ATWZW170
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When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:08 am

I'm sure this isn't going to be a very popular thread but with all the talk in regards to cost cutting and employee's taking pay cuts, I was wondering what others thought "fair wages" were.

As a former gate agent, flight attendant, res agent, and now finally a manager, I understand how pay cuts hurt. I've taken several. I also think that some employee's working today who are making more than what their KSA's (knowledge, Skill, and Ability) are worth. Should a gate agent make a base salary of $45-65k? Should flight attendants make as as base salary $39k-65k? What is too much? I've seen, not recently, some contracts that had ramp agents maxing out at $29.76 an hour. That to me seems like a lot. I feel I make a fair wage for what I do, even though I would LOVE more.

So, without getting blasted by those who feel they should be able to make $75k for working a gate, can we have a smart conversation about pay.
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:41 am

There is no way of answering that question. You can't just look at a salary (in any industry) and say "that's a lot" or "that's too little". So many factors are involved. If there is a shortage of, say, gate agents, their salaries should increases to attract more gate agents.

It's the market.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Ealsys1
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:46 am

My vote is for the Eastern Airlines baggage handlers that were making $70k in the 80's.

Sam
 
MEA-707
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:51 am

I think the salaries of gate agents and F/A's of the legacy carriers have been blown up too much in the last decades thanks to the unions, and that's the main reason they do so badly now in the US.
Gate agents and F/A's should make money comparible with jobs on the same skill level, which is about $20k a year for a junior up to $30k for a senior, it's ridiculous if a gate agent makes more money then a high school teacher or small business accountant.
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Starlionblue
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:05 am

I think the salaries of gate agents and F/A's of the legacy carriers have been blown up too much in the last decades thanks to the unions, and that's the main reason they do so badly now in the US.
Gate agents and F/A's should make money comparible with jobs on the same skill level, which is about $20k a year for a junior up to $30k for a senior, it's ridiculous if a gate agent makes more money then a high school teacher or small business accountant.


While I agree with the first paragraph, the second part doesn't hold water. Salaries vary due to innumerable factors like location, demand for the job, skill of the worker and so on. You can't just compare jobs in two different industries. Why shouldn't a gate agent make more than a high school teacher? Or the other way around? Surely that depends on the gate agent, the teacher, the school, the airline, the place of work, the country, seniority, tax conditions...
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
ATWZW170
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:17 am

I agree loction should play some factor, but I don't think we should be talking about teachers pay here for now. Teachers are WAY underpaid and maybe if they had a union like some of the work groups around here they would be paid more.

I do have to agree that jobs in today's airline field are not going to provide anyone with a lot of breathing room. An employee has to budget and learn to live on what they are being paid. It's a hard lesson but one that has to be learned. And when saving for retirement, I don't ever think that my company is going to have money for me, I save, I invest, I do 401k...it's something we all have to do. The harsh reality is this, we are not going to make a lot working for an airline, it's time we get over it, get back to work, and be thankful we aren't one of the 100,000 who have lost their jobs in this industry in the past 3 years!
Success is getting what you want...happiness is liking what you get
 
NikonDFW
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RE: Airlines Of Yesterday

Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:22 am

It has a lot to do with supply and demand and the like. My airline outsourced overnite cabin service as part of our wage concessions along with pay cuts and other reductions. Most everybody laughed when they said they were going to get a contract company to come in and do the job for $8.00hr. We'll guess what, they needed 200-300 people, and ended up having 800-900 people show up for the jobs. There are people willing to do the job for much less and the airlines are taking advantage of it quite quickly.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:31 am

Teachers are WAY underpaid and maybe if they had a union like some of the work groups around here they would be paid more.

While sentimentally I agree with you, if there were fewer teachers they would be paid more. Also, and this is very unfortunate, many people say they want to pay their teachers more, but are against more funding for school districts.

It's the market.

Same with nurses in Sweden. They were all complaining about their wages a couple of years back, but none seemed ready to get a more high-paying job in another industry. Guess what? If everybody stays despite low wages, those wages won't get any higher...
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:42 am

Teachers are WAY underpaid and maybe if they had a union like some of the work groups around here they would be paid more.

Agreed inasmuch as there is no way that I would take a teaching position in the basket case (a condition having little or nothing to do with teachers) public school system in the U.S. at any salary.

Where I diverge from from the opinion quoted is in calculating the real salaries of teachers in the U.S. After adjusting for the fact that teachers have 3 months of the year off the job, their salaries become, in essence, 33 percent higher than than advertised. In which case I do not agree that teachers are WAY underpaid.

