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Union -Pipefitter question

EBEBRATT-Ed
EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,348
Interesting how rates very as well as the difference between service techs and plumbers/pipefitters.

I guess the only thing that matters is the location you are working in determines the value of each trade and there relative value to each other.

Our locals rate is $28 and change. Over 30 years in this. My son is a first year journeymen in Ca. puts $46 in his pocket.

But what it costs to live out their?? Maybe I should pack the truck.

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,348


    Does the local you belong to have different rates for Pipefitter and Service Technician etc?? Which is higher??
    Any other classifications???

    Not looking for rates as much as information.

    Thanks,

    Ed
  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    EBEBRATT

    Yes. A-Book Fitters (or plumbers) make more money than B-Book service men.

    Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • grindog
    grindog Member Posts: 121
    they do in boston

    pipe fitters who do construction and retrofit jobs get the full rate and alot of service companies hire techs at 80% of the rate but they tend to stay busy more and there are less layoffs
  • Bill_14
    Bill_14 Member Posts: 345
    Yes, but...

    Yes, there are lower rates for residential service guys and light commercial construction guys in our union local. However, all of our union employees are a mixture of classifications and I have elected to pay everyone the same rate based on what we would be the higher rate that commercial construction employees earn.

    I just don't personally feel that it is good business to play the "pay games" within your own company because your employees might have different skill levels. Not many service guys can do well at construction work and not many construction guys can cross-over to service work. I just try and see the big picture.

    I have enough hassles and don't need to create more, especially since I really want to take care of my guys and treat them all as fair as possible. Our distinctions are foreman wages, journeyman wages and various apprentice period wages. I should add that we will not retain mediocre employees and that we sometimes recognize a very good apprentice so he/she won’t have to struggle financially.

    As an owner, I truly understand my cost of doing business (my break-even point) and all of these considerations are factored into the equation. I just wish my union and non-union competition could manage to understand the process much better than they do.

    Bill
  • Fat Eddy_2
    Fat Eddy_2 Member Posts: 6
    Depends

    In my area,

    Fitters make a minimum of "A" Journeyman rate,

    (after completion of their apprenticeships and tests)

    There is also a lower wage offered to HVAC technicians if they do not want to make as much as an "A" journeyman pipefitter. ("A" Service)

    The HVAC Service tech can opt for a lower pay with the same bennies if he chooses, once you choose to go to the "A" Journeyman level you can not go backward in pay scale, The difference in pay is about 13%

    There are many HVAC service techs who do choose to take a lower hourly wage with the same bennies,

    (a means of self preservation I suppose)
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Different Rates

    Hello,
    Our local has different rates for service people compared to the pipefitters & plumbers. I am a journeyman pipefitter
    and UA Star Certified for HVAC/R Service. I had to go to extra schooling for service work, plus obtain a degree in Climate Control Technology. I have been doing both for 10 years now. The local has it set up so we make 85% scale, compared to the 'fitters and the plumbers. Of which, I think is a crock. My job is 24 hrs. a day etc. The installers get to go home at 4:30 everyday and not have to worry about anything until Monday, or when the holiday is over. I know that I chose this area because I liked the HVAC/R end of it. Should I be punished for this financially? I don't think so. I think the pay rate should be across the board. JMHO. Thank you for hearing me out, and God Bless.

    Ross

  • Bill_14
    Bill_14 Member Posts: 345
    My point exactly Ross...

    N/M
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,348


    Some feel that technicians go through more training and shold be paid at the higher rate. Understandable. What is the reasoning behind this?? Is it because the Plumbers & Pipefitters were their first (it's their union) so technicians are held at a lower level??

    Others have said that technicians work year round steady while pipe fitters work may be a bit more unstable hense at the end of the year they both total out the same??

    It may seem both arguments have some merit.

    Our local it seems has only one rate but I had herd that other locals handle it differently and just wanted some input from others.

    Thanks,

    Ed
  • singh
    singh Member Posts: 866
    pay scale

    "A" plumbers are more likely to get hurt and die. fall off a building, punctured thru the lungs with a piece of re bar, have a trench cave in, throw the back out trying to lift a 12" MJ fitting in place etc.. Risk=$$$$$

    I guess jobbing is just as dangerous as are all positions are in the industry plus you now have the chance of catching Hepatitis, or SARs are whatever. But the powers to be to see jobbers as less risky, so less $$.

    That's what I was told. But I'm biased because I did new commercial/industrial work.

