Jun 22, 2007

Lab staff face leaner retirement

Privatization of Livermore's gilded pension plan may prompt retirements
By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated: 06/22/2007 02:39:55 AM PDT


The message in 40 pages of bland green slides hit research engineer Grace Clark like a body blow — after more than 30 years at Lawrence Livermore Lab, about a fifth of her future retirement benefits are at risk of vanishing, just like that.

She and thousands of workers at the nuclear weapons lab learned Thursday in a PowerPoint presentation that privatization of the lab under a new corporate partnership could mean a leaner retirement.

Their gold-plated pensions from the University of California — coveted by everyone from Silicon Valley software engineers to scientists at other labs — are being cashed into new plans, one a similar-styled but unproven pension plan and another, a basic 401(k), offering about 20 percent lower retirement benefits. All new employees must take the 401(k).

"They're dumbing down our benefits package to private industry standards," Clark said. "They call it market-based standards, but I haven't heard anything yet about raising our salaries" in compensation.

Executives for the lab's new management are worried, too. Thinner benefits make it harder to keep the older workers who know the most about a nuclear arsenal more than 20 years old — and to recruit the best and brightest to learn from them.

Physicist George Miller, president of Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, complained to federal weapons officials at the National Nuclear SecurityAdministration that the leaner plan could persuade Livermore
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employees that the federal government isn't committed to maintaining "world-class talent at the laboratory."

"Under such conditions, many more employees will consider retirement and leaving the laboratory now," Miller wrote.

Under pressure from Congress, the nuclear agency put the lab's management up for competitive bid and decided to fix a few historical problems along the way. Among them were numerous audits that suggested the federal government was overpaying the University of California for pensions at three federal labs that it manages — Lawrence Livermore, its sister lab in Los Alamos, N.M., and Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Whoever won the Livermore contract, the agency said, would have to provide two separate, new retirement plans. Current employees could join one as close as possible to the university plan or they could choose the 401(k), which the agency said could pay benefits no greater than 105 percent of the market value for benefits paid by like employers.

The same thing happened at Los Alamos weapons lab two years ago, but the resulting cut in retirement benefits was smaller. By 2007, it appeared that several of the many major research-intensive companies used to size up Livermore's peer market — AT&T, Hewlett Packard, Northrop Grumman, Honeywell International, Motorola, IBM and others — had cut back on their benefits.

As Livermore workers learned Thursday, private industry is getting more tight-fisted on retirement, and so is the lab. Until a new comparison is done in two years, that means one of Livermore's retirement plans will pay considerably less than a similar plan created two years earlier at Los Alamos. One worker complained aloud at a lab meeting that "in the competition for the best and brightest, we now can offer 93 percent of what Los Alamos can."

Consultants also explained that Livermore workers were deemed to get "greater value" out of their lower benefits, simply because of access to the Kaiser health plans. Kaiser delivers more services for patient dollars than most other health-plan providers, translating into more value for lab workers, according to federal and lab benefits officials.

Nevertheless, by Thursday afternoon lab workers were flooding congressional offices with complaining e-mails and phone calls, seeking high-level pressure on the federal government to change its requirements.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo, said she would do "everything in my power" as chairwoman of the House strategic forces subcommittee to make sure the National Nuclear Security Administration "gets this right."

"Anything but a congruent benefit package among the labs is not in the interest of national security, scientific advancement or the spirit of fairness," she said in a statement.

Contact Ian Hoffman at ihoffman@angnewspapers.com or (510) 208-6458.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

LLNL employees should contact Congresswoman Tauscher (not only is LLNL in her district, she is also Chairwoman of the House's Strategic Forces Subcommittee). Her Washington DC Office number

202) 225-1880
(202) 225-5914 (fax)

Simon Limage, her Deputy Chief of Staff, is the point of contact for LLNL issues.

Anonymous said...

LLNL deserves everything they are getting and more. They are the ones who provided us with this moronic management team called LANs(and LLNs). The LLNL mafia gave them the RRW and is running the NNSA. NNSA is just a puppet for George Miller, Mike Anastasio, and Bret Knapp.

