Some background: I lead a small team of systems administrators that supports two different server rooms. Over the last couple of weeks, there have been problems with the power supplying the building such that we have been called on to safely power down the rooms on very short notice.
Yesterday in our management meeting, one of our managers stated to me his intention to develop a phone list of our team and post it so that everyone will know who to call when they have similar problems in the future.
My response was to ask if he intended to set up some sort of formal "on-call" arrangement (right now there is none) to provide this level of 24/7 support. He waved his hands and said that we need to just expect that salaried employees need to do what's needed to keep the system going. We are in an at-will U.S. state, so there is no employment contract in place that would clarify this.
Some of our systems are on a small UPS system designed only to handle brownouts or short (10-15 minute) outages, but not long-term outages. Because of this, what he is asking (even if he is not explicitly aware of it) is that someone on our team always be within 10-15 minutes of our facility.
To complicate matters, the building is secured after-hours by an alarm system that our group does not have access to, which means that our 15 minute response window must also include the response time from our security team.
A clean shutdown of all systems for one person can take more than 30 minutes to complete. More than one person working together can be somewhat quicker.
I feel that what the management team is asking for is unreasonable. I am concerned about the lack of additional consideration (i.e., money or comp time) for the inconvenience of being on-call, but also that if we agreed to it there are limitations outside of our control that would make it unlikely to meet his expectations. It seems we would be agreeing to be responsible for the inevitable failure that is weeks, months, or years away.