Under the approved deal, IBM gets an exemption from the state’s 4 percent sales tax that would normally apply to internal transfers of computers and software. An incentive provision offers a graduated scale of breaks from the Dutchess portion of the sales tax, which is normally 3.75 percent. A third provision offers an additional quarter-percent relief if IBM goes through with a $36 million upgrade of data center facilities in Poughkeepsie.
IBM did not meet the job targets to collect any of the additional Dutchess incentive in the current five-year deal, agency Chairman Michael Tomkovitch told his board. But the majority favored renewing the incentive.
"copyright1997"'s full reply follows: agrav40, I am an infrequent poster on this board. I still work for IBM (over 30 years), band 10 employee, multiple patents, good appraisals, have made what most people would call good money and have mostly had a great history with IBM. (And no, I am not a manager.) Having said that, while you may not believe it or want to believe it, the underlying theme of the comments made to you are true:
1) I don't know how long you've worked for IBM, but the IBM of today is dramatically different than that of the 80's or even 90's in how employee's getting a RA are treated. While it is possible to get another job, it is also (very) infrequent. I have seen for myself a situation where an organization that was trying to pick up an individual had a hard time doing so because the individual was on a RA list. They had to get special approval from HR and at a high level in the management chain. Again, while it can be done, the red tape and questioning (of the hiring management) makes this happen only if you have some special (unique) skill set they require and can't get otherwise.
2)You mentioned that "My first and second line managers are not helping in any way. " THINK about this. I don't know whether you mentioned why/how you ended up on an RA list? (I apologize if I might have missed it in the large number of posts.) Were there a small number targeted for RA, or was this the result of some bigger action where entire group(s) were eliminated? If a small number, it means that they thought you were expendable (and I understand it may hurt to be thought of that way). The fact is that you might be the best thing since sliced bread, but for whatever reason they (at least your second line), thinks that if he/she had to cut their team size (head count cut), or wanted to "make room" for other people, they picked you. If they wanted you to remain with IBM, why wouldn't they be doing everything they could to help you find another job in IBM? Also, don't you THINK the acquiring manager is going to call and talk to your existing manager? (I know I would.) Look, I do to a certain extent know how it feels. Many moons ago I was surplused, with a 1 appraisal and the highest ranking in a fairly large group of people. Luckily (for me), it was before the days of the large scrutiny on the acquiring organization in picking up such an employee.
3) I assume you've found the link for the jobs database: https://bluepages.ibm.com/password/vendor/auth/login.wss?code=hr_globalopp One thing I will tell you is that many job transfers/openings still happen without the job being posted there. That is why it is important to network with friends, old managers, anyone who might have an upcoming opening or know someone that might help.
Good luck with your search. I sincerely hope you find something. I do suggest you don't limit your search to within IBM. One thing I will leave you with that IBM is simply a corporation whose values are made up from those who run and operate the corporation, and those values have changed dramatically over my 30+ years. The management culture is such that they believe that IBM (that is, their stock holdings and careers) are best served by a "globally integrated" company, and that the company's financial model is best served by severely reducing high-cost labor (e.g. United States) with technical skills in other low(er) wage countries, and in fact over multiple locations. They also don't seem to have any moral problems in implementing that plan. Maybe you will think by saying this that I too am an IBM basher. What I am is a realist.
Plaintiffs allege that this lawsuit applies to hundreds of Call Center Employees working for IBM at one or more of its Call Centers located in Georgia, Texas and other states. Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of himself and all other current and former Call Center Employees employed by IBM in the United States from April 28, 2005 to the present. ...
In this case, Plaintiffs allege that IBM failed to use an accurate time keeping system and only recorded time logging on and off IBM’s telephone system that did not account for all hours worked by Call Center Employees. Plaintiffs allege that they and other similarly-situated employees worked unpaid overtime off-the-clock for IBM performing a variety of duties including but not limited to booting up the computer system, initializing software programs, working through break times and engaging in work related telephone calls. ...
“I was pressured by IBM to only log onto the telephone system at my scheduled times and not while I was performing work before or after my scheduled shift,” said named plaintiff Charles Seward. “I booted up my computer system, worked through break periods and took work related phone calls. I was never compensated for this work which contributed to IBM’s successful operation.” ...
If you are currently employed, or have been employed in the past three years, by IBM in one of its Call Centers and would like more information concerning your legal rights, please feel free to contact...