With any luck most of LLNL will retire and the nation will not have to pay for their RRW.

Anonymous said...

"LLNL deserves everything they are getting and more."

That comment is no better than those elsewhere here on the blog - painting the everyday worker with the same brush as NNSA and LANS or LLNS management. Most of us at LLNL would have had no part whatsover in any of the actions you're imagining.

Sorry if I seem to take this too personally - but quite a few of us came directly to LLNL after a long and satisfying career at LANL. I still enjoy many positive relationships with former co-workers, friends, and neighbors and would never think of wishing them ill will.

Anonymous said...

Ditto, 11:06 am. Some of the sore-heads on this blog really disgust me.

LLNL employees don't deserve what's coming their way anymore than the folks at LANL did. Any anger for all this mess should be directed at Congress, DOE, and NNSA. They are the ones who are actively working to hurt the workers at our US nuclear weapon labs.

Anonymous said...

In what ways is the LLNL benefits package different than LANL's?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the pain train is making another stop.

GussieFinkNottle said...

I'd like to observe that our LLNL brethren seem slightly less oblivious to the pain about to be delivered by their new corporate overlords than LANL staff were.

LANS has been in charge of LANL for a year now, and the majority of LANL staff are just *now* becoming aware of the impact of the contract change-over.

By comparison, the denizens of "Little Nell" are light speeds ahead of LANL in terms of foresightedness. Of course, they had us to observe during this past year.

--Gussie

Anonymous said...

"By comparison, the denizens of "Little Nell" are light speeds ahead of LANL in terms of foresightedness. Of course, they had us to observe during this past year."

And more than a few of us work alongside our LANL bretheren on a daily basis, all part of the overall plan of "complex integration", a cornerstone of both the LANS and LLNS proposals.

Anonymous said...

Reply to (6/22/07 12:14 PM)

See Listen, Learn, React, but be sure to read all of it. The major difference is markedly lower unmatched contributions for TCP2, and TCP1 participants will have to pay 5% of their paycheck. The betting is that LANS will be adjusted in the near future to match the new amounts in LLNS.

Anonymous said...

Now that basically the same set of LLC players control both labs, you are going to see a rapid speed-up in new policies and benefit reductions designed to screw the workforce. At LANL, the new management is already preparing to execute stealth terminations of employees so they don't have to bother with severence pay. It's going to get really nasty really fast.

Anonymous said...

1:29 pm - could you please be more specific about these preparations other than making our lives miserable so that we leave "voluntarily"?

Anonymous said...

Don't know about 1:29, but many will not be surprised to see LANS adopt the zero raise approach to morale enhancement.

Anonymous said...

Gross raise ranges are determined and funded by NNSA. LANS is responsible for determining the percentage of increase for individual employees within those ranges.

Anonymous said...

LANS is not responsible, NNSA is. NNSA is not responsible, DOE is. DOE is not responsible, Congress is. Congress is not responsible, the new global economy is. Etc, etc, etc...

Anonymous said...

The boobs in LANS/LLNS management have allowed Congress to believe all the nuclear weapons will last a hundred years. Therefore LANL, LLNL, SNL are not needed or wanted. Unclassified research can be done much cheaper at Universities. All we can do is prepare the best we can when the ship sinks. Its tough but we have no allies, we're on our own. Get the money and run is the best advice.

Anonymous said...

Overheard at a LANS cocktail party down in Santa Fe...

ANASTASCIO: It's amazing.

MR. BARNES/aka GERALD PARSKY: What is?

ANASTACIO: We can cut their pay, cut their benefits, subject them to all sorts of new harassments... and still they won't leave? Nothing seems to galvanize this workforce to leave the labs.

MR. BARNES/aka GERALD PARSKY: (Drooling and wiping his hands together) Exxxceeeellleeennneeent!

Anonymous said...

Opps! My bad. I meant "Mr. Burns", not Barnes (i.e. Homer Simpson).

Anonymous said...

Why would a congresswoman who has to please more than one million constituents accede to the wishes of a few who get better pensions than the rest?

Anonymous said...

Has this been considered: The LANL contract change cost over $200M in dollars that were not allocated in the budget. Hence the tight budget this year and the loss of hundreds of subcontractors.

