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Highlights—September 13, 2008

  • Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: Confusion over IBM pension hike. Not all former Big Blue staff will be eligible. By Christine Young. Excerpts: IBM pensioners are frustrated and bewildered by the technology giant's silence months after it announced they might get a raise. "I've been waiting breathlessly," said Stuart Buchan of Saugerties, who worked in inspection operations before retiring in 1986 after 40 years. Buchan got two letters, one in May and another in August, saying he might get a hike in September. "That was the last I heard," he said. "I haven't gotten any notification. ...

    Tony Nardo of Saugerties retired from his $80,000-a-year engineering job in 1990. He got a letter in May saying his $21,000 annual pension might be raised, but he hasn't heard anything since. "I think it's a disgrace, the way it was handled," Nardo said. "It was very misleading. The way it was worded, everyone thought they would get something. But the criteria were never explained." ...

    Herbert Sweet of Hyde Park, who retired 16 years ago from "a nice fanny job in an office," called IBM for clarification after getting the May letter. "It's a very complicated formula," he said. "I think the only people who got increases are those who retired 30 years ago at the level of janitor." Nardo said he only knows of one retiree who got the raise. "Everyone else who got the letter never got anything," Nardo said. "It bothers me that they didn't let us know. It's not like IBM in the past to do stuff like that."

  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retiree Issues message board: "Re: Confusion over IBM pension hike" by "mr_quarkwrench". Full excerpt: It is a very tricky calculation. IBM wants to give the minimum raise possible to raise the amount of funding they can increase for executive pensions. This means not only considering the current pension levels of older retirees but also the actuarial data on their life expectancy. Does little good to give a raise to someone who will probably die before all the paper work is processed and is a waste of money to give it to a low paid retiree with a long life expectancy. Also, life expectancies of surviving spouses must be take into account as well as percent survivor benefit chosen.

    And all of this must be handled with emails to coders in places where English isn't the primary language.

  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree information exchange: "Rumored Pension Increase" by "drebe102". Full excerpt: Some months ago I heard that I qualified for an increase in my defined benefit pension plan (I retired w/ 30 in 1987). I never got anything - a letter or raise. I now hear that if you get more than $1833 per month -- you did not get an increase. Is that the case? Has anyone else heard that? Thanks
  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree information exchange: "Re: Rumored Pension Increase" by "Captain Monte". Full excerpt: Yes, that's the case! The bastards gave us nothing.
  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree information exchange: "Re: Rumored Pension Increase" by "wavo841". Full excerpt: IBM's WELFARE" increase only applied to people that are by most definitions BELOW the poverty level. By their standards they consider those getting a HUGE pension as part of the ELITE wealthy (more than $22K). In most communities this would qualify a family of 2 for food stamps!
  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree information exchange: "Re: Rumored Pension Increase" by "wavo841". Full excerpt: IBM is careful to remind we retirees that the pension does not and has never included provisions for cost of living increases.
  • Yahoo! IBM Retiree information exchange: "Re: Rumored Pension Increase" by "wavo841". Full excerpt: IBM can say they do not provide any COLA, but the PRACTICE at the time I retired, was they averaged about a 1 1/2% PER YEAR in the past. Then they got so cheap they pay executives big bucks on the backs of the retirees.
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: pension increase. Stop waiting for an IBM increase..." by "mr_quarkwrench". Full excerpt: Not exactly. Some executive pension does come from the pension fund. The maximum amount is based on a formula that includes the amount of all pensions. By raising the pensions of the lowest paid retirees the executives can raise the limit of what they can steal... er... receive from the fund. This was covered earlier on this board. -- Don
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "Re: pension increase" by "blue_in_pok". Full excerpt: Congratulations grasshopper, you have reached the next level of financial enlightenment. When I heard about the pension increase I immediately started to wonder what's up with this ? Please tell me the last time these gangsters did anything to help an employee. ALWAYS look for the angle that gets the execs more money, it may take some time but it is ALWAYS there !! They do NOTHING for the benefit of the employees, NOTHING!
  • Yahoo IBM Retiree Information Exchange: "Cola for IBM retirees" by "tradewinds022002". Full excerpt: IBM is claiming that the pension does not and has never included provisions for cost of living increases. That is probably right but when I retired in 1991 a nice house cost 125,000 dollars, first class stamp was 25cents, 1 gal of gas 1.14, 1 doz eggs was 1 dollar, 1 gal of milk 2.80, my health insurance was 0, and so on and so on, need I say more? Meantime my pension income is basically the same, may be less, counting the new rate of our health insurance. So how do we cope and how much lower our living standard has to drop? George
  • Yahoo! IBM Pension and Retirement Issues message board: "My Pension check before Gerstner" by "ibmmike2006". Full excerpt: I am reading a book by Teresa Ghilarducci entitled "When I am Sixty- Four" The plot against Pensions and the Plan to save them. I am not through reading it but something caught my eye. She describes how a defined benefit pension plan works. Most Public Employees DB plans work this way. An employer, every year, takes part of your salary, usually 2% annually (2% of $65,000 would be $108 a month) and puts it away for you in your old age into the DB plan.

