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TAHAWK

"Professional" Compensation Package Cut

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

What is this thing called Social Security? ;)

Agreed. Social Security will never pay me what I have and will continue to pay into it. And companies can change pension plans, like the BSA, in a heartbeat.

 

The really sad part about Social Security is that if I was by law required to invest the SS amount deducted from my pay, I would have 3-4 times as much money as I do now.  I could have had a high priced financial consultant working my money and do better than some overpaid SS office flunky and the politicians making the decisions. 

Nuff said.

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On 1/9/2018 at 9:41 AM, Eagle1993 said:

A scout is Thrifty!  Without a doubt, pensions are becoming a rare benefit.  That said, I don’t believe DE’s salaries are high (based upon previous forum threads) and the loss of this benefit won’t help.  Yes, one can live off low salaries but not everyone is willing to work for $30-$40-$50k less per year.  My wife is a volunteer president of a food pantry.   The salary and benefits they offer their employees is minimal.  The issue they are running into is finding great leaders willing to work for such low salary and benefits, so they settle for suboptimal performance.     

My concern is that by cutting benefits on already low salary you are on a race to the bottom.  You’ll see jobs not being filled or filled by individuals that may not have the best performance.  I’m sure there are great leaders that are willing to sacrifice further, but it is definitely not good news for attracting top talent.  

 

 

I think that how this will go, is that people who will take the job at it's offered pay will take the job.   If they are smart, they will either a) take the job for a short time and trade up to a better paying job,  b) be the second income in their family and have a spouse's income to help, or c) have worked other jobs, become financially well-set and take the DE job for the community service later in life. 

Not everyone needs to make a big wage.  Some people will find these jobs fit them, others won't and that's OK.  

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WM,

 

I think your analysis is correct. 

For 36 years we have had a short supply of , on average, not very impressive DEs, and the compensation package has just been cut significantly. So I do not see the results doing anything but getting worse.

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I have no doubt most positions will be filled.  I also agree that the BSA may luck into some great people willing to work hard and stay on board with a low salary.

My concern is that generally you will not see consistent strong long term employees if you cut pay and benefits.  My wife’s food pantry is prime example.  They found a guy.  He isn’t innovative, sometimes misses deadlines, doesn’t fundraise well, etc.  However he shows up, the pantry functions and isn’t a drunk (all of which have been issues in the past).  They really want a better leader but cannot find one willing to work for just above minimum wage.   

Again, I know there are gems out there that would be great and would work for free, but long term this is not a great situation to ensure you can attract the top talent.

 

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On 1/9/2018 at 12:50 AM, TAHAWK said:

Our council already has been unable for months to fill  the council ToO, even as it tells us we are about to play upset the basket again with a drastic reorganization that eliminates districts in favor of service  "pods" -- a plan which requires a significant  increase in "professional" employees over the current ToO. 

 

 

 

 

I know this is off-topic, but what can you tell us about these service pods?

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2 hours ago, Tampa Turtle said:

I think DE's are like many church Youth Ministers; a very important job that is chronically underpaid so that even the most dedicated will tend to be driven from it out of necessity. 

While my wife's threat of divorce after 6 weeks of marriage was what finally took the blinders off my eyes, I can tell you I could not support a family on a DE's salary. Fine and dandy when single. But no way i could support my family.

 

And one thing to think about is the hours. DEs are on call 24/7. Yes I had calls as early as 4:30 AM and as late as 12:30 AM. My volunteers gave me the best wedding gift: they would not disturb me between 10PM and 6AM for the first year of marriage.

Job is stressful. I've seen folks have nervous breakdown. I know folks who got ulcers and other medical conditions.

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Eagle94A-1, I don't want to make you re-live the pain, but I would be curious to hear what someone thought was so urgent that it required calling you at 4:30 a.m.

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Since retiring I have taken on a "part time job" with a non-profit that pays nothing but does cover all training and expenses.  That perk alone has moved me from one-on-one with the clients in the office to chapter leadership, regional leadership and district leadership positions.  All in two years.  As one can easily tell, it's not Scouting.

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32 minutes ago, NJCubScouter said:

Eagle94A-1, I don't want to make you re-live the pain, but I would be curious to hear what someone thought was so urgent that it required calling you at 4:30 a.m.

A youth protection issue.  That was legit. The 12:30 AM call was not. It was a CM vs CC issue that definately could have waited.

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2 hours ago, Saltface said:

I know this is off-topic, but what can you tell us about these service pods?

A given group of units, from a given area, served by a "team" of volunteers who are managed by "professionals."  A "district" by a different name that expressly puts leadership authority in the hands of council employees.  "Change"  Evades BSA model council organization, including many articles in Bylaws.

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On 1/10/2018 at 6:40 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

A youth protection issue.  That was legit. The 12:30 AM call was not. It was a CM vs CC issue that definately could have waited.

