Exiting The Middle Class

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Thanks to wage stagnation and extended top-out times, most FedEx couriers are on the verge of exiting the middle class. Let's say you're a new courier making $15.00 per hour. That's $600 per week, $2400 per month, and $28,800 per year. At current rates, it could take you 20 years to reach top of the range, which for the sake of argument, let's say is $24.00 per hour, which is $960 per week, $3840 per month, and $46,080 per year. A UPS driver tops-out in 3 years, and averages $74,000 per year in wages alone. If you add-in benefits, which include a for-real retirement plan, I'm guessing average compensation approaches $100,000 per year. Any of you at Brown have different numbers?

    Compare and contrast that with FedEx, even if you throw-in massive amounts of overtime, and our numbers never even come close. And in most stations, there isn't that much OT anymore, especially since there are so many part-timers (by design).

    These numbers are the real reason Fred Smith wants to keep his RLA exemption. When he can pay a new courier about a third of a UPS wage and benefit package, and a topped-out veteran one-half the UPS wage and benefit package, he's got a tremendous advantage over the competition, not to mention a stranglehold on his workers that keep them perpetually underpaid and well behind the inflation and cost-of-living curves. Where does all that extra money go? In Fred's (and the pilots) pockets.

    This is why Smith needs to be stopped dead in his tracks. The longer he gets away with it, the further behind we get. Please don't be stupid. Do the math and know how badly this tyrant is screwing you and your family each and every day.
  2. 1989

    1989 Well-Known Member

    I don't think the 74000 figure is average, but it's obtainable. Had a FDX girl come to my house today and deliver my sons cell phone. She couldn't believe I was a ups driver living the this neighborhood on one income. She said she was making about 18 an hour and couldn't live on her wage alone.
  3. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    The $74K is pretty close to average in my center. We have a couple of feeder drivers who hit six figures last year and a couple of PC drivers near $90K. I was at $69.5K with less than 2 hours OT per week, even during Peak.
  4. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    I admire your optimism. On the lowest payscale starting pay is(or at least was) $13.76hr. I was rehired at $10.85hr 11 years ago. For guys like me it'll take 25-30 years to catch top-out, and that's assuming we get a regular raise every year. Throw in a year without a raise here and there, and a few partial raises, and we'll never catch the mythical top-out. Luckily my grandfather had a solid water well drilling business and left a decent amount to his kids. I may not be middle class, but I'm related to some. I worked years ago with couriers who's parents were sharecroppers. Pretty tough to rise out of poverty to grab that American dream when the company you work for keeps making it more and more difficult.
  5. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Unless they offer another path out....
  6. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    vantexan, I agree, those fedex numbers are ambitious 13.81 is roughly our bottom now, and I'm 40 cents above that(after 3 years with perfect reviews 7.0) even working 40hrs plus 10 OT every week I don't come close to 600 take home. a straight 40hr week nets about $375 after taxes... when I started as a driver at UPS I was making 15.75-16.80 my first year and pulled in 45k... granted it wasn't the same work at all, but I think if topped out FedEx would be a very nice career... until then its just a job to get me elsewhere.
  7. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I just threw those numbers out as examples. FedEx has so many different payscales and market levels that it's impossible to know what people are making in different parts of the country. This is all part of the master scam. In my market, new couriers start at just under $15.00 per hour and topped out people are around $24.00 per hour. Of course, it took them 20 years to get there, and if you go less than 35 miles away, the next station down the road is one market level lower than we are. What a freaking scheme this whole deal is, and has been for way too long.
  8. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    That's got to be very frustrating, especially when you know it's not going to get much, if any better. It occurred to me that if I ever do catch top-out, it'll mean that top-out pay is pretty lousy at that point, factoring in small raises and inflation.
  9. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    You can go on the company computer and find out what a payscale starts and tops out at. Just plug in info from a specific job posting on JCATS. What really bothers me is that there are places like Flagstaff, AZ that are very expensive and yet have the lowest or next lowest payscale. These are places that have a great lifestyle and there's always someone wanting to take that opening. Then they find out that no matter how nice a place is it doesn't mean much if they can't afford to do anything. The ability to transfer is truly the only plus FedEx has over UPS. Unfortunately too many managers use it as a trap to draw in employees who aren't familiar with local conditions. If you ever call a station to ask about an opening in JCATS, watch out for what a mgr might tell you. Couriers very often want to believe what they are told when it's a town they'd very much like to be in. The mgr will be very friendly, ask you what kind of rt you are looking for, and lo and behold, that's exactly the kind of rt he has available! Chances are it isn't. Thought I'd throw this is for anyone who might be considering a transfer. There's usually a reason a rt is open, and usually it's a negative reason.
  10. ex fed exer