The challenges of globalization are forcing companies to become more nimble, using an increasingly geographically-dispersed and virtual workforce to remain competitive. In the world of software delivery, this means around the clock collaboration with specialized teams around the globe to pick up where another left off. For other stakeholders in an organization, such as lawyers, a finance department, CIO or CEO, there is an increased need for visibility into how the software is delivered on a global scale. Technologies built on, or using, Jazz can interoperate with software from other vendors allowing customers to significantly improve their ability to communicate data within and between their enterprise.
The reason: Traditional pensions largely have been replaced by retirement savings plans. As currently designed, the new plans will fail to provide adequate retirement security for many people, according to a growing number of economists, benefits specialists and policymakers. ...
Health-care costs scare me the most. Last year, Fidelity Investments calculated that a 65-year-old couple would need about $215,000 to cover medical costs in retirement, up 7.5 percent from the previous year. Medicare covers about 51 percent of medical costs, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute. So that leaves a lot of bills for you to pay out of your retirement savings. And when it comes to how much is in those accounts, EBRI found at the end of 2006 that nearly three-quarters of participants had balances lower than $61,346, the size of the average account balance. ...
Economist Teresa Ghilarducci, author of "When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them," said creating a new plan is better than tinkering with a bad system to make it better. Like many others, Ghilarducci points out how backward it is to design a retirement system in which the incentives to save are biggest for the highest-income individuals. Because contributions are tax-deferred, the tax break is biggest for those high earners.
Why is the Indian IT worker so unhappy? Incessant international travel making him feel rootless, fear of the pink slip, impossible deadlines of the global economy and constant guilt of not meeting demands of the spouse and family have been quoted as the main stressors in his/her life. This again, in an India that is paying stellar salaries to its young workforce, enabling them to buy swanky apartments, expensive cars, and the latest gadgets- proving perhaps, that money, verily, cannot buy you happiness? ...
Instant gratification, self-absorption, blithely willful action, also remind us of the actions of certain powerful American corporate head honchos. For instant gratification- "Outsourcing today will net me xyz amount of profit"- they send American jobs to other countries while the employees struggle to support families juggling low pay, fear of job loss, high inflation and healthcare costs. Their sense of entitlement and self absorption ensure that they treat employees not as human beings, but as mere statistics in their company's growth. They care nothing for the IT professional who has worked hard, accumulating student debt and has a family to support, while they conveniently outsource his/her job away, or invite cheaper guest labor for him to train and then take over his job!
Unfortunately, the older you are, the longer it can take to get a job. Compared to 18.9 weeks for younger workers, it took workers 55 and older 25.8 weeks on average to find a job in 2004. But for an unemployed or under-employed professional, or one that has needed to get back into the workforce after a premature retirement, this can feel like an eternity.
It's just that my spouse and I really need the benefits and neither of us will be Medicare eligible for years beyond what COBRA and FHA would cover. We also will have a cash flow problem, but a high deductible/catastrophic plan really won't work for us.
Too old to be hired by another company, too young to dip into TDSP yet, not 60 so can't retire with full benefits yet. The stress of all this is going to ensure that we'll need the best medical coverage that we cannot afford.
I haven't had an opportunity to get "official" information regarding "my" options yet.
Having worked in the old IBM culture, never in our wildest dreams did we expect this from IBM. We're caught between a rock and a hard place with no good choices. Feel like we've been set out to sea on a raft with only a few days supplies. Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful and thorough replies!
A second approach would be to use COBRA for 18 months and then switch to using the FHA account after that. Since COBRA can cost about 1/3 less than the retiree plans and offers better coverage, this could reduce your long term costs - if IBM leaves the FHA in place for a few more years. Although the cost of the retiree plan will increase year to year, that will happen no matter what. The costs will probably increase at a slightly higher rate than the interest being paid on the FHA account, but you will not lose much to inflation during the 18 months you are on COBRA - probably just a couple of percent. To me, the much lower cost of COBRA more than makes up for the loss to inflation.
A third approach is to use the FHA to pay just $7000 per year towards the cost of retiree medical and pay the rest out of your own pocket. This would bring your cost in line with what the retirees on the old plan pay. That way, the FHA will last longer (maybe even until you are eligible for medicare, depending on how early you retire). But, if you do this, you have a much larger risk time-wise that IBM might take away the FHA.
In summary, you are right - the FHA is free money now. But you might spend more of your own money later if you don't take advantage of COBRA while you can.
