Re: Salary Question for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area - the Plot Thickens

Subject: Re: Salary Question for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area - the Plot Thickens
From: "Dana Worley" <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 09:23:50 -0600

On Thursday, October 27, 2005, Anthony wrote:

> Are there any technical writers here who have a bonus
> or incentive plan as a portion of their compensation
> plan?


> For a short time I worked for Ericsson and found out
> that they pay their employees overtime for anything
> past 40 hours.

We have a couple of bonuses in place -- one is for all employees,
the other for all salaried employees. Once per quarter salaried
employees have a bonus in their checks that is based on a
percentage of profits. During good times, this can be several
hundred dollars. Also, at least once a year (and often twice a year) if
the company is doing well, the board will decide during one of its
meetings to award employees a "board bonus". This has always
been 1/2 of your monthly salary (all employees get this bonus). Both
of these are on top of our negotiated annual wage, and they are not

When I first started here, we did things a little differently in regards
to the profit-based bonus. You were given an annually negotiated
wage. Each month, you were guaranteed 80% of your monthly
salary. The other 20% was made up in profits. During good times,
this was a great deal -- we often got 30 to 35%. After the downturn
in the economy post 9/11, we had one year where several months
were 11% to 15%. At that time, management decided to rethink the
bonus plan in order to keep us happy. The current plan pays out
less of the profits, but also has less risk (which is unfortunate now,
because we have been doing *great* for well over two years).

We also get paid for any hours that we work above an average of 8
hours per day for the month. The downside to this is that we *have*
to work an average of 8 hours per day, and if you don't your
vacation pool or your pay will be docked for the hours you are short
(your choice). Our time is flexible, however, so you can work 9
hours one day, 7 the next... as long as at the end of the month you
have worked an average of 8 hours.

I think it would be good to talk with your company about any current
bonus plans that they have in place. I would not, however, feel
comfortable basing a portion of my salary on it (I like that regular
paycheck ;) It would be wiser to negotiate what you think is a fair
salary to begin with, and any bonus on top of that would be fluff :)
Also, even though I'm not complaining that they pay me OT, I think I
would prefer to have the flexibility to work only 38 hours some
weeks if my personal schedule needed it and my workload allowed



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