What's the true cost of the LLNL change-over? I read the fee is less than LANL: LANS gets $75M. LLNL gets overnight pension costs in the neighborhood of 10% of payroll. NM had a gross receipts tax on the private corp that cost another $65M. Is there something comparable waiting in California to tax the new private for-profit corp?

So what's the total new cost, and where's the LLNL budget for it coming from?

Anonymous said...

There was no obvious (to me anyway) mention in the article as the double-dipping possibilities for the LLNL folks. If they allow that in the same way as they allowed it at LANL (after the first presentation which seemed to preclude it), they may not get anymore of an exodus than LANL did (~450?).

WRT SA (Salary Adjustment) increases...NNSA may allow for an increase to be used for salaries but I don't know that the Lab managment is obligated to distribute it across the workforce.
Can you say "Executive Bonuses"!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"There was no obvious (to me anyway) mention in the article as the double-dipping possibilities for the LLNL folks."

This is covered in the recently-published LLNS contract.

(http://www.doeal.gov/llnlCompetition/NewContract.htm)

LLNL employees have the same options as those at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Complete URL:

http://www.doeal.gov/llnlCompetition/
NewContract.htm

Anonymous said...

Yes, being able to "double-dip" is WONDERFUL! I was 60 with 30 years service at LANL and thinking of retiring to get my UCRP monthly pension. Now, I have the best of all worlds. I don't have to retire, and receiving my UCRP pension check each month gives me the freedom to sock away lots of money, matched by LANS, into the new 401K. Since I was 60/30 on the UCRP, I wasn't going to benefit much by holding off on the UCRP retirement for much longer if the status quo held. Now, this new setup means I won't have to ever retire if I don't want to. I think I'll just keep working till I'm 75 and use the extra savings from the UCRP + LANS matched 401k + LANL salary to take some fantastic vacations and pass along a bigger inheritance to my kids and grandkids. For us "old-timers", the new setup is actually a huge advantage. NNSA was very kind to us. Your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like somebody on the planet may still be interested in producing pits, even if Dingel, Stupak, Hopson and Barton are not. And I highly doubt that Iran is being stingy on the benefits that they give to their nuclear weapons scientists.

Let's hope that we are at least able to detect one of these babies if the Iranians decide to hand it off to hostile forces. Oh, I forgot. Morale at our top nuclear labs has been wiped out by an angry Congress and a poorly run NNSA. How unfortunate. I hope Dingel, Stupak, Hopson and Barton have a mea culpa ready for Americans if the time ever comes. Of course, they may not need one if they are located anywhere near downtown DC. Iran says their purpose in all this is purely peaceful. Riiiight.


www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21950732-5001028,00.html

Iran has enriched uranium - Daily Telegraph, June 22

IRAN has 100kg of enriched uranium material in storage, the interior minister said, in comments likely to worry Western powers who fear the Islamic Republic is seeking to build nuclear bombs.

“More than 100kg of enriched uranium materials have been delivered to storages,” Mostafa Pourmohammadi said in a speech in southwestern Iran late yesterday, according to the ISNA news agency.

Anonymous said...

I am sick and tired of being blamed and now punished for every security problem at LANL. I have worked here for 24 years doing classified nuclear weapons work for every one of them. I have never received a security infraction or incident. I take my responsibilities with classified information extremely seriously. And so does everyone else. The incidents that LANL has become famous for are the result of the unpredictable actions of human beings who have been granted clearances by OPM. The damage caused by the incidents of the last seven years has been minor to non-existent. These types of incidents happen at LLNL and SNL every bit as frequently as at LANL. In fact I know of LLNL incidents that are far more serious and you have heard nothing about them. LANL has become the scapegoat for an ineffective NNSA. The LANL management team has no interest in LANL success as they all have a golden parachute back to terra firma. As such, they have done nothing to defend or protect LANL.