    When it comes to retirement, the pension is calculated from the average final three years wages times 2% times years worked. If I averaged $65,000 a year in the last three years multiply that times 2% would be $1300 times years worked 32 would equal $3466 a month defined benefit pension check if I worked for the government. So how does this compare to the "old" IBM defined benefit pension my wages started contributing to in the 1960's?

    IBM was taking .015% of my salary and putting it into my retirement defined benefit pension. Not as good as a public employee but OK. So I was given retirement estimates every year convincing me to stay on with IBM because of those benefits which I conveyed to the people reporting to me as Outstanding. I believed my Company. The retirement benefit I was to expect was $65,000 times .015% times 32 years BG (Before Gerstner) equal to $2600 a month, $866 less than Public Employees. Still OK, would have liked the $866 more but acceptable. Gerstner changed the formula to .0135% from .015% and lowered the maximum service age to 30.

    Let's see how that affected my DB pension check: $65,000 times .0135% times 30 years AG (After Gerstner) is $2193 a month, $406 less a month than BG and $1275 less a month than Public Employees. Now with no Cola and inflation averaging 3% (5.6% this year) the pension payment will be worth half in 20 years if I live that long in purchasing power with no Cost of Living adjustment to about $1096 in today's dollars purchasing power.

    Because IBM was successful in forcing me to leave like they did with the other 150,000 IBMers over a five year period with "rightsizing, downsizing, resource actions, transfers to AT&T to be set up for work transfer to India and layoff", my projected pension became less. So I took the Pension I receive today, $1500 a month and figured out that compared to the old formula BG where I would have received $2600 a month instead of the $1500 a month I am getting today, $900 less. The formula factor of .015 is really .009. IBM kept .006 of my pension I contributed all those 32 years or about $12,500 annually I never will see.

    The After Gerstner pension amounts to $72 a day compared to Sam's $20,000 a day pension. I guess Sam deserves 277 times more than I do. The question I have is:what happened to my Before Gerstner, .006% of my DB contribution that IBM kept out of my salary for 30 years and received a tax write off that I will never see? The $1040 a month? I guess that went to Sam, in order to boost his pension to $20,000 a day. That must be it. I feel better now.

    Thought I would give you a way to see exactly how much Gerstner stripped away from employees who built the company Before Gerstner and how this enabled Gerstner to give himself 20,000,000 shares of IBM stock in 1998. And, he got away with it. I think I will write a book entitled "The Theft of the Century" but maybe that title has already been used up.

    Some of you might know it but if you take your DB pension check, take your last three years of wages before you left IBM, multiply that by .009% times the number of years employed, the result will confirm that, after the Gerstner adjustment, was really closer to less than 1% even though IBM wrote off .015% as a tax break all those years you were employed.

    In hindsight, I should have taken a job as a Public Employee but they had a Union. IBM convinced me unions were bad.

  • UNI Global Union: IBM Turkey fouls trade union. Excerpts: IBM Turkey has refused recognition of UNI affiliate TEZ-KOOP and taken to the court instead. Although the union TEZ-KOOP has organised more than 80% of IBM staff, what had be certified by the Turkish Minister of Labour, IBM refused to recognise the union. IBM maintains their position despite a number of protest actions in Turkey and a UNI solidarity campaign, in which over 300 protest notes had been sent by UNI affiliates to IBM management in the US, Europe and Turkey.

    At a press conference in Istanbul organised by TEZ-KOOP on 5 September, TEZ-KOOP President Gürsel Dogru, condemned IBM management and said that their behaviour was unacceptable. He urgently appealed to IBM management to come to the bargaining table and negotiate a collective agreement as IBM employees had wished.