    ex fed exer New Member

    we are a small station who cover a lot of territory. with out even trying, most of the drivers come in around 80 g's a year. one guy made 86k last year.
  11. SmithBarney

    SmithBarney Well-Known Member

    Hows this for frustrating.. our bottom has moved up to 14.04, I make 14.10. New hires are 6 cents behind me, I've have near perfect reviews 6.9, Three years with the Co. one year there was no raise.. I work 5 days a week(6 days every other week) just to make sure I have a comfortable life.

    I might consider staying if we had changes, but for now FedEx is just a vessel to something else... Exactly what FedEx wants... turnover, they want to get rid of expensive employees. I wouldn't put it passed them to stop offering benefits to new employees(with the new health care bill)
  12. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    With the penalties in the health care bill for NOT offering health insurance, FedEx won’t drop insurance coverage. It will continue to increase the premiums for the insurance offered though.

    At this point an increase in the premiums for next year is practically guaranteed – and it is due to two of the provisions in the bill: child coverage till 26 and elimination of lifetime caps on benefits.

    While the extension of insurability for children till age 26 sounds good in practice, for blue collar workers it amounts to a hidden wealth transfer to those that hold white collar jobs in the “upper middle class”.

    Extension of coverage till age 26 basically allows “children” that attend graduate school to maintain full insurability till they get their Masters completed. I have plenty of classmates that haven’t worked a real job in their life that are in my classes and getting their insurance benefits through their parents insurance which already allows coverage till age 26. Between this and student loans, they have a lifestyle which doesn’t require them to work a single hour through to graduation. They do some volunteer work to feel good about themselves – which they make sure to thoroughly document on their resumes. After graduation the “Oh ^#$@” factor kicks in though. FedEx is my quasi volunteer work, given the compensation levels and the lack of someone for me to mooch off of.

    Not many FedEx hourly employees have children that will ever fall into the category that qualifies for this additional coverage -excepting white collar employees that have the income to support their kids through grad school. However, insurance costs are apportioned not on clusters of annual income received, but just across ALL employees. Since more 22 to 26 year olds will be covered by FedEx insurance in the coming months, the cost to FedEx will increase, therefore the capitation cost for each employee’s insurance will increase – regardless if they have children which would ever benefit from this potential additional benefit. This means the FedEx wage earner that has children that will never attend a grad school will be subsidizing the health insurance cost for the predominately white collar employees that would have children that attend graduate school. It isn’t massive, but enough so that insurance premiums for all employees will go up next year by a not insignificant amount. This will show in the premium amounts for “and children” in the insurance options. Those who do not have children theoretically shouldn’t be impacted by this, but don’t count on it, there will be cost shifting going on to keep the increases for those with children from being as large as they would without cost shifting occurring .

    The elimination of coverage limits will also cause an increase in the calculated expense per employee (capitation) for insurance coverage. There is no free lunch. The removal of coverage caps will result in an increase in payouts for health services, resulting in an increase in the cost of the plan and consequently an increase in the premiums levied to each employee. The increase won’t be much per employee theoretically (I’m thinking the additional cost will be in the $5 per month per employee range for this provision). FedEx already had a cap that was rather “high” (many plans have annual caps in the $250,000 range), so it won’t be impacted (theoretically) as much if the current cap was in the 6 figure range.

