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Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 7:10 AM
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Not sure who is going to read this reopened thread. I have a cushy gov't job, and yes all that stuff is true, but mgmt reserves the right to assign work. Sounds fair, but it leaves the door open for unequal treatment, one of the most common ways to punish people or play favorites in a way that is difficult to track.

What I'd really like to see in this country are laws against supervisors being jerks. It is so common, the idea sounds almost laughable, but there are places where it is illegal to stand over someone's shoulder and berate them, limit their breaks unreasonably, rarely approve vacation, yell, give contradictory orders or otherwise belittle employees. Unions provide some ability to "grieve" cases like this, but with comprehensive laws, we will continue to be a democracy, except in the place where you spend most of your time.
Post #1503994
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 7:16 AM
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ALL the benefits, I want I negotiate for myself (as a FTE or contractor), many of those you mention - general in the form of about $5 / hour more that other contractors doing the same work. I use this money to "purchase" the benefits I WANT, not somebody else.

Since I wasn't part of the original debate, I'm going to add my two cents (some garnered from a run for US Congress in 2012). The issues I have with this topic are the same I have with the ACA - personal responsibility, NOT government (or unions) as a nanny state. If you want it, ask for it AND prove yourself worthy of getting it.

I look forward to talking at both SQL Saturday in Charleston this weekend and Charlotte next.
Post #1503996
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 7:23 AM


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Stop and think about it for a minute. If you could argue for better benefits in your job, something that you think would make you more productive, or your company more productive, what kinds of things would you want your union to get?
...
- Ergo Chairs - Or any other equipment that might make you more productive for your whole career
- Medical benefits - Perhaps some base level of benefits that's higher than you normally get?
- Holidays - More holidays?
...

Somthing that would make me and my company more productive:

- Each database running the latest (or at least next to latest) version of SQL Server.
- At least a set of draft requirements documented before development is scheduled to begin, and final requirements documented before the first deliverable date. That's actually a pretty low bar.
- A subscription to Safari bookshelf.
- All teams check their source code deliverables into TFS.
Post #1504000
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 7:55 AM
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My experience has been that Unions don't actually supply things like that to their employees. I'm looking at the teachers unions in my area and the fact that they had only 2 days of Professional development. Also now that the union has been broken in my area the school district is spending more on PD and looking at whether we need to pay our teachers more. This is because seniority is no longer holding these teachers to the current school, now the school districts have to find ways to attract and keep teachers.

Everything I have seen with unions shows me that I am much better off working with my employer on my salary. I am a much better at negotiating than other people. I am also perfectly capable and skilled to be able to find another job if the employer doesn't treat me the way I expect to be treated.
Post #1504021
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 9:58 AM
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Everything I have seen with unions shows me that I am much better off working with my employer on my salary. I am a much better at negotiating than other people. I am also perfectly capable and skilled to be able to find another job if the employer doesn't treat me the way I expect to be treated.

Your anecdotal evidence is not valuable. Actual studies show that in areas where there are unions, even non-union jobs are paid a higher wage. They reduce the "if you don't like it here, go find a better job" mentality of bad managers.

You acknowledge that some people are better at negotiating and job hunting than others, then you suggest everyone should do it. How about we treat people as valuable for what they do well and help them improve where they are weak? Why should we expect that someone who is, for example good at dealing with finances, also be able to keep track of and understand all of the possible options for health care plans and retirement packages as well do their own research to be sure their salary is in line the industry? Why should we let the company's HR dept be the only experts in that?

You say "your experience of unions", how your experience of HR? I have never had them represent me well in all areas from salary to fairness.
Post #1504078
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 10:38 AM
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WolforthJ (10/11/2013)
[quote]
Your anecdotal evidence is not valuable. Actual studies show that in areas where there are unions, even non-union jobs are paid a higher wage. They reduce the "if you don't like it here, go find a better job" mentality of bad managers.

You acknowledge that some people are better at negotiating and job hunting than others, then you suggest everyone should do it. How about we treat people as valuable for what they do well and help them improve where they are weak? Why should we expect that someone who is, for example good at dealing with finances, also be able to keep track of and understand all of the possible options for health care plans and retirement packages as well do their own research to be sure their salary is in line the industry? Why should we let the company's HR dept be the only experts in that?

You say "your experience of unions", how your experience of HR? I have never had them represent me well in all areas from salary to fairness.


Anecdotal evidence is always valuable. One person's story is what we get on the news. "If we can just save one child" ect... Personal experiences is one persons part of the data and statistics that make up research. Now I will grant that my experience may not be typical. But I was also talking about my local districts. Personal Development is offered to me as a non-union person but the local teachers union (multiple teachers unions as this is the case in multiple districts in my area) is only allowing the teachers to have two days of Personal development to learn new techniques and technologies. This was written into their contracts.

Also the changes that occurred in Wisconsin after Act 10 give Wisconsin a unique perspective on what happens when a union is no longer a major player. There have been a lot of things exposed that were entrenched and hidden while the union was in power.

HR, well that is a fun topic. For the most part in my small amount of experience HR is a mix of people that are genuinely trying to help people and put people into good positions and petty bureaucrats. I have experienced both of those types. I there are other types out there but for the most part these are the two that you can have issues with. HR really isn't there for the employee. They exist to protect the employer from the employee.

I would like to take the time to write a lot more on this and the positives and negatives of unions but the short version is that there is a reason why business professionals like Database developers or programmers have not needed to develop a union. It is because they are too valuable and the number available means most don't need protection and have leverage over their employer. (there will be anecdotal evidence the other way too)

Post #1504087
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 10:47 AM
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What would I like to have other then more time off and higher pay?

1. Ability and permission to work from a remote location any day and time.
2. Permission to bring my pet to work.
3. A private office.
4. An office door that closes when I close it and stays closed till I open it.
5. Access to social media at work
6. At least 1 four hour block a week to do strictly research of my choice.
7. Permission to install any software that is work related on either my workstation or on my personal Virtual server environment.
8. Since I first started developing code over 40 years ago, I would like a room that I can go lay down and take a nap in if I need to.



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Post #1504092
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 12:33 PM
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I read through a third of this thread before noticing that the posts were 7 months old. So I just skipped to the end

Not sure if anybody else has touched on this, but something unionizing might help with is creating an industry-standard way of defining and measuring DBA skillsets. Someone can say they have a level 3 rating in high availability, or an apprentice rating in query tuning, that kind of thing. I guarantee I could take ten DBAs at the Summit next week, and every one of the ten has completely different job responsibilities.

As to the list originally posted, my 2c is that training should be a priority, especially if we're facing new SQL releases every couple of years (not to mention Windows releases). Whether formal training like a class or conference, or, say, a week of self-paced training in a quiet room away from all interruptions (email, IM, and phone included), that would be my wish.



Post #1504120
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 12:41 PM


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Miles Neale (10/11/2013)
What would I like to have other then more time off and higher pay?

1. Ability and permission to work from a remote location any day and time.
2. Permission to bring my pet to work.
3. A private office.
4. An office door that closes when I close it and stays closed till I open it.
5. Access to social media at work
6. At least 1 four hour block a week to do strictly research of my choice.
7. Permission to install any software that is work related on either my workstation or on my personal Virtual server environment.
8. Since I first started developing code over 40 years ago, I would like a room that I can go lay down and take a nap in if I need to.



Once you reach a certain level of seniority, you can just take any of the above liberties, even if it's not official corporate policy.
Post #1504123
Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 3:14 PM
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If I don't like my job, I can change employers, there are tons of them.
If we are unionized and I don't like my union, how easy would it be to change that? Not very I think.
Post #1504147
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