  • Vault message board post: "Delayed Posting of Expense Report Payments" by "GBS_BC". Full excerpt: Delayed Posting of Expense Report Payments to Corporate Charge Card Statements. "Expense reports processed for payment between Friday, September 12, and Friday, September 26, will post to your American Express account on Wednesday, October 1, prior to the American Express monthly payment due date. This adjustment will not impact employee delinquencies." Any clues as to what this is all about?
  • Vault message board post: "Fluffing the financials again" by "Frank Cary". Full excerpt: The Pig's financial engineering squad has determined that the books need to be fluffed (in the pornographic industry sense) to secure the Band Cs and above their quarterly bonuses. Notice how expenses incurred in the Third Quarter are not being recognized until the fourth Quarter. The Pig is seeing the effects of the strengthening dollar affecting international (I refuse to say global) sales results negatively and customer-delayed buying decisions are dragging down the Ever Sacred quarterly results. The IBM Company's fortunes fluctuate with the winds and tides but the bonus obscenities must always obey the song "Ever Onward".
  • San Jose Mercury-News: Tech's battle over OT pay moves to Sacramento. By Mike Zapler. Excerpts: It's no secret that the typical workweek for Silicon Valley's programmers and engineers is a lot longer than 40 hours. Now, the battle over whether those high-tech workers should be treated as salaried professionals or hourly employees entitled to overtime pay has moved from the courtroom to the state Capitol. Hit with class-action lawsuits claiming it has improperly withheld overtime from some workers, the high-tech industry is lobbying for a measure to clear up a state law that exempts tech companies from paying OT to highly skilled employees.

    While the industry has the backing of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and at least some legislators from both parties, a powerful labor group is pushing back, calling it a corporate giveaway and bad for workers.

    Several Silicon Valley companies - including IBM, Oracle, Siebel Systems, Cisco Systems and Electronic Arts - have settled class-action lawsuits in recent years accusing them of illegally withholding overtime pay from some employees. The settlements have totaled more than $150 million.

  • CIO: Should IT Workers Unionize? By Meridith Levinson. Excerpts: What differentiates today's discussion about IT labor unions from previous ones is that the conditions under which IT professionals work are arguably worse now than they were in the past. Constant layoffs, reckless cost-cutting, ruthless outsourcing and incompetent managers have pushed IT workers over the edge. They're tired of being steam-rolled and exploited by corporate America (and they *are* being exploited), and they're increasingly fighting back. Just last month current and former Apple employees sued the iPhone-maker for violating labor laws. IT workers at Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan have filed similar claims. Such lawsuits were unheard of seven years ago. If this isn't a sign of a maturing workforce, I don't know what is. ...

    Corporate America has been unfairly profiting off tech workers' passion for technology and innovation--a passion that drives them to work 60 hours a week--and IT workers are fed up with it. They need to stop it, whether that's by joining a union, organizing a guild or forming a professional association similar to the American Bar Association.

  • New York Times: Few Stand to Gain on This Bailout, and Many Lose. By Eric Dash. Excerpts: Over the years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac showered riches on many winners: their executives, Wall Street bankers and Washington lobbyists. Now the foundering mortgage giants are leaving some losers in their wake, notably their shareholders, rank-and-file employees and, in the worst case, American taxpayers.

    But even after the government seized the mortgage finance companies on Sunday and dismissed their chief executives, the companies’ outgoing leaders could see big paydays — a prospect that angers many investors, particularly because ordinary stockholders could be virtually wiped out.

    Under the terms of his employment contract, Daniel H. Mudd, the departing head of Fannie Mae, stands to collect $9.3 million in severance pay, retirement benefits and deferred compensation, provided his dismissal is deemed to be “without cause,” according to an analysis by the consulting firm James F. Reda & Associates. Mr. Mudd has already taken home $12.4 million in cash compensation and stock option gains since becoming chief executive in 2004, according to an analysis by Equilar, an executive pay research firm

    Richard F. Syron, the departing chief executive of Freddie Mac, could receive an exit package of at least $14.1 million, largely because of a clause added to his employment contract in November of last year as his company’s troubles deepened. He has taken home $17.1 million in pay and stock option gains since becoming chief executive in 2003.

  • New York Times: Reduced Exit Packages Urged for Ousted Executives. By Eric Dash. Excerpts: Senator Barack Obama and two other prominent Democrats urged federal housing regulators on Tuesday to cut the golden parachutes of the ousted leaders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, another sign that the government bailout of those mortgage giants could reverberate through the presidential campaign. Mr. Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, asked that any “inappropriate windfall payments” to the chief executives and senior managers of those agencies be voided, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the new regulator for Fannie and Freddie. ...