    The health care legislation does a lot to expand coverage, but it does nothing to control costs. All of the cost controls depend on physicians voluntarily accepting less per patient visit and reductions in charges for every medical procedure/device/pharmaceutical used – not going to happen, which the politicians already know. The next logical step would be complete nationalization of heath care – which is why I’m against what was done. When you have more being paid out, one of two things has to happen. Either FedEx has to absorb the cost (start laughter now) or FedEx will pass those costs on to the employees in terms of higher premiums for the additional benefit.

    Without any sort of collective bargaining agreement in place to protect the employees from being Fred’s piggy bank, the employees will be the ones doing the absorbing of higher costs.
  13. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but the way I read the bill re: coverage of children until age 26 is that they have to be your dependent as defined by the IRS. Neither of my two children, ages 25 and 23, would qualify.
  14. Ricochet1a

    Ricochet1a New Member

    As I read it, the only exclusion to having a "child" covered till age 26 is if they are eligible to be covered by their own employer's health plan. Being a dependent as defined by the IRS - for tax purposes - ISN'T (from my reading) a necessary qualifier. So they could theoritically be employed and self suppporting with the exception of health insurance and still be eligible to be covered by their parent's coverage. I haven't found any language that disqualifies a child for being married either. I'm not claiming expert status on this, but few can at this point.

    The whole goal of this legislation was to mandate coverage for as many people as possible without resorting to a "public option". By moving up the definition of child to age 26, the legislation does that. By instituting penalties for employers that have full time employees WITHOUT insurance, more will be covered. What the legislation does nothing to do is to control any aspect of the cost of health care or availability of providers. The next political move will be when the costs begin to escalate due to all the additional coverage being granted without additional "earners" paying for that coverage, to mandate cost controls. Then having a public option becomes a moot point, with cost controls in place and employer mandates present, not having health insurance will be near impossible - the government will presumably expand Medicaid to fill in the gaps.
  15. The Mayor

    The Mayor Member

    This was the very question I also asked our regional v.p. when he was here also. He gave me the same song and dance about how Fed Ex is a people company and that they wouldn't do that. However, lets look at the facts.

    #1, Fed Ex pays almost 1 Billion (yes with a B) in health care costs for us to have health care.
    #2, as you stated, this legislation only applies to a broader coverage base and does nothing to control cost measures.
    #3, in the legislation, it is stated that a penalty to drop coverage per individual would be something like $2,500 per employee per instance with companies in excess of 50 or more individuals. So, if this is the case, it would still be cheaper for them to drop us all and just pay the penalty.

    This is just another reason why we all need to hope an pray that this legislation gets passed so we can sign cards, go to the table and get the basic benefits we deserve. I don't know if you recieved your "benefits" packet from ole uncle fred yet in the mail, take time to look at it and read. They are "suggesting" that they don't know what to do or how to handle our health care benefit. Gee, I wonder what that means?.......
  16. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Does that 1 Billion include our monthly premiums? If so how much of that 1 Billion is actually paid by employees?
  17. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    This is a perfect example of how we continually take a giant step backward every year at FedEx. Insurance premiums go up, but our wages do not. This past year, FedEx bragged how they didn't raise premiums as much as most industries, and then jacked-up deductibles and co-pays by a large amount. This is typical. They take something away and/or make it more expensive and then spin-it so it seems they're doing you a big favor. If you're a moron, you believe them. At this point, anyone who believes in the goodness of FedEx and their intentions needs their head examined.

    I don't know where the $1 Billion figure came from. If it came from FedEx, assume it's a lie and that the number has been inflated. You asked the important question, which is "how much is actually paid by the employees ".