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Paid for Performance

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  • Paid for Performance

    Get this- I work for a FD in Metro St. Louis that receives all raises based on the "Paid for Performance" theory that several cities here have bought into.

    How this works if you are unfamiliar with it is, we are evaluated by our Captains on about 30 different issues (not one of which deals with fireground activities) ranging from classes we attend on our days off (for no compensation) to things such as if we show up early and how our uniform looks.

    We receive a number from 0-4 on each issue, and then they are added up and a range is set. So at the end most of us are labeled a "3" employee and about 20% of the FD is labeled a "4" employee......then

    The "3" employees got a 4.25% raise
    The "4" employees got a 6.5% raise.

    So, last year the employees that had received several "4"'s on evaluations were also give "bonus" money, some individuals received up to $5,000 for being such good "performers" (*** kissers)

    Now we have a FF/Medic with 3 years on making almost $3,000 more a year than an engineer with 30 years on.

    Does anybody else work under this system?
    It has caused major fueds in the ranks, and before you ask, yes we are IAFF in a non-collective barganing state, which means the city dosen't really have to recognize anything the union says. Opinions?

  • #2
    I'd sue. I don't know who, but I can smell a lawsuit in there somewhere. Call Dr. Law!


    • #3
      Sounds like what the military does for inspections and evaluations. Based on the "4 point system"...I am curious if Military Base FDs and Federal FDs have this in place...Does not sound Fair and equitable....not the best standard to use in the Fire Service...


      • #4
        Be glad you don't do it like the military REALLY does it. Yeah, it's a 4 point scale, but they use tenths as well. 90% of the troops are 4.0 or 3.8's. That really sucks, because if your superior marks you a 3.6 in one or two categories, nobody notices, but your hosed.

        This kind of system can work very well. It's common in corporate America. The catch is, the categories you are graded on need to be related to your job. Nothing wrong with including attendance (2.0 for a guy that is always calling in sick, 3.0 for the guy who's occasionally late, and 4.0 for the guy who's always early) or uniform / neatness / appearance. Also include leadership, and performing outside your job discription or going beyond "the call of duty" or whatever. But these categories are a PART of the grading system. Say 25%. The rest is how you do YOUR JOB.

        That fixes the Jr. EMT getting more than the 30yr FAO. First, the FAO is graded against other FAOs, not the Medics (except in general terms). Second, the Medic still has to learn and do his job.

        Let's compare apples to apples. You have a 20 year Paramedic who's a little sloppy (maybe some burnout) and a straight out of school EMT-B. If the score is 75% Medic stuff, the Medic gets 4.0 in many categories, and 3.0 for his uniform, maybe on his attendance, and say one other category, because he doesn't suck up enough. Say 15 4.0s and 5 3.0s, average 3.75. But the new guy can kiss backsides all he wants, he gets 5 4.0s for it. If he gets 3.0s in all the medic areas, he gets a 3.25 average.

        Now this cuts two ways. If he strives to get good at his job, he'll go up faster than the old-timer. But all the old-timer has to do is press his shirts when he starts getting nervous. Everybody benefits, because everyone tries a little harder.

        It's better than the alternative, straight seniority, where you have to wait for the old timer to die or retire so you can move up! Where's the incentive in that?


        • #5
          I forgot to mention that one FF/Medic was witheld from being a "4" employee because he "abused" his sick time. Keep in mind he is issued 6 days a year, and has never used more than 6 in a year. However, the impression is that since he is only 28 y/o, he is obviously not sick that often, and must therefore be "abusing" his sick leave.

          I asked "them" how he could be abusing it if he uses the alloted number of sick days he is given by the city. No answer. Your opinions.


          • #6
            At one point I worked for a department that utilized this so called "merit system". Worked great if you were the Lt's boy. Most companies figure in out of 5 workers, 1 will be above-average, 3 average, and 1 below average. What I found interesting was if your review date was near the end of the fiscal year you might not receive your proper raise, because they were always low on funds. Sounds good to me, NOT.


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