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"Professional" Compensation Package Cut

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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They also have issues regarding council and national leadership, outdated business model, wasteful spending and risky income sources.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
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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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While we online Scouters gripe, gripe, gripe about a gradual sense of erosion of the traditional program I think what we are about to experience is that 'tilting point' where there is a sudden and drastic change is the sustainability and viability of BSA National. It is not too big to fail or too historic an institution to go away. You can sense we are quickly approaching some sort of crisis point. 

That said I think, again, Scouting as an ideal will continue without all the ScoutStuffs, Summits, and executive boards. Maybe (to use a religious example) the difference between a large centralized denomination model and an organic home church model. If BSA cannot navigate this change it really will only have to double down, double down, and double down again on selling its brand and exclusivity. Maybe we are already in the mix of such a time of turbulence where there are competing visions and versions of what Boy Scouts really are. It may only be clear in retrospect.

In any case I am working on getting the camping gear ready this weekend. :)

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