I'm not too secretive with my usernames, so I figured best to use an alternative username to post this question, just in case.
I'm a frequent user of Geekzone, so I figured you all might be a good source of expectations for On Call rates and things in the IT sector.
So, my employer has incredibly high expectations for response times - as in responses to anything coming in or going out should basically equal the same as if we were operating during business hours. An email request? Resolve it if possible, otherwise organize for ASAP resolution. A message on our voicemail system? Respond to it promptly and resolve the issue if possible.
We're a small company, the role encompasses everything an IT professional might expect to encounter - SLAs, network monitoring (including infrastructure core to our business), minimum expected response times, and a few other things, which basically boils down to on a busy day, you might as well have not left the office at all, or if it's a weekend you may as well have gone in.
The on-call rate for this is roughly a $30 allowance, and travel/time and a half with a minimum hour pay out if we need to actually head out to a site to resolve an issue.
What keeps coming up though is that the contract specifies a range of hours of expected availability, summing up approximately 58 hours of not at work expected responding hours, and beyond that verbally have been advised that the actual hours (which are 44 hours, not matching the contracted hours) only relate to responding to customer inquiries, etc. and that the time outside of that there is a still an expectation of rapid response (we're talking sub-5 minutes for core infrastructure).
I feel that $30 isn't enough to cover this level of service on a daily basis, and due to the size of the business, the on call periods simply come up too frequently for such low pay and high response levels expected. All of this is weighed against a 40 hour week, so realistically the employers expectations are an entire week of real time response outside of specified hours (roughly 144 hours a week of monitoring outside business hours and an 8 hour daily rest window to sleep), 44 hours of potential helldesk, and compensates only $30 a day, or $210 a week, for this.
Obviously I'm willing to compromise on the expectations and remuneration with the mind that this is a small business, however surely given the expectation and workload, it's essentially 44 hours of incredibly cheap (roughly $4.78 an hour) helpdesk, with a bucketload more piled on top. Apologies for being vague about everything, but I already feel I've given too much detail away.
What I'm looking for is guidance as to if this is what would be defined by the average user as "fair", or if this is the shortest end of the stick?
Here's a true story from waaaaay back in my past...
Used to work for a small consultancy that developed and supported some software used by a government department, and the business provided out of hours support. One of the team had the cellphone on weekends to answer any calls. If called, we got to put down the time and got paid for it. So far so good but not exactly compensated for the inconvenience of being on call etc. We subsequently found that when we put down time, it triggered a clause in the agreement with the client that there was a minimum call-out of I think 4 hours! Nobody told us that. So we told the management we were to be paid 4 hours too. Told no. So we said thanks then, but we'll decline to do on-call. This turned the management around and they agreed.
Thereafter having the on-call phone was an absolute prize as if the customer called you on the weekend you could be doing 15 minutes work for 4 hours pay - ka-ching!
Current job's on call allowance is one of the best I've had so far. 10% of hourly rate for those hours outside of the normal weekday 37.5, then 15% in the weekends. For me that equates to about $60 each weekday and goes up to $150 each weekend day.
For each automated alert we get (that's pretty much all we respond to) we get paid a minimum of 30 minutes at time and a half. Everything is done remotely, and you very rarely need to spend more than 10 minutes on each ticket.
Response times are around 30 minutes, restore 1.5 hours. And we're only on every 7 weeks or so.