As for comparing teachers salaries to airline worker's salaries I cannot think of any airline position that offers three months off in the Summer, plus 1-2 weeks off around Christmas/New Year's Day, plus another week off for spring break, plus numerous 3-4 day weekends during the school year. Therefore, if an airline worker earns the same salary as a teacher, the airline worker is being paid around 20 percent less in real terms -- and working undesirable hours and on many (or all) weekends and holidays besides.

Therefore, I have convinced myelf that comparing teacher salaries to airline worker (ramp. ticket counter, reservations, flight and cabin crews, dispatch/operation come to mind) salaries is a proverbial case of comparing apples to oranges...
 
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clickhappy
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:46 am

. Most everybody laughed when they said they were going to get a contract company to come in and do the job for $8.00hr. We'll guess what, they needed 200-300 people, and ended up having 800-900 people show up for the jobs.

This seems to be the trend in America now. Lots of jobs created, but they are all low paying. Bushes attempts at getting jobs at McDonalds labeled as "manufacturing" jobs only highlights this trend.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 12:20 pm

Most everybody laughed when they said they were going to get a contract company to come in and do the job for $8.00hr. We'll guess what, they needed 200-300 people, and ended up having 800-900 people show up for the jobs.

Sure... but how many will pass the drug test, much less show up for training, and much much less show up for work on time every day and much much much less still be on the job three months after they start?
 
m404
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 6:49 pm

Wait a minute.
"Base salary of gate and F/A at 65k a year "? (orig post)

I've seen, not recently, some contracts that had ramp agents maxing out at $29.76 an hour. (same post)

Lets see where I'm screwing this up.

65,000 a year divided by 12 mo equals 5416.66 a month or divided again by 173.3, which is our payroll depts figure for avg annual monthly hours, equals $31.25 per hour. Then its mentions rampers maxing out at $29.76 per hour. Lets reverse that formula 29.76 x 173.3 = 5157.40 a month or 61,889 a year. OK so that's in the same ballpark as the others and averages 30.50.

Next was the story about the Eastern rampers making 70k in the 70s (?) That's 33.60 per hour 30+ years ago. What the H--- am I doing wrong? I've topped out at a Legacy carrier a long time ago and we do not have any concessionary contract (yet, but will) so remain one of the highest paid and my base pay is 20.20 an hour and has been for quite a while. That's 3,500 a month or 42,000 a year.

I'm getting screwed out of an average, using the first figures of 65,000 and 61,889, of $21,444 bucks a year. That's 1/3 less pay. Tell me why?

Someone may have the wrong figures. Ya Think?

Now I'll tell you all a deep dark secret. Most of us actually do count ourselves darn lucky to have these wages and a passable portion of us who started at $2.10 an hr have been around long enough to appreciate it even more. And (shhhh) some (OK, a couple) actually admit after a few beers that it's been a good ride and know that the KSAs the poster is writing about are probably begrudingly true.

An awful lot of us, like the public contact and support people, know that those swarms that show up for the $8.00 a hour jobs we vacated have crap conditions in comparison like no 40 hour week, no minimum hours, split shifts that consume a whole day for an ever changing 7 hour job to name a few. We also know that the number of them that complete a month after seeing the New Reality is staggeringly few and cost the employers a bundle in never ending training so that suffers to save costs.

We also notice how many of these that do stay are the ones that a year ago were making $20.00 a hour for a scaled back or bankrupt company. They are old enough to have had families and gotten in debt to support a life style - just like the companies that can no longer afford to keep them so they have to stay.

That said it must be acknowledged that it's obvious middle waged Americans are loosing ground fast. Prices are rising faster than in the last 20 odd years but wages are not. So who among us is going to go down without a whimper?

I would have loved to have answered this post with a very simple one liner. 'Pay is too high when the payer can't afford it' but understanding is needed. The poster has seen both sides and I honestly congratulate them for their attempt to get another honest answer. So, I'll have to change my one liner. It's now "When you just can't get any more"
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
flyinggizmo
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 8:36 pm

Tango-Bravo wrote:

"Sure... but how many will pass the drug test, much less show up for training, and much much less show up for work on time every day and much much much less still be on the job three months after they start?"

LOL, I know a certain city where that DEFINITELY applies!
 
soaringadi
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RE: When Is Pay Too High?

Fri Dec 24, 2004 9:13 pm

and in conjunction to Flyinggizmo.....
Ramp Agents run away like mice from cats during the winter and it is really hard to find ramp agents in this season. Therefore maybe some f.b.o.'s or airlines are offering so much more. And the $29. something... I think would be for Ramp leads/supervisors. Atleast thats what I think. But maybe I'm wrong.

And for the question what really is high ?

I think that to an average middle class person any 6 figure slalry is "high".

l/ out..

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