    “Under no circumstances should the executives of these institutions earn a windfall at a time when the U.S. Treasury has taken unprecedented steps to rescue these companies with taxpayer resources,” Mr. Obama wrote. Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, has said on the campaign trail that the government rescue of Fannie and Freddie should not turn into a bailout for their top executives and Wall Street investors.

  • Jim Hightower: America's Middle Class Reality. By Jim Hightower. Excerpts: Among the media and political elites, there has been an anguished outcry against Sen. Barack Obama’s call for ending the Bush tax giveaways to people making more than $250,000 a year. Wait, they wail, that’s us! We’re not rich, we’re the middle class. Give us our tax breaks!

    Some, especially Washington Republicans, go so far as to insist that no monetary figure can measure who is wealthy in America, so there should be no upper limit on who gets the goodies. Sen. John McCain – who married into a vast inherited fortune and ardently supports continued tax breaks for the rich – rushed forth to claim that some people are “poor,” even “if they are billionaires.” The difference between billionaires and bus drivers, they say, is merely a matter of attitude, not of income and assets.

    Time to get a grip on reality. What would you guess is the median income for American families? Is it $250,000, or even a hundred thousand? No. It’s just $50,000 – meaning half of our households struggle to make ends meet on less than that. Indeed, those pulling down more than $250,000 a year are among the wealthiest two percent of American families, enjoying incomes five times greater than the typical family.

    But … but… but… stammer the offended punditry and politicos, we live in Washington, DC, where it takes much more to be rich. Actually, not that much more. Even in that land of millionaire lobbyists, median family income is $83,000 a year.

    A quarter-million bucks a year certainly doesn’t put you in the same zip code as billionaires, but neither are you living in the same world as bus drivers. Obama’s tax policies are rightly focused on benefiting America’s real majority. Why should the richest two percent of families – including billionaires – be getting tax breaks?

  • New York Times: On the Web, a Nonpartisan Look at Those Partisan Campaign Ads. By Alessandra Stanley. Excerpts: The Web site (livingroomcandidate.org), which was created in 2000 by the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, returns every presidential election cycle with an ever larger collection of political ads dating from 1952 to the present. The 2008 edition, which is scheduled to go online on Friday, allows voters to scan the latest ads, local, national and Web-only, while dipping into the dim electoral past. ...

    The Living Room Candidate might seem obsolete in the age of YouTube and campaign sites that post every speech and advertising message. But it’s more valuable now than ever, serving as both clearinghouse and curator. It provides voters with historical context and full disclosure: it distinguishes ads that are created by the candidate’s official team from proxy attacks paid for by nonprofit but highly partisan political organizations — a technique now known by the 2004 term “Swiftboating.” In this cycle, however, the campaigns have proved less squeamish than ever before and are perfectly happy to level the silliest charges in their own names.

    Editor's comment: Regardless of your political persuasion, the Museum of the Moving Image's "The Living Room Candidate" Web site is a lot of fun, and is also educational. I found the campaign ads (from both the Eisenhower and Stevenson campaigns) very interesting. Many of the issues, and trouble spots in the world then are still in play now.

News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
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  • Taking Note: Americans Who Have Insurance —But Still No Access To Care. By Maggie Mahar. Excerpts: A friend who lives in Boston complained, not long ago, about not being able to find a physician. In Boston? “Come on,” I said. “This is like claiming you couldn’t find a liquor store.” “They’re all oncologists and cardiologists,” he grumbled. “Last week I cut my hand badly enough that it needed stitches. I have good insurance. But I couldn’t get an appointment with my family doctor—or any of my friends’ doctors. I didn’t want to spend hours in the ER. So I wound up going to my sister’s house. She sewed it up at her kitchen table.”

    His experience is not as unusual as it sounds. Some 56 million Americans do not have a regular source of care according to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) -- even though many of them do have insurance. The problem is a shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) in many parts of the country, particularly, but not exclusively, in poorer communities. ...

