BonusCenter Equals More Stops, Long Hours, Shrinking Bonus

Discussion in 'The Archives' started by tdu, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. tdu

    tdu Guest

    BonusCenter Equals More Stops, Long Hours, Shrinking Bonus

    Fred StephensLocal 89, UPS
    Louisville, Ky.
    Ashbottom center, where I work, switched to the UPS bonus center plan years ago. In a bonus center, drivers get paid extra if they finish their deliveries under time. Extra money sounds great. But you should talk to drivers at bonus centers like Ashbottom before you buy the UPS sales pitch. Here is what we can tell you happens if you buy into the bonus plan:

    Stops are increased.
    For a while youll make out okay. Then youll see your route start to change and the hours get longer. Managers add additional pickups. The faster you work, the more stops they assign you. When we were re-time studied, drivers at Ashbottom lost one to two hours. Recently, I talked to two bonus center drivers who had 185 stops and 210 respectively. This was a 9 p.m. day for them. They used to get off at about 6 p.m. or so before they re-time studied the center. They are no longer making bonus but their stops per hour have been raised so high that they cannot slow down now.

    Production pressure increases.
    More drivers start working off the clock. Drivers start skipping breaks and lunch. They drive faster and cut corners on safety. Older drivers who cant keep up go to feeders or take clerk jobs if they are at a center where they can.

    Drivers are divided.
    The bonus plan can be the beginning of the end for solidarity. Drivers fight among themselves to get the fast stops. Since it is not covered in the contract, management can manipulate the route assignments and bonuses. The company can set up routes so that their favorite drivers make a big bonus, for example by adding a pickup with lots of small pieces. If youre not one of their favorites, you might get all the over-70s.

    Bonuses get smaller and smaller.
    While you are running more stops and working longer hours, the bonus keeps shrinking. If management gives you a sales pitch about making extra money in the same amount of time, ask them to put the details in writing. Will they give you a written guarantee that if you make bonus one day and do the same job the next day you will get the same bonus? Not likely.

    In the long run, UPS is the one that will be making extra money off of your extra work if you let your center go to the bonus plan. Dont get greedy and fall into the bonus center trap.

    Under Article 19, Section 10 of the Central region supplement, you can get out of the bonus plan if the majority of drivers at the center file individual grievances within a three-week period requesting the plan be terminated.

    Notice that they wont allow a group grievance, because they want to undermine solidarity. Its an uphill battle. Management will fight you hard and drivers who feel they are benefittting from the bonus plan will want to keep it.
  2. upsurge

    upsurge Guest

    hey TDu , shove it.. so what if we sold you bs were stupid enough to trust us.. everyone with half a brain knows we are the masters of deciet...the only way you will get anything from us besides nice sounding lip service is by striking, but that wont happen because your Hoffa is in our back pocket...but keep wasting your time whining on this forum as I find it amusing.
  3. toonertoo

    toonertoo Guest

    TDU You are totally correct, I have worked in both types of centers. The one I am in now voted bonus out. Its great for a few residential drivers. But it doesnt work real well on a commercial route. I dont know who that other guy is, he must be trying to impersonate a management person. Although a mangement person would never say it like he does. Maybe he is just TUI, (typing under intoxication). Whatever he makes no points, all hot air. And boring...But I am sure there are a few people out there liking that kind of rhetoric, although most of us here are trying to find positive solutions to problems,that are affecting our careers, and our lives, not just looking for negative viewpoints.
  4. local804

    local804 Guest

    Very good post TDU.I agree with you 100%. I see Upsurge has opened his trap once again.Looks like its time the feed him his bottle and put him to bed.
  5. proups

    proups Guest

    TDU: Bonus can be good for all drivers, especially in big buildings. One thing that your post overlooked is that bonus really costs UPS money.

