Earlier this year, IBM announced it employed 10,700 in Dutchess County between two sites — East Fishkill, where semiconductors are manufactured, and Poughkeepsie, where mainframes are built. That's 900 fewer employees than one year earlier, when the company said it employed 11,600 in Dutchess County.
Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record: Reader comments concerning the above article. Selected comments follow:
Mel, I am not sure when you retired and how many years of IBM employment but there were changes to the IBM retirement plan in the early 90's, two factors were the capping of the years from "No Cap" to 30 years as a multiplication factor. The other was the reduction of the other multiplication factor from .015 to .0135. For years, if you had the defined benefit, the determination of what your retirement pension was .015 times the number of years (no max) times your salary.
If you hired on at 22, and retired at 60 which is the mandatory retirement of the IBM CEO's (unwritten), then you would have 38 years. 38 times .015 times last five years salary average. (Editor's note: Given this scenario, your pension amount would be 57% of your average salary during your last five years of employment. Under the "old" pension plan now in place, this percentage is approximately 25% to 30%. Cash balance plan participants can expect even less.)
When the changes were made, it was .0135 times 30 times max last five years of salary. The COLA's (cost of living adjustments) that happened occasionally went away. The defined benefit program maximizes in your late 50's or late 60's and usually resulted in a comfortable retirement, the kids out of college, house paid off, and just you and the wife. But getting to that stage was improbable and not many made it.
Compare that to US Congressman, school teachers, police, IRS employees, and public employees who receive .02 to .025 times years of employment times three years of salary today. It is not unheard of that school teachers and public employees who are protected by their unions or have a unionized competition, to retire with 70 to 80 per cent of their final salary. My US Senator makes $200,000 a year, he will retire at $160,000 a year for life, full medical and COLAs.
IBM Managers did include the benefits, to show uplift of salary by 30% at each appraisal. The healthcare after age 65 provided by IBM today to retirees is catastrophic only. I am not sure most IBM retirees realize that. If you are over age 65, sign up for Medicare A, B, D, and Medigap level F at least if you want good coverage. This is out of your pocket. IBM's health coverage is not Medigap. I talked to another retiree who thought it was.
If you retired before 1990, and 1999 or made it with the "Old plan", then you have not experienced what the Cash Balance Converted IBMers have. I barely did but I estimate I lost half my IBM retirement with all the changes and the force out in my early 50's sorely to prevent me from getting to the pension maximizing stage. (Editor's note: IBM is no longer making any contributions to current employee's pension plans, either the "old plan" or the cash balance plan. Therefore, there is no longer such a thing as the "pension maximizing stage.")
Check out Front Line's, "What happens if we cannot retire" to get an understanding of "A lifetime of Work instead of a Lifetime of Retirement". ...
There used to be over 125,000 DB plans, today there are less than 17,000 last count. This was not a result of a poor economy. The defined benefit pensions were targeted for only one reason, they were lots of money in them and unprotected by law with conversion schemes and the ability to change the rules.
The next time you talk to a retired school teacher or IRS retiree, ask them how much of their final salary is their pension. In retrospect, I should have become a school teacher. Nine months a year working, three months off, and not on call 24/7.
And now some of those words have shown up in court papers filed by former IBM vice president David Johnson, who is seeking to jump ship to Dell, which recruited him to be senior VP of strategy. As reported exclusively a few weeks ago by my excellent colleague Paul McDougall, IBM is claiming that Johnson's move would unfairly harm IBM by virtue of his first-hand knowledge of internal IBM strategy and trade secrets.
The offer will be available October 1 to both commercial and federal customers, which previously had to verify the US citizenship of their support operators by grilling them on who won the 2008 World Series (correct answer: the Phillies) and what's the capital of British Columbia (correct answer: I have no idea). ...
IBM says its US-only facility meets all the proper US government security specifications. No word on how much keeping things American will cost, or whether the hold music is a Toby Keith album set on repeat
So how does a company beat the competition? The key is to create a positive work environment -- the type of atmosphere that motivates and respects employees, rewards and cultivates their skills, and fosters their growth and professional development. More simply put: Become one of the Best Places to Work in IT.
Here are seven effective ways to keep your own employees motivated and ensure that your organization remains a positive place to work.
