while I remained in the bottom
1% of band 7 salaries earning a paltry $58K. The worst part about PSO
is that they would constantly send us emails asking if we had "extra
cycles" to earn extra money for PSO by working an additional 10-20
hours/week on other accounts. PSO would have us charge hours to those
accounts but not pay us anything for our extra efforts—a sleazier
operation I have never seen. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/16/06: Salary = $114,000; Band Level = 9;
Job Title = Bid Management; Years Service = 29; Hours/Week = 60; Div
Name = ISC; Message = Band 9 for 9 years. Not happy. -Anonymous-
- Comment 11/17/06: Salary = $305,000 (when i left); Band
Level = C; Job Title = VP Development; Years Service = 20 years when
I quit because I couldn't stand it anymore; Hours/Week = 40; Div Name
= STG; Location = West of the Mississippi; Message = Don't whine, go
find better jobs. They are out there! If you don't, you deserve what
you get. -ExIBMer-
- Comment 11/17/06: Salary = 92000; Band Level = 8; Job
Title = Advisory Engineer; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 60-80; Message
= 1 rating -Anonymous-
|Vault Message Board Posts
to your questions" by "Dose of reality". Excerpts: Remember what I said
about the way we set and use the salary offer level. We set the price point really
low and just take the first X number of applicants that we need, while setting
the minimum skill requirements at a similarly low level. The dynamic is about the
same as it would be at a Burger King franchise. Cost preempts quality.
On your second question, did you mean to say "conditions
two and three from your previous post are NOT met"? The bottom line is it doesn't
matter if you have another offer or not - you have to represent that you do have
one. If you just say "I think I am worth more because of blah blah blah, you
won't get any material movement. Even if you do tell them you have a competing offer
for 88k, chances are that there are too many applicants that are willing to accept
less. Remember the second half of the pricing rule from the previous paragraph -
we set the skill requirement much lower than it should be in order to cast the widest
possible net. There will be lots of less experienced, undergraduate degreed only
folks that will be happy with 78k, and your recruiter won't give a rat's @$$ about
the fact that you bring more to the table. They are just trying to fill seats with
anyone they can at the lowest cost, because that's what we tell them to do.
Don't be the one prized fish that gets reeled in with that
wide net along with all the other barely qualified applicants. Tell them
you have an offer for upper 80's and then just go find one. Consulting companies,
including IBM, will bill you out at the annual equivalent of well over $300k. There
is plenty of money on the table for you to get close to six figures - just not here,
because we are the Walmart of professional service firms.
and ye shall receive" by "Wok N Off". Full excerpt:
- #10. Grabbing my ankles, bending over, and yelling, "Thank you sir,
may I have another" is my favorite activity.
- #9. Fulfilling career development opportunities to manage offshore resources
in my native language 'round the clock abound.
- #8. My people manager cares
about me as a human being...really.
- #7. I love the travel policy, which
is flexible and affords me the most luxurious travel accommodations,
be it hotel, auto, and daily living allowances. I appreciate being able to
stay at five star hotels, renting a lincoln, eating surf-n-turf at every meal.
- #6. I am often reminded by caring executives that I should be grateful
to have a job here at the greatest technology company that ever existed.
- #5. I enjoy the freedom and opportunity to innovate, share my creativity,
and have my ideas pilfered by any of several willing hyenas.
- #4. Culture,
culture, culture!!! My masochistic tendencies are a perfect fit for my
sadomasochistic colleagues, who are diverse, tolerant, and welcoming,
thus assuring an appropriate fit for all, whatever your preference (i.e.,
sado, maso, or anywhere in between...or at the extremes come to think
of it). We even reimburse for the leather accessories!!!
- #3. I am assured
of work/life balance cause that's what the policy says.
- #2. I really
enjoy the overhead of IDPs, PBCs, PAs, PDFAs, PDs, PCBs, LSDs, GEDs -
did I miss any?
- And the number one reason I spent more than a few weeks at
IBM... the money, the fame, and ultimately-the chicks!
to regret taking IBM offer" by "ghosty06". Full excerpt: Just
accepted an offer from IBM GBS over ACN and have already started hearing stories.
I've heard the the division 7? or else the Supply Chain Management section
is laying off a number of positions by Christmas. I incidentally am starting
in January in the same section. I still do not have an orientation date and
this has me worried. I'm trying to get in touch with my HR to fig out what is
going on and am weary about the position now.
Questions, My friend who started 5 months ago is close to
jumping bands. Is this possible? He tells me also tells me if your on the bench
for more than 2 weeks you will be fired. What area should I specialize in or join?
SAP? I want stability and am afraid of being in an area where there is low demand.
Am I just freaking out or is this what I should be expecting out of a consulting
perspective" by "Dose of reality". Full excerpt: If you
have spent any time reading this board, you will know my opinion on IBM as an employment
opportunity. That being said, let me offer you some perspective.
- We push people out all the time, based on performance, attitude, a need to
right size the roster in particular skill sets, etc. At the same time we
bring people into the same practice. Our hiring standards are so low, that
we hire a lot of losers that just can't cut it.
- . If we have a surplus
in your area, your start date could get delayed, depending on how your
offer compares to others in your class. We will take the cheapest.
bands after 5 months would only happen in the case that he was under banded
to begin with. Promotions on achievement take at least 3+ years for those
who were banded properly to begin with.
- SAP will never go out of style,
and if you are good you should be able to remain chargeable. A better way
to ask the question is what functional or technical areas are you interested
in. The function that you consult in is much more important to long term
career prospects than the tool you use. Do you just want to install SAP
for your entire career, or do you want to be a supply chain or Finance
functional expert? The former will limit your opportunities.
- IBM is
not a consulting firm - we are a poorly-managed technology services firm.
It is what you should expect from us.
Let me guess – you decided to choose IBM over ACN because
the base salary was a little higher, the recruiter seemed friendly, and there were
more internal options available – right? None of that means anything to an
entry level job, if the culture of the company sucks. Salary trajectory and bonus
are more important than initial base, you will never see the snake-oil salesman recruiter
again, and jumping from one position in an unfavorable corporate culture to another
position will not help you develop.
OK, hopefully, I have gotten you attention. Here’s
what you do. Ramp up your job search again as a back-up plan. If you do remain on
the IBM path, don’t spend any more than a couple of years here, and don’t
kill yourself trying to meet performance objectives that will be meaningless. Develop
some skills that you can sell and move out. Look on the experience as an extension
of college. I wouldn’t call the recruiter – you will just get a bland
or join IBM" by "sty0rgo". Full excerpt: I received an offer
from IBM for a Sr. Managing Consultant position, Band 9 with a 150k annual base
+ 10k sign-on bonus. I am currently heading up the ERP practice for a small firm.
I have 10 years managing delivery teams and small/large ERP projects but would
like to get into a CIO position someday. I am only in my 30s and was thinking I
should have experience working for a global IT consulting firm in a senior position
to boost my credentials. Would it then make sense to join IBM or just stay in my