    You are correct that drivers wanting to make bonus cut corners, skip breaks and lunch, and may shortcut safety, but how many companies will tell you that if you complete 10 hours of work in 8 hours, they will pay you for 8 hours plus two hours at overtime rates? Think about it. There are many bonus drivers that make out like bandits on this system and will not want to vote it out.
  6. ups_vette

    ups_vette Guest

    WOW....I'm amazed..TDU against bonus....Who woulda thunk?

    Who gave the driver the right to determine his/her own ability to determine the amount of their paycheck? That's not the Union way. Just think, if the Union lost the power to determine an employees pay, there would be no need for the Union...We can't have that. The Union officals would have to find work elsewhere and couldn't sponge off the backs of the workers.

    Bonus gives the employee the ability to earn MORE money workng the SAME hours,or the SAME money working LESS hours.
  7. ja7618

    ja7618 Guest

    I have a guestion. Is this upsurge for real? I have never heard anyone with such anger in his tone. The guy needs to get into a anger management class soon. Other wise he is going to explode. Which might be good for his center. If he is at a center, where my husband works this guy would never make it. They all get along fairly well and just don't talk or act like this jerk. But maybe he is all talk and no substance. I sure hope so, because on this board you can be all big and really just be a regular person.
  8. markbell

    markbell Guest

    >I have a guestion. Is this upsurge for real?<

    Yes and no. Hes real, but not who he claims to be. He mainly hangs out on T-net. You may notice that when T-net is down he shows up here. He posts here under at least one other name occasionally too.

    He once worked at UPS. He is not in management. He claims to have retired. If you consider that he is probably vested in a pension plan and no longer reports to work, then that is correct, I guess.

    He once worked in a hub that is usually considered one of the worst in the country - probably in the world. It is not the hub that is bad its its location and proximity to certain personality types that makes working there bad. There is a small contingent of Teamsters there that his UPSURGE character illustrates perfectly, IMO.

    They are perpetually disgruntled and disruptive. They are combative and obnoxious. They consider work an extension of a fourth grade classroom and behave accordingly. They have a bad attitude and an expectation of entitlement that you rarely see in an adult. They engage in foolishness to draw attention to themselves and try to get everyone else agitated.

    Usually they only end up agitating each other. They get wound up and do stupid things that cause problems for themselves.

    Most people ignore them. I can imagine that it gets frustrating trying to agitate when nobody pays attention. Occasionally someone falls for their silliness usually someone new and naive.

    I try to tell new people at my job that they need to walk The Path. Its the path to continued employment. Its the wide, well-traveled path that nearly everyone around you is walking on. Its not a particularly difficult path to walk, but you have to make an effort to go along with the program, and you do have to put one foot in front of the other.

    UPSURGE (in real life) represents the type that refuses to walk the path. Hes a trail-blazer. Hes going to show you a short-cut. By the time you figure out whats happening, youre shoulder deep in the poison oak and arent going anywhere. But at least hes got a new angry convert to commiserate with.

    Like I said, its a small number of people. It used to be a much larger number of people that pulled the shenanigans. Now that number is greatly reduced. They used to have a group of management that were their counterpart. They got bounced a couple of years ago. Well, those that didnt quit did.

    At any rate, the Local 70 Malcontent Club is down to a handful of charter members time to do some agitating and recruiting.
  9. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    If they want to pay me for sitting on my ass at home I'll take it. Skip a lunch? Are we the only employees in the country that ever skipped a lunch hour? Sometimes just getting home to your family is more important than whining about how you can never make it home to see your family!
  10. toonertoo

    toonertoo Guest

    You are so right. sometimes making it to a ball game or a recital, or just to get out of the heat is worth skipping the lunch. who wants to hang around another 30 minutes for the OT, not me usually either. Especially if you have a life going on.
  11. tieguy

    tieguy Guest

    "At any rate, the Local 70 Malcontent Club is down to a handful of charter members time to do some agitating and recruiting."