You were obligated to work a minimum 45-hour week and were then encouraged to work beyond that. Staff meetings were scheduled for government holidays or lunch hours so you would not "lose billable customer time." If you took vacation days you were basically expected to make up the time off. For instance, if you took a week's vacation, you were expected to work 40 hours of overtime to make it up. If you didn't do this, your utilization was low, and your appraisal suffered greatly!
The only people there who are happy are the ones who are "married" to the job. Everyone else walks around wondering what happened to "work/life balance." (It was replaced by "work/life integration" which means that you basically are always at work!)
I have been IBM-free since January and I feel like I have been reborn. I actually enjoy my work once again!
The moral at IBM is at an all time low, and people with skills are leaving. The uncertainty of when the axe may fall on your job is driving the declining moral. It's also driving customer service down.
The most recent move of reigning in all remote employees by forcing them to relocate to one of 3 "global delivery centers" is the latest moral breaker. If they deem your job is to move to a GDC, then you must relocate yourself in order to still have a job. No relocation paid for most employees.
They can get away with offshoring, because people are being replaced by other IBM employees in China, India, Brazil or Eastern Europe. It is essentially the same as when companies outsource to replace US workers with lower paid workers. Its really sad and very poor for morale. The worst part is that they're increasing revenue and profit is good. This is just a matter of greed and making upper management look good. It's a real shame.
I think the sour economy and IBM's relative apparent strength work against a sale of anything. IBM won't sell any part of the business at a discount and the sour economy means that few buyers can afford IBM's price.
There also have been some speculation of selling the i-series platform to a venture-capital firm.
As expected, STG is struggling with lower volumes of shipped hardware, software and systems products. It is very ugly right now.
A combination of an energetic young president and a widespread sense that the nation is badly off-track are drawing those who seek a chance to serve. Stomach-turning scandals in the private sector mean that there are few shining examples of company chiefs inspiring young graduates. And, perhaps most compelling of all, government jobs offer steady paychecks, good job security and top benefits packages.
IBM should know, if you RA a lot of good people they take that underlying knowledge and are able to use it against them especially that I am on the other side and I pay the bills. Another reason as well not to undercut GOOD I/T setups for cheap short terms that offer no long term rationale.
the other side and I pay the bills. Another reason as well not to undercut GOOD I/T setups for cheap short terms that offer no long term rationale. They asked for it, they got it - just they are supposed to maintain a profit line - not just the stock index. BTW - looking at hiring good SAM PM's for my company now and looking at former IBM'rs. My company is in the top 100 and never happier right now. Heard from a friend that IBM lost SunTrust recently and about to lose Allianz and Equifax before end of year. Seems that had to do with BRIC support. -IBM UC'd-
Alliance reply: Contact the following: Russell Doles Governor's Rapid Response Team Manager; North Carolina Department of Commerce; Division of Workforce Development; 313 Chapanoke Road, Suite 120; 4316 Mail Service Center; Raleigh, NC 27699-4316; 919-329-5284; Fax: 919-662-4770; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Also: http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/benefits.cfm
Word is IBM can't find the expertise needed. The kicker is that for two years before I was fired I was trying to transition from development and Level 3 support to doing this exact job!
I'm gonna bust my butt for this client and I am delighted to make the customer happy with good service and cut out the IBM middleman and overhead. When IBM dropped 'Respect for the Individual' it dropped "IBM means service" as well, and I hope I can help take IBM's lunch because of it. So make a good resume and post it on dice.com - you might find out somebody out there appreciates what you have to offer, even though IBM doesn't. -anon-
Have you checked how GE fared in this recession? 44% drop in revenues. This mindless blather by a heartless and egregiously overpaid executive is now driving that corp to its knees. You can guess what they were left with? The kinds of employees most valued by managers. I am old enough to have one of the "How To Stuff A Wild Duck" posters... How the times have changed. Also, I seem to recall some posters to the effect that "Eagles Don't Flock, You Have to Find Them One By One". May not have been an IBM poster, though. -I.B. Emmer-
Their advice get people to start complaining in large groups to get action. Net is this: The loophole in this legislation originates in WA. IBM attorneys and other corporations are taking advantage of this.
I was only with IBM 10 years, but it seems the fact that I am offered a group plan at $1800/mon. for 2 people renders me ineligible for the COBRA reduction.