As a former pro myself, thankfully in my years I never received the urgent late night calls however did receive the ‘non real issue’ early 5am call on my cell. I cringe remembering those days. I think the call was about a patch...!

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I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with a number of outstanding Scouting Professionals. Some were rock stars in my book. I have met a few here and there that I would like to jerk a knot in, but not many.

They are not paid on nearly par with their private sector counter parts, they work extremely long hours and weekends. If they want to advance, it almost certainly means picking up and moving somewhere else, possibly across the country. None of them (at least the ones I have known) do it for the pay. They do it because they believe in BSA's mission. In fact I know several that are volunteers on top of being professionals. Though since most people know they are pro's they are frequently treated as such and are approached with "day job" issues even when volunteering.

I cringe when I hear people bad mouth them because I have worked closely with them and it is not a job I envy.

I had a conversation with a professional last fall about the pension change, I cannot remember all the details but I do remember him saying that some were happy with the change and others were not, and it was tightly connected to where they were in their Scouting career. IF I remember correctly the pension changes were kicked off in response to having to deal with the 2016 Rule that would have doubled the white collar exemption amount. Before the courts reversed that Rule, BSA and councils were scrambling to figure out how to cope with the expected cost increases. In some cases staff positions had already been eliminated, and things like this pension change were too far down the pike to reverse.

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I just spent the last hour looking at the BSA reviews in Glassdoor. While you have to be careful believing everything there are many DEs who have submitted reviews over the last year.  You can probably guess the overall tone of the feedback...

Great feeling of helping and working with many volunteers and scouts. 

Pathetic pay $35-$40k per year and horrible work/life balance working 60-70 hours a week, most weekends and weekday nights. 

They also have issues regarding council and national leadership, outdated business model, wasteful spending and risky income sources.  A couple had comments that BSA is headed toward collapse (I don’t agree and perhaps that is just their emotional response).

Overall it confirms some of my fears.  I look at my DE and office staff (the front line) and have been (for the most part) impressed. My DE helps me out at all hours, travels a ton and is always there with advice.  I honestly don’t know what benefit we get from council and upper level paid leadership.  I certainly hope the organization relooks at where they allocate capital and ensure the most critical resources are given The highest priority.  From what I have seen to date I’m not sure that is the case. 

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6 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

I just spent the last hour looking at the BSA reviews in Glassdoor. While you have to be careful believing everything there are many DEs who have submitted reviews over the last year.  You can probably guess the overall tone of the feedback...

Great feeling of helping and working with many volunteers and scouts. 

Pathetic pay $35-$40k per year and horrible work/life balance working 60-70 hours a week, most weekends and weekday nights. 

They also have issues regarding council and national leadership, outdated business model, wasteful spending and risky income sources.  A couple had comments that BSA is headed toward collapse (I don’t agree and perhaps that is just their emotional response).

Overall it confirms some of my fears.  I look at my DE and office staff (the front line) and have been (for the most part) impressed. My DE helps me out at all hours, travels a ton and is always there with advice.  I honestly don’t know what benefit we get from council and upper level paid leadership.  I certainly hope the organization relooks at where they allocate capital and ensure the most critical resources are given The highest priority.  From what I have seen to date I’m not sure that is the case. 

 

As a former pro, I can concur with all of that. In fact I would not recommend the job to anyone.

Before I became a pro, I asked a well respected Scouter if I could use him as a reference. He said, "sure, no problem. What's the job you're going for?" When I said to be a DE, his immediate response was " HELL NO!  HAVE YOU LOST YOUR [expletive deleted]  MIND? ARE YOU INSANE?" He then went on about all the stress DEs face, said he could not do that to me, and would not be a reference. Part of me wishes I would have listened. Worse job ever. Part of me is glad because the best thing out moving 1/2 way  across the country for a crappy job was meeting my wife.

Edited by Eagle94-A1
spelling and clarification
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11 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

They also have issues regarding council and national leadership, outdated business model, wasteful spending and risky income sources.  A couple had comments that BSA is headed toward collapse (I don’t agree and perhaps that is just their emotional response).

Well, I would not be so quick to discount the topic of "collapse".

Successful businesses cannot offer low pay, poor benefits, long work hours and a despicably poor work-life ratio. There are a myriad of studies to show that companies that *do* engage such practices have an enormously high attrition rate. When you couple a high attrition rate with poor workplace training, low-quality information systems, bad communication and workplace processes, you end up with a continuing spiral of lower and lower quality in job performance because you lose institution knowledge and don't have processes in place to transition (and manage) that knowledge. What you get are the districts, council and national staff we have today. Is it any wonder why BSA has all these problems...or communicates (and mismanages things) so poorly?

Total collapse? Probably not. But I would argue that if you looked at BSA from 1990 and compared with BSA 2018, those around to know both intimately might use the word "collapse". 

I also suspect Green Bar Bill is just face palming something fierce.

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