As far leaving money in the FHA account goes, that has nothing to do with the fees you pay. If you draw the FHA account down to zero, you can still get insurance through the FHA plan by paying 100% out of your own pocket. But if you ever stop using the FHA plan (because you got coverage somewhere else, such as from another employer) and your account balance is zero, you can never come back.
If you leave at least $1 in your FHA account, then you can come back. But it may not be easy to draw the account down to such a small amount since you can only withdraw funds in 10% increments of the total annual cost. So, more realistically, you might get stuck with leaving $500, $1000 or more in the account to guarantee future access.
The fact is, there is no guarantee at all that FHA will be available next year to anyone, or that $$ in FHA will somehow ensure continued access to health insurance at reasonable rates. My prediction is that FHA probably won't be available for you in several years regardless of whether you elect COBRA first. FHA is not funded. Scan through the annual report. There are NO funds allocated to FHA anywhere. If IBM continues to fund FHA, it will be through the operating budget -- if they have a shortage in the operating budget, it is an obvious place to make cuts.
The virtual dollars in FH accounts are not in your name -- they can be cut at any time.
The only legal obligation IBM has to provide health insurance to people who are no longer employees is COBRA.
While people assume that if IBM provides health insurance one year, they will have to provide it the next, that does not create a legal obligation. IBM continues to provide health insurance to retirees because they get a substantial tax benefit for doing so -- that tax benefit can be eliminated by Congress at any time.
IMHO, the best way for you to get continued access to health insurance between now and when you reach age 65 is to realize you are in exactly the same plight as all the other uninsured Americans in your age bracket who never worked at IBM. Don't you think a national solution that solves the problem for everyone might be worth working towards? The United States is the ONLY industrialized country with thousands of citizens facing this problem. Maybe it is time for a change?
The Senate legislation, unveiled today by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), would allow foreign national graduates of U.S. universities to receive green cards, or permanent resident status, as long as they have a job offer. ...
Wolf and Chavez defended Google's hiring of H-1B workers. "Although we're committed to hiring outstanding American candidates, Google hires employees based on skills and qualifications, not on nationality. Many times our strongest candidates are Americans; in fact, about nine out of 10 of our U.S.-based employees are citizens or permanent residents. But if we're to remain an innovative company -- one that is creating jobs in the U.S. every day -- we also need to hire exceptional candidates who happen to have been born elsewhere." Google received more than 1 million resumes, Wolfe and Chavez wrote on their blog.
Wal-Mart had a legal right to recover from the disabled woman under the federal law of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act). If you are one of the substantial number of Americans who receive their health coverage in connection with their employment (excepting government or church employees), ERISA applies. Absent from the ongoing debate about health care reform is a discussion about the impact of ERISA. ERISA is an onerous and oppressive law that HMOs and insurance companies love and cherish, but do not want the public to understand.
Under ERISA, an insurance company or HMO can deny coverage without penalty, even if that denial of coverage causes serious harm or even death. The only consequence for a wrongful denial of coverage under this law is the obligation to provide the benefits that should have been provided in the first place. The occasional report in the media about a large verdict against an insurance company or HMO for failing to pay for or authorize necessary medical care does not involve coverage to which ERISA applies. It must be considered that a refusal to pay $45,000 for a hip replacement, for example, results in a $45,000 profit. The insurance companies and HMOs protected by ERISA have an incentive to deny coverage, and no negative consequence for doing so.
Under ERISA, the individual who challenges a denial of coverage is required to fight through multiple grievance procedures. That individual bears the burden of proving to the large and well-staffed company that the denial was wrong, even though he/she is often sick and not well versed in the type of sophisticated medical evidence that may be required to perfect their claim.
Yet many experts paint a different picture. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, called a hearing last week to take an honest look at whether consumer-driven health care plans contain, or merely shift, costs. Announcing the hearing, he said, “HSAs and high deductible plans … make things worse, not better. Instead of using the tax code to encourage people to purchase coverage that may be woefully inadequate, we should focus on providing comprehensive health care coverage to those most in need in the most cost-efficient way possible.”
Eliminating health premiums has been a trend in much of Canada. AHICP premiums were eliminated for senior citizens in Alberta on October 1, 2004. Once AHICP premiums are eliminated in the province, British Columbia and Ontario will be the only provinces in Canada with compulsory health care premium payments
She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified. ...