I wasn't blind or ignorant at the company. I worked for a paycheck and never bought into the bill of goods sold. I expected to leave on my own terms -- a fatal mistake. I appreciate all that the alliance is trying to do -- but they can't do it alone. It takes the collective voice and support of many to make a difference. Thank you Alliance, because if it wasn't for you, I would have been in the dark. -Cobra-
But other “facts” are more difficult to evaluate. For example, I keep hearing about long waiting lines in Canada for certain treatments, or to see specialists. Or about people crossing the border from Canada to the US to take advantage of our “superior” health care. It shouldn’t be difficult to actually find out if either of these things are true. How many people come to the US for medical procedures? How does this compare to the number of people in the US who travel to other countries to get medical procedures? Where are these numbers?
What we are left with — which is better than nothing — is anecdotal evidence. For example, a posting today in Reddit from a Canadian, giving what looks to be a fairly balanced view of the Canadian health care system — largely positive, but not afraid to point out things that could be better.
A better researched example, but still anecdotal, is this excellent article in The New Yorker that argues that “Costlier care is often worse care” in the US.
So I guess I will throw in my anecdotal evidence too. I am actually in a fairly good position to provide anecdotal evidence for and against health care reform. I have mainly lived in the US, but I have also lived — and more importantly had interactions with the health care system — in three other countries: England, Canada, and New Zealand. In addition, I have good friends in all of those countries, including friends who have lived both in the US and those countries, and we have had discussions about the relative merits of the various systems. This is what I’ve found...
"Most Americans understand that choice and competition is what we want," Ms. Sebelius said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union." "You can write the rules for a level playing field. The president does not want to dismantle privately owned planned…. He wants to strengthen the marketplace."
Suffice to say, there is enough in the bill to upset most constituents, which means there’s a lot of room for negotiation. Republicans, employers and insurers adamantly oppose the public plan. Though the bill as it stands includes an individual mandate that could be a boon to insurers, it also imposes important restrictions: Insurers could not deny coverage or limit annual or lifetime payments. The bill regulates how much insurers can spend on non-health care costs. Insurers would have to cover as dependents anyone up to age 25. ...
Some employers, including Wal-Mart, are bracing for an employer mandate and hoping the level of benefits mandated would be low enough to resemble what they already provide employees, people familiar with the company’s thinking say. The key would be retaining enough flexibility that a plan could be designed by a company based on the health of their employees.
Rick who? He's the ex-CEO of the massive Columbia/HCA hospital chain and a laissez-fairyland zealot who is feverishly opposing Barack Obama's health reform ideas.
I say "ex-CEO" because his profit-above-all-else approach to running Columbia ran it into a very deep ditch – and got him fired in 1997. Among his "health care" tactics were overbilling Medicare, giving kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to his hospitals, and dangerously understaffing hospitals to cut costs. Columbia later pled guilty and paid $1.7 billion to settle fraud charges against it.
Yet, he's running TV ads and infomercials featuring him as a health care "expert." Scott's ads attack Obama with that tired, old bugaboo of "Government Run Health Care," and to coordinate his attack, he has hired the same PR hacks who ran the infamous "Swift Boat Veterans" assault on John Kerry in 2004.
Scott's television blitz features theatrical horror stories of "socialized medicine," direly warning that this is Obama's plan. Only... it isn't. Not even close. Private doctors, nurses, and others of our choosing would continue to provide our health care. The change that Obama seeks is merely in how we pay these practitioners. By offering a new "public option" we'd have the choice of sticking with an insurance corporation, or buying into a public insurance pool.
This disgraced ex-CEO is flailing ridiculously at the strawman of government-run health care – which no one has even proposed. To keep posted on Rick Scotts latest fraud, go www.healthcareforamericanow.org.
But Mr. Obama’s proposal is only one of many that await Congress as it wrestles with how to rein in exploding health care costs while taking care of the country’s nearly 50 million uninsured. The size and complexity of the issue are daunting. To help understand what’s going on, you need to follow the money.
Roughly $2.5 trillion is at stake, the amount the nation spends each year on health care, nearly a fifth of the American economy. How that money is divided up — or prevented from rising at its current pace — is at the center of the debate. Many doctors, insurance companies and drug companies say they fear that their revenues could shrink significantly and patient care could be threatened.
