? explanation of porters/portero compensation

diego7david

Registered
maybe some folks here know the rules for porters compensation and could explain?

1. what union do they belong to?
2. monthly salary based on what? does it have raises based on length of service ie a new porter gets paid less than someone on the job for ten years?
3. guide to monthly salary by union regulations based on live in and live out?
4. twice a year porters on their monthly salary get a huge "bonus"? why and what is it?
5. does a porter in one building have the same pay as someone else in a different building?
6. if they are unioned and standardized, are their duties standardized and written out anywhere?
7. if one quits or leaves, do you have to hire another one?
and any other helpful things like what are "justifiable causes" to remove a porter.

and what determines whether a building has one or what their schedule and duties are? is this changeable?

can you make them accountable in any way like sit at a desk in the front? instead of being "around". etc

yes it probably is difficult to remove a bad porter, but it can be done. i bet new technologies like a security camera for the front hall could be great security *smile* and a great record of lack of duty and comings and goings of a porter. they cost about 100 bucks.
 

nikad

Registered
diego7david said:
maybe some folks here know the rules for porters compensation and could explain?
1. what union do they belong to?

- Suterh

2. monthly salary based on what? does it have raises based on length of service ie a new porter gets paid less than someone on the job for ten years?

- Length of service, legal minimums, extra hours.


3. guide to monthly salary by union regulations based on live in and live out?

Suterh should have one.

4. twice a year porters on their monthly salary get a huge "bonus"? why and what is it?

- All employees in the country get such bonus and it is called " Aguinaldo " it is an extra month of salary split in two.

5. does a porter in one building have the same pay as someone else in a different building?

Not always.

6. if they are unioned and standardized, are their duties standardized and written out anywhere?

Their duties are written and standarized ( not sure where though but most likely at Suterh or on the Building Rules ( Reglamento del Edificio )

7. if one quits or leaves, do you have to hire another one?
and any other helpful things like what are "justifiable causes" to remove a porter.

If one quits or leaves you can either hire another ( permanent ) or get a company that will take care of all his duties ( temporary ). I suppose all this should be decided at a meeting and with the majority of votes. For justified causes you should look at previous cases, but most likely a lawyer will be able to tell you that.

and what determines whether a building has one or what their schedule and duties are? is this changeable?

can you make them accountable in any way like sit at a desk in the front? instead of being "around". etc

Yes, this shuold be stated somewhere in written though.


yes it probably is difficult to remove a bad porter, but it can be done. i bet new technologies like a security camera for the front hall could be great security *smile* and a great record of lack of duty and comings and goings of a porter. they cost about 100 bucks.

Not all judges will consider a recorded film for this purposes.
 

diego7david

Registered
nikad, more than thanks to you. that was a much more thorough and quick answer to my questions than i ever expected. david

i ve google suterh but dont find any info. would still like to find out about specific duties. my portero cleans floor and takes out trash. otherwise even a little paint in the hall means an outside contractor and an extra bill and probably an extra percentage to the porter. plus i would like to know..... specified hours, lunch break.......ie mine seems perfectly happy with a 3 hour lunch break and also working at the building next door.
 

nikad

Registered
diego7david said:
nikad, more than thanks to you. that was a much more thorough and quick answer to my questions than i ever expected. david

i ve google suterh but dont find any info. would still like to find out about specific duties. my portero cleans floor and takes out trash. otherwise even a little paint in the hall means an outside contractor and an extra bill and probably an extra percentage to the porter. plus i would like to know..... specified hours, lunch break.......ie mine seems perfectly happy with a 3 hour lunch break and also working at the building next door.
You´re welcome :) I am sure an expert on the subject can me more detailed. Suterh is politically powerful, this is one of the reasons it is such a pain to fire a portero. Now regarding the lunch break, most porteros do not work the 8-9 hs straight, and this is specified on the rules: they work 4-5 hours in the morning, they have lunch then they should be back to work at around 3-4 in the afternoon ( otherwise their shift would be well over 13 hours and you would have to pay lots of extra hours a month ). The painting is not his duty ( unless you hire him off work hours to do it and pay him for that ). For the good or bad, in Argentina Labor Laws always benefit the employee, this is why so many companies work en negro, etc. Most people put up with a ton of things to avoid having to indemnify the portero ( I have heard crazy sums of $ like 250000$!!! )

Here is Suterh´s website http://www.suterh.org.ar
 

jimdepalermo

Registered
I've gone through the portero follies over the last year in my building, and I've had several discussions with knowledgeable managing agents and lawyers. So I'll add a few points here.