With individual insurance, unlike the group coverage usually sponsored by employers, insurance companies in many states are free to pick and choose the people and conditions they cover, and base the price on a person’s medical history. Sometimes, a past Caesarean means higher premiums. ...
Individual insurance differs sharply from the group coverage with which most people are familiar. Group policies generally require that the insurer cover everybody in the group, and charge the same rates for all. But with individual coverage, insurers in many states can vary their prices based on medical history, exclude certain services or reject anyone they consider a bad risk. (Several states, however, including New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, ban such practices.)
The governor acknowledges that the new Florida plans won't offer "Cadillac coverage." But for $150 a month or less, he says, they'll include some coverage for preventive services, drugs, surgery, screenings, and durable medical equipment, among other things. And how is that possible, you're wondering. Some plans won't provide catastrophic coverage that would pick up the tab for major medical expenses like cancer treatment or heart surgery, for example, nor will they necessarily cover all of the benefits available through comprehensive plans, like podiatry or certain transplants. There could be dollar limits or other restrictions as well.
It's easy to understand the appeal of these policies to politicians and business owners, who are scrambling to find ways to insure people amid escalating costs. But consumers need to ask hard questions about what they're really getting for their money and read the fine print of any policy they're considering. "I could cover everybody for a dollar a head, but the policy wouldn't cover a toothbrush," says Karen Pollitz, a research professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University.
Low premiums can make these plans seem very affordable, but people should focus instead on what they'd pay out of pocket if they got sick. "The whole point of health insurance is what happens if your health gets worse," says Pollitz. I've written about how people with cancer, for example, can be hard hit by coverage shortfalls.
Gruber also asks why we should care about the uninsured. One reason is externalities, costs that insured people bear as a result of uninsurance. These include physical externalities from communicable diseases (uninsured people may spread disease to others) and financial externalities from uncompensated care. However, these costs are too small to provide a major rationale for universal coverage. A second reason is "job lock" - workers may be afraid to change jobs for fear of losing their health insurance, which can lead to a mismatch between workers and jobs and lower U.S. productivity. Other reasons include paternalism (people may not realize the value of insurance) and redistribution (many of the uninsured are low-income). ...
Gruber closes by noting that his study largely ignores the other major problem plaguing the U.S. health care system, rapidly rising costs. He notes that most cost control measures currently being discussed, like electronic medical records, will lower costs very little if at all. Effective control of health care costs will involve denying coverage for care that does little for health but that consumers now want. He concludes "until we are understand more fully which health care spending is justified and which is not, we are not prepared to take on the American public on cost control. The fundamental insight of this round of reform is therefore not to hold the attainable goal (universal coverage) hostage to the (currently) unattainable goal, fundamental health care cost control."
“The entire increase in coverage appears to have been drawn from the ranks of the uninsured, because there is no evidence that publicly funded programs are crowding out employer coverage,” wrote the study’s author, Sharon K. Long, a principal research associate with the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research group in Washington. ...
Undercutting the positive trends for Massachusetts are signs that the state’s supply of primary care physicians is not sufficient to handle the increased demand created by newly insured residents. Though there were overall declines in the percentage of residents who said they were not receiving needed care, the study showed increases in the share who said they did not get care because they could not find a doctor. That finding may support anecdotal reports from internists and family practitioners that they have been stretched by an influx of newly insured patients, causing long delays for some appointments. The study actually found a slight increase in the share of low-income residents who sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms for conditions that were not urgent.
COBRA coverage now allows people who have left a job to keep their group insurance for up to 18 months, and sometimes up to 36 months, by paying the entire premium.
Removing the time limit would benefit people who wouldn't qualify for a new insurance plan because of pre-existing health conditions and whose jobs don't offer insurance, Kirk said Thursday. It would be a bridge for retirees who are too young for Medicare.
These pools, typically created by state governments, require significant government subsidies, charge high premiums and sometimes sharply restrict benefits or enrollment. Nationally, fewer than 200,000 people are enrolled in such pools, while 47 million people in the U.S. are without insurance.
"They tend not to work particularly well," said Sara Collins, an assistant vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health-care-research group. "States have really struggled to finance these adequately."
IBM claims this is not a "resource action". IBM claims it is a "global company" and uses this as an excuse to offshore jobs. No individuals have yet been selected for offshoring. People were told today but no one knows which individuals will be targeted. Transition starts June 1, 2008 - May 2009.