    Good post Mark. One thing I find interesting that you mentioned is the tremendous amount of infighting in that local. They don't seem to be happy with ups, their local or anyone in either.
  12. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    Tooner, with bonus you don't lose the 30 minutes of O.T. Too many guys don't realize it.
  13. deliver_man

    deliver_man Guest

    Yeah, bonus is great....for some drivers, on some routes. But how fair is it? You have one guy on a housecall route who is in the building every day at 4pm with 2 hours bonus, while the driver on the mall route is out til 7pm every night running 1.5-2 hours over. Even the cover drivers can't crack that nut. And then there are the routes like mine, where if I skip my lunch and run, I can hit it just about even, maybe 20 clicks of bonus (woohoo!). I was a cover driver for 5 years, and it was clear as day how unfair and arbitrary the timestudies are. I might be more inclined to see bonus in a favorable light if every driver had the same opportunity to benefit from it. But that is clearly not the case.
  14. brownmonster

    brownmonster Guest

    You can't convince me that there is a route out there where you can do no better than 1 to 2 hours late. I agree the time studies are not all equal but not all drivers are equal either. Some lumber along BSing at every stop and some are smooth and quick and keep it moving. I see alot of routes open up with good standards and the guys complaining about their standards pass them by. I do find that the longer I'm at UPS the less I would care if bonus got voted out or not. Right now it's my choice to take advantage of it. Thanks for your time. Have to head to the Office!! The Monster
  15. ja7618

    ja7618 Guest

    Bonus still around we voted it out year's ago! I didn't run my route any different with the bonus, just one stop at a time.
  16. sendagain

    sendagain Guest

    I thought the bonus system was nationwide, and I never heard of people voting it up or down. My center has used it for the 25 years I've been there, and the bonuses have gradually been wittled away over the years. Bonus pay is not covered by the union contract and can be changed without any union negotiations. I have found that the allowances have been steadily lowered over the years, often a year or so after signing the new contract with the union. This happened again this year just before the new pay raise in August was to go into effect. They make up for the pay raise by tapping into the bonus pay. I have always had a pace that beat my route by about an hour a day, but now it is more like 10 to 15 minutes a day. Other factors contributing to this has been many small shippers who seldom shipped packages have cancelled there accounts due to steady hikes in their daily pickup service. This has lowered the amount of stops I do during the afternoon part of the day which is the easier part of a driver's schedule unless you have heavy accounts. I still have to walk my buildings, but now the small, easy accounts are disappearing. This causes the SPORH to drop making the management think you have slowed down. Bottom line is you work just as hard for dwindling money. I just hope I can get something out of the stock. It ought to go up nicely with the money they're taking from me.
  17. ups_vette

    ups_vette Guest

    Bonus is not in all UPS locations. There are parts of the country where there is no bonus, parts where every center and hub is on bonus, and other parts when some of the centers in a district are on bonus.

    I'm was from a district (Central Pa) that has 1/2 of the Centers on bonus.

    The biggest problem with bonus is work measurement. Not the work measurement itself, but with the understanding of work measurement, how it is developed and applied on a daily basis. This lack of knowledge of work measurement applies not only bonus centers, but to all centers and operations. It isn't only the hourly who don't understand the workings, a majority of supervisors and mangers have no, or a wrong, understanding of work measurement. This is the fault of management. If a person is to be judged on a daily basis, that person needs to know what that judgement is based on.

    It's the responsibility of the person who did the time study to sit with you, and show you exactly where, and how, you did, or didn't, meet expectations. It is the responsibility of your supervisor to show you how to meet the expectations, and once
    you have met them, hold you accountable to continually meet them.

    It's your responsibility to hold your supervisors accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities.
  18. local804

    local804 Guest

    There is no bonus here in New York. I never heard anything ever about it.I am sure, just like everythin, some guys will like it and some will hate it.
  19. upsdude

    upsdude Guest

    Most of Virginia is bonus but our division is non bonus. I hear pros and cons.
  20. ups_vette

    ups_vette Guest

    I believe there is bonus in the West NY District, in the extended centers.