First, what you call the Portero is probably the Encargado - the onsite manager of the building, according to union definitions. Porteros are doormen, which are rare in Baires. (Usually the guy at the door, if there is one, is Seguridad, there to protect you and the building rather than actually helping you with the door.) But yes, most porteños call their encargados "porteros," although the encargado is likely to resent this.

Next, the Argentine equivalent of unemployment insurance is a lump-sum payment by the employer to the exiting employee based on tenure and salary. For example, terminating an encargado who's been around for 10 years might cost USD 10 - 20.000. There's a formular for this that your managing agent can calculate.

Any major expense like this probably requires at least a majority vote by the consorcio. You should check your building's Reglamento to see the rules, but be aware that these may be superseded by subsequent law. Since most consorcios in the city pay their bills month-to-month and accumulate no contingency funds, it can take some time to accumulate the termination fee, once the owners agree to do it. And naturally during this time, you can expect worse performance by the encargado.

The reglamento may also contain a description of the services provided, so if you want to eliminate a position, rather than just replace the incumbent, you might need to alter the reglamento, which requires approval by 100% of the owners.

Firing an encargado for cause is nearly impossible. One building manager told me he had never heard of a successful termination case. Another described a terrible, long-term employee in one of his buildings - seldom around, abusive, sometimes drunk, suspected of burglary. The building ran up large legal fees arguing their case, but every time they brought an action, he would clean up his act for a short time, so he always looked proper when an inspector came to verify the charges. Meanwhile, of course, the employee became even more insolent, to the point that some owners were actually scared of him. Eventually they offered the guy an under-the-table payment to voluntarily leave. After negotiations, he accepted 66% of the legal payment. Two years later he brought a juicio (lawsuit) for illegal termination without compensation, and the building was required to pay the full fee - not reduced by the illegal payment - plus a fine.

Of course, this all depends on the judge. And since there's no such thing as legal precedent or standing in civil cases here, it's always a crapshoot how an individual judge will rule in any case.

I should mention one other point that recently came to light in our (6-storey, 17-unit) building. After our long-term - and excellent - encargado accepted a position managing a big staff in a building on Libertador, we downgraded the position to part-time before hiring his replacement. We still provide the apartment, so the part-time encargado is around most of the time anyway. We assumed we could pay for extra hours when there was a project underway that needed supervision, or during heating season, when someone needs to attend the boiler off-and-on throughout the day. Even with the considerable overtime, the part-time position was cheaper than full-time.

Shortly after, we were advised by the union of new rules that prohibit ANY overtime for part-time encargados. Apparently we weren't the only building doing this, so they flatly eliminated the possibility. Now we have 2 more hourly employees until the weather warms enough to shut down the boiler.

We hope to get the required consent of 100% of the owners to eliminate central heating by this time next year, at which point we'll have only the part-time, live-in encargado on the staff. A year ago, the minimal heating for 3 months a year represented over 60% of the consorcio's budget, including fuel, maintenance, repairs, and a full-time encargado plus a weekend guy, both with overtime, to monitor it.

If we follow the plan and IF no owner objects, this summer we'll modify the reglamento to eliminate the heating service, and then permanently turn off the boiler, reducing expensas to something reasonable.

A final comment on your idea of a security camera: I heard of a consorcio that tried exactly that tactic. Someone needs to monitor the equipment, however, and change/maintain the recording media. Whose job is that? The encargado himself. So there were never recordings of anything notable.
 

nikad

Registered
BlahBlah said:
I would just stop paying him. Let's see how long he stays
You don´t know what you are talking about! Theri union is powerful, he won´t quit plus the consorcio will have to pay fines ( very high ) He has free housing and utilities, health insurance, he doesn´t need to travel to go to work, etc, he just need a couple hundred for food ;) That is a loss/loss situation
 

BlahBlah

Registered
That is if he talks to his union, otherwise he will have to go to trail and that takes up to 2 or 3 years

It seems there solution wasnt cheap either :')
 
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