IBM employees are expected to train their new counterparts in Brazil. Managers of people affected once again are doing nothing to stop this. They are merely pawns in the corporate torture chamber known as IBM. -Next On The List-
Alliance reply: A news reporter is looking to interview any former IBM employee who had to train their offshore replacement and then lost their job. Contact the Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and phone number.
IBM can get skilled experienced PM's for approx 60K to 80K MAX on the outside all day long. Take into consideration that BRIC PM's are substantially cheaper than that. There will be a sizeable reduction in PM's over the next 3 quarters.
SO / ITD will continue to bleed profusely. Unless your outsourcing contract is in litigation for failing to meet the terms of the contract, you're overstaffed. That's the new standard, not customer sat.
Polish your resumes and start looking. Be prepared, so when you do get ra'd, your leave with a smile. I wish I was more prepared, so I didn't stress like I did, but I landed on my feet with more money and RESPECT.. something sorely missing in the blue pig. Remember when we had work life balance and spirit? Remember when we had an across the board increase to retain folks? Its over. North American works are targeted. -former IBM'er-
In these times a cost of living raise would be a great help to ALL employees and not an unreasonable thing for IBM to provide because they certainly can afford it. My last 10 raises in my 30 year career were most certainly merit raises because they were far too small to be cost of living raises and I was a 2 plus or a one
In the past year alone costs in Maryland have gone through the roof. The Gas and electric company got 78 percent in rate hikes and gas has climbed almost a buck a gallon and most IBMers in Maryland will see less then 3 percent in raises in a company posting record profits.
A successful organization of IBM will set the standard for the whole industry and raise the quality of life for an awful lot of American workers. When you hear workers talking about their profession and they say " Union scale is XXX" that's leading the way and improving life for people. You seldom if ever hear union scale being LESS then a company pays. Unions help define the workplace for ALL American workers. IBM is not a doddering failing business on the verge of collapse. IBM is a vibrant worldwide player making record profits from the labors and sacrifices of its workforce yet pleading poverty to its workforce when its raise time. Or benefits time. Or retirement time. Unless you are an executive of course. -Exodus 2007-
Alliance reply: Excellent answer Exodus 2007. I would add that any company is made 'great' by it's employees; the ones who use the means of production to put out a quality service or product. Thomas Watson Sr. once said to his employees during a dept. meeting in Endicott, "Managers are a dime a dozen. You people are the ones that keep this company going. You are all very important to this company's success". I know this, because my father heard those words directly from Thomas Watson Sr. himself, at my father's dept. meeting, in 1956. At that time, IBM was making sure that their employees knew that they were valuable, so that management didn't have to worry about unions.
To the Band-3 person who posted on 6/2: your pay of $41K seems to be on the high end of that band, although the sample size is small (only 3 respondents). -Anonymous-
Alliance Reply: As always, on behalf of all Alliance@IBM members; thank you for your efforts to help us all understand the IBM salary statistics. We hope you have become a member of Alliance@IBM, at some level. We encourage you to consider it and to contact us.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Some sample posts follow:
Consider the rigged appraisal system at IBM. Consider the recent 15% reduction in salary for many workers (in the US). This should tell you something about management's attitude towards workers. Consider the persistent lies about bonuses and never seeing them materialise. Consider the 4th quarter apologies for not making enough to pay you a bonus or give you a salary increase, and then in the 1st quarter of the next year announcing a stellar profit. Consider that you will be shoe-horned into roles totally unsuitable, just to keep you billable, and which don't reflect you career interests (would you like to do Excel macro work when you've run very successful teams on high profile engagements ?).
That's just for starters. Consider you won't learn how to do pretty much anything correctly (good process/methodology and structure). Consider IBM has a number of managers who've never worked at the coal-face of a project (never coded, tested, designed or implemented anything). They are more akin to bureaucrats who squabble over project costs and deadlines than facilitating on-time delivery and realistic deadlines.
Job appears to be more a QA management SOX CYA function than actual sales. Not much chance to learn anything but very rigidly defined service products within service lines. This is done to ensure reduced chances of defection. Very reduced client face time, since that's reserved for ITSM position and client execs.
You'll see ITS-GTS give up the SPL mess let it go to business partners as they try to save that they think is the more lucrative SO business. Shortage most acute with architects. Most PM's and IT specialists in all of IGS and SWG getting laid off and being replaced with offshore labor.
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