The current medical liability system, based heavily on litigation, has a spotty record. It fails to compensate most victims of malpractice because most never file suit. When cases reach the courts, some juries do a decent job of sorting out whether there was negligence or preventable error; others are swayed to grant large damage awards based more on the severity of a patient’s injuries than on clear evidence of negligence. ...
Whether malpractice reform would save much money is unclear. Malpractice claims do drive up insurance premiums paid by doctors in some high-risk specialties, such as obstetrics and neurosurgery. Those costs are presumably passed on to patients. There is also concern that doctors may overprescribe costly tests and treatments to avoid possible lawsuits. But the evidence is inconclusive, according to the Congressional Budget Office, that doctors engage in enough “defensive medicine” to have a significant impact on costs.
The office estimates that caps on damages would ultimately reduce malpractice premiums for medical providers but would have a “relatively small” impact on total health spending, reducing it by less than half a percent. Even that could save billions of dollars a year, which is not trivial. But malpractice claims are probably not a major cost driver.
An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period. It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses. ...
"Insurers ignore the law, and when they find a discrepancy or omission, they rescind the policy and refuse to pay any of your medical bills -- even for routine treatment or treatment they previously authorized," Horton said. She and others from around the country accused insurers in testimony of gaming anti-fraud laws to take policyholders' premiums, only to drop people who developed serious illnesses. They testified that they or a deceased loved one had had policies canceled over innocent mistakes and inadvertent omissions on their applications.
A Texas nurse said she lost her coverage, after she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, for failing to disclose a visit to a dermatologist for acne.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
At Citigroup, two days after the bank canceled the jet order Mr. Obama criticized, former Chief Executive Sanford Weill boarded a Citigroup-owned plane for a flight to a small airport at Saranac Lake in New York state's woodsy Adirondack region. Flight records show it was the seventh trip a Citigroup plane had made to Saranac Lake, near where Mr. Weill has a vacation home, since the bank first received federal aid last fall. ...
One of the largest recipients of government money is Bank of America Corp., which got $15 billion in October and $30 billion more in January in connection with its acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. In between the injections, a Bank of America Gulfstream V flew from Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., to Aspen, Colo., on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport in mid-December. The latter flight was one of a number to Savannah/Hilton Head in the second half of 2008. Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis has part ownership in a home on Spring Island, S.C., near Hilton Head. ...
Morgan Stanley received $10 billion in October from TARP, a government program to encourage lending amid the credit crisis by infusing banks with cash in return for preferred shares. In subsequent months, Morgan Stanley jets traveled twice to Wilmington, N.C., where property records show Chief Executive John Mack owns several beachfront properties. A Morgan Stanley Gulfstream V that went to Wilmington over the Thanksgiving break later flew to Paris and London over the Christmas holiday. ...
At Regions Financial in Birmingham, two weeks after the October announcement it would get TARP funds, a company jet took off for a weeklong trip to the U.K., including a three-day stop in Prestwick, Scotland, which is near several famed golf courses. A Regions spokesman declined to discuss the trip but confirmed the Alabama-based bank has no operations in Europe. At the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia a few weeks later, Regions CEO Mr. Ritter was accompanied by other family members, including son Bill, who is also a Regions executive, according to the person familiar with their stay. They rented the seven-bedroom, $4,515-a-night Presidential Suite. The spokesman for Regions said its executives pay for their own accommodations when traveling for personal reasons.
"The Obama plan," writes Joe Nocera in the New York Times, "is little more than an attempt to stick some new regulatory fingers into a very leaky financial dam rather than rebuild the dam itself." For Obama's plan to have any lasting value, says Nocera, "he is going to have to make some bankers mad." ...
I don't expect there will be too many on Wall Street unhappy with the massive loophole the new plan leaves by calling for so-called plain vanilla derivatives to be traded on an exchange but allowing customized derivatives -- which were at the heart of the financial meltdown -- to remain largely unregulated. This is very good news for the wheelers and dealers who helped turn Wall Street into a casino.
The larger problem continues to be the administration's habit of conflating the health of the Wall Street economy with the health of the real economy -- when, in fact, the two economies have become decoupled. The Dow may be up 30 percent since March, but the numbers that matter most to everyday Americans continue to tell a very different tale.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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