IBM Co-Investment Training Program Includes Pay Cuts

Kachina Shaw
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IBM has tied mandatory training in a set of skills to a 10 percent pay cut for employees deemed deficient. An IBM memo dated Friday, September 12, describes a program that will have the affected employees spend one day per week improving “cloud, analytics, mobile and social” skills, according to IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino, quoted in Computerworld. It appears to be tied to IBM’s CAMSS program, for “cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security.”

Employees in the Global Technology Services outsourcing group, says Computerworld, received the memo.

The program will run for six months, from mid-October 2014 through March 2015. On April 1, 2015, the affected salaries return to their previous level, the memo describes.

An unnamed source told Computerworld the percentage of employees affected was “in the single digits,” but it is not clear if that is referring to only one division.

IBM describes the plan as a “co-investment” in training. Employees commenting anonymously on the plan on the Alliance@IBM site call it something else.

One user expressed surprise at receiving the memo, citing recent experiences: “… Funny thing is I have spent the whole of 2014 improving my skills and my manager has reviewed and approved my ‘skills Update’. I have received recognition this year for sharing my expertise and offered to be a mentor when asked. So just where are my skills lacking? And btw I have not been offered any assignment to utilize my new acquired skills.”

Another user says: “ … This is clearly a cost cutting measure disguised as a benefit to the employees. Statement is this is through April '15 at which time employees would get their full salary reinstated. Only time will tell if that is true. Either way affected ibmers are in a tizzy.”

And finally, one Alliance user asks about the effect on employees not flagged for training: “For all those who were not flagged as being camss deficient - and I mean no disrespect to those who were - will they be given a 10% pay increase as they will now have to pick up this work?”

Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

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