    Wachter summarizes highlights: “Getting a ‘regular doctor’ (a PCP) at Mass General now takes the combination of cajoling, pleading, and knowing somebody generally referred to as ‘working the system.’ In other words, the process of finding a primary care doc is now like getting a great table in a trendy restaurant. “The report also makes clear that providing more ‘access’ through expanded insurance coverage won’t do the trick,” Wachter explains. “Massachusetts, you’ll recall, markedly expanded its coverage a couple of years ago (in legislation proposed by that ex-liberal, Mitt Romney). Scott Jasbon, a 47 year-old contractor/bartender, thought he was all set when he enrolled in one of Massachusetts’ subsidized health plans. He was wrong. ...

    “But,” Schroeder observed, “if [as we discussed earlier, doctors are] telling their sons and daughters and nephews not to go into medicine, those that [do] go into medicine know for sure they don’t want to go into primary care. . . . They want to go on what they call now the road to happiness. So this means they want to go into Radiology, Ophthalmology, Anesthesia, Dermatology . . . It’s an old-fashioned road. And why do they want to do that? They want to do that because they’re coming out with huge debts. Because unless we fix the payment system, they’re not gonna get the kind of income that they’d like.” But the problem isn’t just the relatively low pay that primary care doctors receive. Students are also “more attracted to shift work, so they don’t have to worry about patients after they leave,” Schroeder added. “They want that eight-to-five job. And then finally, they don’t like all the hassles that we’ve been hearing about” in primary care. ...

    But if the patient does not have a primary care doctor, who is going to pick up the slack? The hospital can’t follow him home. The lack of PCPs also is putting added stress on emergency care. Patients who cannot get an appointment with a primary care doctor are crowding ERS. From 1996 to 2006 Emergency room visits jumped more than 32 percent from 90.3 million according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And this is not because more Americans lack insurance. To the contrary, the study found the proportion of emergency visits by the uninsured had not changed substantially between 1992 and 2005, although the number of overall visits went up 28 percent. The survey found that people in the highest income bracket - in excess of 400 percent of the federal poverty level -- accounted for an increasing portion of emergency room visits, while the lowest income brackets remained virtually unchanged. So much for the theory that illegal immigrants are responsible for the excruciatingly long waits in the nation’s ERs.

  • Saratoga Times-Union: Survey: Doctors alter treatment based on insurance company. By Cathleen F. Crowley. Excerpts: New York doctors say they change the way they treat patients based on restrictions from insurance companies, according to a survey released today by the Medical Society of the State of New York. ...

    The results indicate 90 percent of physicians surveyed said they have had to change the way they treat patients based on restrictions from an insurance company, and 92 percent said insurance company incentives and disincentives regarding treatment protocols "may not be in the best interest of the patients."

    Physicians' biggest complaint (93 percent) was that health insurers required them to change prescription medications. More than three-fourths (78 percent) said an insurance carrier had restricted their ability to refer patients to the physicians they believed would best treat their patients' needs; and 87 percent said that they sometimes feel that they are pressured to prescribe a course of treatment based on cost rather than on what may be best for the patient.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
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  • Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comment 09/8/08: Anyone know or have any information if IBM is about to initiate a tsunami of layoffs (Resource Actions) against the US based IBMGS/ITD Project Managers since it is rumored they are rapidly pushing/training a large group of new Indian and South America PM's? -another IBM serial#-
    • Comment 09/8/08: Yep, I've talked to a SDM on Friday, they confirm they are training India PM's and are looking for work. -Anon-
    • Comment 09/9/08: To "PigsDon'tFly", 8/26/08: the 20% cut for Tivoli in RTP is being planned. A good friend who happens to be a 2nd line manager candidly admitted that this is to make sure we hit the earnings-per-share number expected by Wall Street. So the stock price will go up and our execs will line their pockets... What happens to IBM's competitiveness and long-term outlook is not their problem! -Anonymous-
    • Comment 09/9/08: Rumor mill rampant IBM will lay off 500 - 1000 employee in Burlington VT plant in November. Please join Alliance and support fellow coworker and fight fat corporate executive making multi million dollar salary per year. Employee at bottom need job to feed family and raise children. Thank you. -Wong Fu-
    • Comment 09/11/08: To irRational: 20% cut in Tivoli Development, but I think other areas will be affected, too. I don't think we'd need a lot of Project Managers if we have 20% fewer folks writing code. Not sure if WebSphere, Lotus, DB2 will be hit, although I think it depends a lot on whether the "pillar" is profitable or not. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 09/11/08: IGS in Canada is losing huge clients to Brazil and Argentina. I would love to join the Alliance, but being Canadian, we're on our own here. I would urge everyone who works in the US to join and do what they can to protect themselves. Before we know it, all our accounts will be out of North America. It's happening now. Good Luck everyone, we're going to need it. -Northern IBMer- Alliance reply: IBM Canada employees should contact: http://www.cwa-scacanada.ca/index_EN.shtml
  • General Visitor's Comment page
    • Comment 09/6/08: I found this site when I reached rock bottom, and did a google search for IBM lawsuits, thinking that I was finally ready to stand up to IBM and its unfair practices, treating people like machines, and dumping so much work on those left behind after endless streams of RA's that only a chosen few are meant to survive. Reading the posts here helped to provide some perspective, that I am not alone, and that I am powerless against the IBM machine. I have had enough, I have given enough, getting nothing in return except the honor keeping a job with an impossible workload, doing work that use to be done by 5 other resources. When will we all say enough? United we stand a chance, divided, we drop like flies with only a moments notice. Join the UNION! Stop the IBM abusers, take back your fair share of the profits! IMJustAnIBMachine -BC-
    • Comment 09/8/08: I understand from the grapevine that IBM has stopped paying standby pay for national holidays for the non-exempts. Can anyone confirm this? -gadfly-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 9/9/08: Arrowrod, here's the rub: IBM's cant of paying top dollar to retain the best is just lip service. IBM does not pay for skills and increasingly does not pay for education to acquire those skills. While I agree that we should be developing our skills with or without anyone's "help", IBM becomes a hindrance to that development process when they require long hours of tedious work and instant availability, cut overtime pay, cut education, then turn around and cut hours and headcount while TimGunning at you to "make it work, people" as if just saying it will make it so.

