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Strike the clause. You are in a negotiation. They are going to structure the contract to be filled with things they'd love to have. Most people just sign. But there a clauses that are love-to-haves, but not must-haves. Maybe this is one of them. If it's one of the must-haves, they'll let you know by saying they cant accept the contract with that clause struck.

And talk to your colleagues - the more of you that strike a clause, the more political weight you'll have. Others may also not realise the issue in that clause.

I struck two clauses in my catch-all generic contract when I signed on here: no installing software on my own machine; and no installing free software. As a sysadmin hired to admin linux, these had to be struck or I couldn't do my job :)

Maybe the colleagues should start working in some kind of organization? Then they could get real political weight.

Heh, the idea of unionising IT folks often gives me a chuckle.

Yeah, it does sound weird but it does happen in the UK :)

I'm unionised, working in IT. In Norway, basically everybody is in a union.


Because IT folks are generally very well-paid to begin with; have strong individualistic tendencies; have a very, very wide range of skills that aren't easily equatable; and frequently job-hop for better offers rather than bedding down. And mostly, it's an industry with a very strong negotiate-your-own-paypacket ethos.

Interesting. I guess it depends on where your job falls within "IT". Then there is that valley skewing of salaries that happens on HN. My first "real" job was with a mega shipping corp supporting software for logistics and the autosorting equipment. I made 40k a year which was a lot of money to me in 2006. I worked 12 hour shifts rotating shifts (3 on 3 off which was nice). No holidays off. I wasn't allowed to leave my desk without a phone. Was once told I was required to answer the phone while on the toilet. Often the 12 hours became more than 20 hours because my manager demanded you own an issue if it came in during your shift. We switched to rotating 8 hour shifts but still ended up working way more than 40 hours per week and not sleeping. I had way more responsibility than I should have had at that pay scale. I also should have been paid hourly. I'm sure there are tons of people in that situation. To your point I decided to leave.

There is a side of the industry that most high paid developers don't see. Maybe they would just chock that up to lack of skills? I make double that now and average over 40 hours still. Plus travel, living out of hotels, and losing money on food while traveling. I still think I'm better off in Ohio at my current rate than in the valley at 50% more.

Overall IT is a good career even though it can be high stress. Most of the time that stress is unnecessary or even manufactured by managers/organizations. I really think the exempt employee is exploited in tech in general. There is no reason a help desk employee should be considered exempt. They should be paid by the hour with overtime. That and non-compete agreements are one reason I would even entertain the idea of a union. When a non-compete basically says you can't work anywhere then something is wrong.

Full disclosure: most of my family are union construction workers so that could sway my opinion. They have better compensation than I do, especially if you break it down by actually hours working. I'm in tech, in the fastest growing group, at one of the largest tech companies in the world.

We did exactly this (discuss among employees and collectively object to onerous non-compete terms) when being acquired by a much larger company. We were successful in having them change the terms of the new agreements to be much more reasonable.

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