Monday, December 20, 2010

Pay Freeze

This may not matter as it’s quite possible I’ll be laid off this next year anyway, but the Department of Energy has announced a two-year pay freeze for people working at its sites.

Unclear of course – and it’s always of course – is whether subcontracted employees such as myself are affected. Neither DOE nor our prime contractor are very good at all at communicating the nuances to those they deem essential to have working but not essential enough to have directly employed.

My guess is, of course – there’s that phrase again – that the freeze does apply to us. Every little bit of bad news does tend to roll downhill to we subcontractors, while the good stuff (safety bonuses, education benefits, et cetera) get blocked by the Subcontractor Weir.

Good news is I already got a pay increase for 2010. That means, of course, that I can’t expect to see another until 2013. That is if I haven’t been laid off between now and then.

And I’m okay with that all. I understand with the economy in the shape it’s in that there are plenty before me who have had their pay frozen, their pay lowered, their hours cut, or their jobs eliminated. That’s just the nature of the beast we’re dealing with. The bone I have to pick is the ineffectualness in communicating how all of this affects everyone. My default assumption is that bad news affects everyone and the good news affects everyone but subcontractors. That way I don’t lead myself into any disappointments.

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