      Finding the time and money to develop highly marketable skills is a daunting proposition for many who are trying to figure out which bills to pay late in order to make the mortgage payment. Trying to get a straight answer as to what constitutes marketable skills is another issue as IBM does not value the same skills as the marketplace. IBM values IBM-specific skills and they want you to polish those skills on your own dime and on your own time, even though they are of no use outside IBM and even within IBM may be considered just the flavour of the month.

  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 09/9/08: Salary = Less than year 2000, more than 2009; Band Level = less than 0; Job Title = Project Custodial Engineer; Years Service = not enough to retire yet; Hours/Week = 70-80, then 60, now 40 (by choice); Div Name = IGS ( Its' Goatherding Service); Location = Virtually roam, no real home; Message = My new favorite old movie is Office Space. -another IBM serial#-
    • Comment 09/9/08: Salary = 90K; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Software Developer; Years Service = 7; Hours/Week = 40-50 + weekend duty; Div Name = STG; Location = Tucson; Message = I got promoted this year. I love my 1st and 2nd line and very happy where I am. -Shark-
    • Comment 09/9/08: Salary = 45,000; Band Level = 7; Job Title = Software Engineer; Years Service = 13; Hours/Week = 40+; Div Name = STG; Message = Let me just say to everyone...band numbers no longer matter at IBM. My salary has been lowball from day one with IBM since I worked my way up from Band 1 to my present Band 7. This month I was promoted to Band 7, with a paltry increase in pay. I asked to see the band range, since I couldn't believe my pay could still be in the low-mid forties and be a Band 7. I was told that even with my new increase, I was still going to be paid $400 / month below the STARTING point for Band 7.

      When I challenged this, I was told that the band ranges were nothing more than "targets" and it was perfectly OK for them to pay me well below my new band range. I asked to challenge this with HR, only to be told that there are people lower paid than me at this band and there is no budget for "out-of-cycle" pay increases to "pull people up." So needless to say this promotion didn't set well with me. IBM promotions are useless.... IBM bands are useless. They aren't even trying to keep employees anymore. -Anonymous-

    • Comment 09/11/08: Salary = 69000; Band Level = 6; Job Title = Software Developer; Years Service = 3; Hours/Week = 40; Location = Toronto; Message = I worked for 3 years and a few months so far. The only raise I had was the one after the 9 months probation. I think that my salary was started high but then it stayed the same. I was expecting some raise after 3 years but didn't get any as my salary is supposed to be 1% higher than average. I find it weird the way it works. I think it would be more motivating to get regular raises (even if started at a lower salary - and having less money in the end). Is it a normal practice at IBM to start high then no changes? Anyone else started high and then stayed at the same salary for several years? -z-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 9/08/08: calibration session earlier this year made more PBC "2"'s. It's true what you are hearing. -exIBM_manager_this year-
  • International Comments
Vault Message Board Posts:
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Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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