I am working in a quite big IT company in Europe. Recently we faced a series of structural changes, and one of them was "join the modern world-wide trend" and distribute on-call duties among the teams. I can understand the business motivation to reduce costs, but it looks like the employees are not so enthusiastic. Some developers are not wanting to learn the "new and exciting world of devops", some just want to keep their existing work/life balance, some feel abused with the proposal to spend 5 nights and weekends under house-arrest (SLA 5 mins) for approximately half-day salary. Personally, makes me sick that a previously good company (which I signed for) disrespects its own employees in such a bad way.
Arguments from management circulated around:
- every modern/cool startup is doing that
- just write your code perfectly and you will never get the call
- we will not compensate incidents separately, because team will start to put bugs intentionally into production (????)
- most cases should be just acknowledged and fixed "first thing tomorrow"
- this is fun, to learn tons of new things
- you are getting compensated!
Should I say that all of these are poorly made manipulations, and almost all of team members understand this. We already started losing our most experienced/valuable developers. Actually I have some thoughts in my mind, that such bad play can be a result of invisible (for us) radical changes on the investor<>company level. For example: "cut the costs by 10% at any cost!".
One team is especially struggling because it is responsible for maintenance -- tons of legacy and buggy software. For fixing and updating which, as usual, there is no proper budget. Management doesn't want to trade on-call for extra days off, either.
So my questions are:
- what is the best individual strategy for minimizing the effect of such changes?
- what else can we (as a team) try to bargain better conditions?
UPDATE: in our contracts it states that "company can involve outside of working hours", but it was really rare cases before, and I was promised that "we don't have overtimes". According to the TOP: "new contract version will be prepared soon. Every new hire will be informed about on-call."