I don't know where you get your numbers from...but even at top pay the most you get is about $64,000.00 pr yr in California. In the midwest it's more like 58k...given the adjustment for cost of living that's barely a living wage when you understand that most of us are also paying the union dues, cost of boots,and gas for commuting to wherever they've sent you during the last "re-arrange" etc.
To add insult to the injury of your claim, the guys doing the development get paid what they're worth...about 100-120k when last I looked in MCOR, sometimes more. That's about double the highest paid craft makes. Now I agree some of the first lines don't paid nearly what they're worth. However, when you pay a manager to do nothing more then verify you're tallying each call and action you are performing...which means you get about 20% less productivity...it makes me scratch my head. That's the way of the company however, TSP reports anyone?
I don't know about Earth City, Missouri. I've never worked there. I can guarantee, however, that there is no manager in my center that can do what I do. They've said so themselves. I have my FCC licensing and other certifications that have improved my ability to do my job about nil...only experience can tell you when you're looking at a degraded signal that testing can't detect, or that the skid on one end of sonet isn't matching the other merely by seeing what the traffic is doing on a particular circuit.
I'm not looking for a pat on the back. I get that everyday from the people I serve. I'm merely concerned that the company spends more money on marketing and billing then it does on people (training, etc), facilities, and development. I worry that when the company "rearranges" the work, I won't be there to get my customer's service up in 2 hrs or less. They'll have an automated system that tests ok and closes the ticket when the problem is behind the test point or is a bad card in the switch.
That, so my customer's tell me, is how at&t does it. Funny SBC bought at&t, a company on the verge of bankruptsy, yet they are adopting their business plan.