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Old 13.06.2019, 11:35
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SBB as an employer (IT)?

Hello,

I am in the interview process with SBB in Bern. So far I've had a couple of interviews with the team that has the opening I am applying to, i.e. these were the functional interviews. They went well and there seem to be a mutual interest. We were primarily focusing on the operational tasks and responsibilities. The next step will be an interview with their HR. The salary negotiation hasn't happened yet, so I anticipate it to be tackled there as well. I've made a little research but if anyone is familiar with the company, I'd be happy to learn:
  1. Does the range of 140 - 150k (gross) sounds reasonable for someone with 15+ years of experience and applying for a middle/senior position in Bern (say experienced IT Program/Project manager, IT product owner, IT architect)?
  2. How flexible could they be at the negotiations, meaning can I potentially be rejected by HR only because my expectations are above their thresholds?
  3. Are there any additional perks/bonuses to inquire about?
  4. How is the work climate in general: from "my" team I heard the positive stuff of course, just wonder is there anything to be concerned about?
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Old 13.06.2019, 13:49
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

I have a friend in a senior management position at SBB in Bern.

From what he tells me, I think your salary expectations may be optimistic but if you have a management level position you may be in line for a bonus which will bring the overall package up. Of course you will get free 1st class rail travel in CH for you and discount rates for your family. You will also get reciprocal travel benefits for train / ferries all over Europe (limited number of trips). Mgt level employees enjoy generous pension benefits and other staff discounts.
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Old 13.06.2019, 21:01
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

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Does the range of 140 - 150k (gross) sounds reasonable for someone with 15+ years of experience and applying for a middle/senior position in Bern (say experienced IT Program/Project manager, IT product owner, IT architect)?
I don't know anyone there, but in 25+ years here I've never heard of it being a particularly great payer and in general I'd say 140k - 150k is on the high side for Bern.

I'd also advise you to be very careful about the tax rates in Bern. On one occasion I calculated that I was better off to reject a bonus, as accepting it would have cost me more in taxes that the bonus was worth.
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Old 13.06.2019, 21:18
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

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I don't know anyone there, but in 25+ years here I've never heard of it being a particularly great payer and in general I'd say 140k - 150k is on the high side for Bern.

I'd also advise you to be very careful about the tax rates in Bern. On one occasion I calculated that I was better off to reject a bonus, as accepting it would have cost me more in taxes that the bonus was worth.
Thank you, Jim. Are the taxes being calculated in the canton of work, or canton where one lives? I will need to consider the relocation of course, for now I am in ZH.
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Old 13.06.2019, 22:50
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

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Are the taxes being calculated in the canton of work, or canton where one lives? I will need to consider the relocation of course, for now I am in ZH.
Which matters is where you live. Not where you work. (At least from a taxation perspective...)
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Old 13.06.2019, 23:14
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

You might get that salary in one of the big banks. Unlikely elsewhere.

Edit: According to their website you get a free GA and concessionary travel for immediate family. That’s worth a few bob.

Last edited by nickatbasel; 14.06.2019 at 08:47.
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Old 14.06.2019, 09:21
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

An overview of salary scales in SBB :


https://gav.arbeitsrechtler.ch/SBB_G...Lohnsystem.pdf

150K ? very unlikely.

The free GA, while nice, has to be taxed as income.

SBB wil not make you rich, but is otherwise a good employer.



Jos
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Old 14.06.2019, 10:50
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

Hi... Based on knowing some people from SBB...

1. I don't have a good idea of SBB salaries for IT professionals, but based on their engineering salaries, this might be on the high side.

2. Unless they really really want you or it is a very hard position to fill, I don't think they'll be super flexible with the salary. They have to consider that your fitting into a large organization and they most likely won't want to hire someone with a salary that'll be a huge outlier. There is a chance that they'll reject you if you ask for much too much (again, depending on their situation). They might decide, if your expectations are out of their range, that there is no point in hiring you, because you'll be unhappy anyway.

Do you have a good justification for the 140 - 150 range? Either based on information from Switzerland about salaries for people with this skill set, or based on your own salary? It is very different if you say that you would like a certain salary based on X, Y and Z than if you tell them you want A or B without explaining. If, for example, you tell them 'I am currently earning X and I would need X + 10% to move, it would probably not be received badly. For you, it also would highly depend on what your fallback is.

3. As people wrote, the free or inexpensive 1. Class GA can be a fantastic perk and the discounted GAs are a great perk for your whole family. I think the GA is only free if your boss indicates that you have to travel a certain amount for your job, otherwise, it counts as taxable income (like the GAs for your family). They also strongly support mobile working and there is a bunch of other smaller stuff, like continuing education.

4. The climate in SBB really depends on your specific area. It'll be very very different across the organization.
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Old 14.06.2019, 11:07
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Re: SBB as an employer (IT)?

Just to give it some balance, that level for a Product Owner / Product Manager with 15 years career is about right as long as you have big environment experience. It's going to depend a lot on what you are doing and how much they want you.

I know the salary scales show this as at the higher end, but I think you will know yourself if you are pitching at the right level or out of your depth.
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