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  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Bull

    Oh yeah like getting up on rooftops in all kinds of weather, risk of electrocution, having a boiler have delayed ignition, burns form hot water, gas leaks in buildings, refrigerant leaks displacing oxygen, etc. isn't dangerous? ALL construction work is dangerous in all context. Does that mean your life is worth more than mine?
    JMHO
    Ross
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Okay

    Oh yeah like getting up on rooftops in all kinds of weather, risk of electrocution, having a boiler have delayed ignition, burns form hot water, gas leaks in buildings, refrigerant leaks displacing oxygen, etc. isn't dangerous? ALL construction work is dangerous in all context. Does that mean your life is worth more than mine?
    JMHO
    Ross
  • Dougie
    Dougie Member Posts: 12
    New Contract

    We just completed negotiations on a service addendum to our main contract. We now receive $.50 /hr above the regular Journeyman rate, plus a half hour standby time when we're on call.

    Interesting to see that some locals have a reduced rate for service techs. Most of our guys feels they got the shaft in the negotiations since the increase was not as high as they expected.
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Good for you

    Good for you guys, Dougie. I'm glad some locals are making some headway for the techs.
  • bob young
    bob young Member Posts: 2,177
    highest

    the steamfitters are usually the highest. by lunchtime anyway !! only kidding
  • Fat Eddy_2
    Fat Eddy_2 Member Posts: 6


    I agree with the idea that techs probably should make a little more than fitters, but skill has little to do with the reason that fitters automatically make more than a sevice tech,, in reality I think that they are two different fields, one is very competitive and the other isn't. Union fitters are normally the only ones that can fill their niche in the market,, say a large project comes up it needs 2 or 3 hundred fitters,, That job usually has to go union just because of the numbers. There are a lot of jobs like this,,

    so the fitters can demand a higher wage and get it because of supply and demand, on the other hand though because service is a year round continuing job, with no sudden increase or decreases in manpower needs by most contractors, it becomes more competitive between union and non union contractors, so its not a matter of skill or who deserves it or who doesn't ,, hell we all deserve it,, but the fitters can demand it and get it because of the niche they can fill.

    only a small pecentage of techs can demand as high or higher wages than a fitter ,, it's all supply and demand, if you are in demand you can get it, if you aren't you probably won't.
  • vhlaundry
    vhlaundry Member Posts: 41
    unions

    Unions had a place in this country but their time has come.
    The union brass is screwing over its members all the time. My friend who is a project manager figures almost double the time when he has to use union workers.
  • M Downey_2
    M Downey_2 Member Posts: 21
    Detroit fitters/ service

    No difference in pay between fitters and service in Detroit
  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    james

    > Unions had a place in this country but their time

    > has come. The union brass is screwing over its

    > members all the time. My friend who is a project

    > manager figures almost double the time when he

    > has to use union workers.



    Sounding a little bitter there?

    I have worked both union & non-union and there is no doubt there are many highly skilled non union journeymen (I know many), however by making your statement that,
  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 728
    james

    Sounding a little bitter there james?

    Whats the matter, didn't they let you in?

    Any time you would like back that statement up with facts, I'll be sure to listen.

    Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Above \"the bridge\"

    MDowney, above "the bridge", it's 85% scale for service technicians. Maybe someday our local will be flat across the board also.
    Ross
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,348


    Thanks for all the info.

    ED
  • dobo
    dobo Member Posts: 2
    union place

    For those of you who say the time for unions is gone think about it when you get your paycheck. If the unions didn't set a pay standard there would be no base pay set anywhere so if this went away you would be getting paid 10 an hour. So stop being a union hater and thank them when you get your check.
  • dobo
    dobo Member Posts: 2
    union place

    For those of you who say the time for unions is gone think about it when you get your paycheck. If the unions didn't set a pay standard there would be no base pay set anywhere so if this went away you would be getting paid 10 an hour. So stop being a union hater and thank them when you get your check.
  • Ross_7
    Ross_7 Member Posts: 577
    Rates

    With us locally, commercial scale is about $28/hr. The service techs really get screwed. They pay us 85% scale rather than full scale, unless it's a high end commercial job. So, as a result no one ever wanted to be a tech. I always thought that we should have at least received scale. JMHO. I hope this helps.
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432
    Vote careful and often

    I wouldn't say at all the wages are built on who has the most dangerous working conditions as much as skill level or the ability to meet the demand.  Take it for what its worth but most of the complaining is closely related to the turn out at the poles or lack thereof.  Don't expect that the next guy in line is automatically going to bat for you, especially if you have no idea who he is.  Showing up to a meeting here or there and then only for voting (most guys don't even vote) will do nothing to help your cause. 



    I'm a signatory contractor out of local 15 in Mpls.  I worked the trenches, welded on many power-plants and have been a UA instructor for six years.  This conversation is not specific to fitters/techs.  Some would say seniority has a place, other than apprenticeship, I do not agree.  One thing that I am certain on is this: If you aren't confident in your leadership you will not be happy with the results.  Oh, and don't forget your in this along with all your brothers/sisters so you have to have leadership that is hearing both sides equally.



    My $0.02  
    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
This discussion has been closed.