Congress has crossed the line and is blaming me and you for these incidents and is threatening to take away our livelihood. The taxpayer has invested $2.1 M in training me in nuclear weapons design. I am here for four reasons: The work I do in the nuclear weapons program, the schools, the beautiful surroundings, and the crime free small town lifestyle. My kids are nearly out of school, the fire ruined the surroundings, and the United States no longer values the work I do. I used to love my job and did it passionately because of its importance. Now that LANs is hear and Congress has made their attack personal, I suppose it is time to take my $2.1 M nuclear weapons education and find something else to do. Do I want to uproot my family? No. Do I have a choice? We’ll see in the next few months. The only problem is the house I own. If it weren’t for my lousy investment in Los Alamos property, the decision would be easy. Until such time as I can afford to leave, I am stuck and must continue to tolerate this disgusting treatment of people who have dedicated their lives to protecting the United States. I suppose I am a whore and Mike Anastasio is my pimp.

The thing I do not think that Congress understands is that there are not that many of us who have the experience to keep this business going, and driving us away essentially equates to unilateral disarmament. While Mr. Hobson thinks driving away 1800 people would be a good thing, I contend it will be devastating. There may be 1800 people at LANL that could be cut with no impact to the stockpile, but that isn’t how this will be done. The problem is 40% of the $500 M LANL punishment comes from the nuclear weapons program. That equates to about 500 hands-on TSMs from the weapons program. Let’s assume my training is average which results in sending $1.1 B of trained nuclear weapons expertise out into the world. Good idea Mr. Hobson? I am shocked that the United States is headed down the path of disarming itself in a world where there is an ever increasing number of Nations who have nuclear weapons or are expanding their arsenals.

And for those of you who think devastating LANL should not hurt the stockpile because LLNL will be there, think again. Do some research and check out how many disasters Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has put into stockpile. Perhaps once they do not have to compete with LANL they will quit politicizing every weapons issue (RRW, pit lifetimes, NIF, …) and actually try to solve technical problems. I wonder if after they (Congress, NNSA, and LANs) gut LANL, will LLNs hire LANL staff and map across years of service and retirement benefits? I am not interested in the least, but there may be a few second stringers who would be interested.

Anonymous said...

California has sales tax (levied against the consumer) instead of gross receipts tax (levied against businesses). So as long as LLNL doesn't produce any consumer goods, they should be in fat city.

Anonymous said...

Regarding sales tax in CA, the point is that LLNL / LLNS, LLC as a private entity will now pay sales tax on all its in-state procurements. Formerly, as a UC operation, there was an exemption on that. So no gross receipts tax, but 8-some percent on 100s of millions of procurements. Not as bad as LANL's hit, but not chump change either.

Anonymous said...

Unlike those at LANL, employees at LLNL *do* have more options. The Silicon Valley is right next door, where more and more *higher* paying jobs are coming available that offer the same, or better, benefit packages than what LLNS is offering. If the benefit packages are not revised and higher salaries are not offered, many employees will leave, and most of them will be the younger generation. LLNL's future is really uncertain right now ...

Anonymous said...

To NNSA,LANS,LLNS and et al.,
HOLD THE PRESSES!
STOP THE MADNESS!

Let LANS/LLNS manage the Labs and return/restore all LLNL/LANL employees to the UC retirement plan (UCRP) that they have earned and so justly deserve . . .

It shouldn't be too difficult to reverse the glossy campaign that was unceremonially hoist up the flagpole (using the slang that our retired U.S. Navy NNSA managers are all familiar with) to both LANL and LLNL employees. The message that was conveyed to LLNL employees (using "Town Hall Meeting?!" venues) was portrayed as an expression of NNSA, LANS and LLNS heartfelt concern and gratitude to LANL and LLNL employees for their combined years of outstanding service in the defense of our nation's national security. According to Thomas D'Agostino, we are all ". . . valued team team members" - my impression is that if this is how he treats "valued employees" then I wonder what it would be like to be off of his personal Christmas Card list? But, alas it appears to me that an effective manager and leader in the NNSA world you only need to be a proven bean counter and not someone has a vision for the future or compassion for those in their charge (but wait NNSA isn't the military or is it?) . . .

NNSA, LANS and LLNS appear to have "sub-contracted" with "sub-standard" programmers who got their 1's & 0's reversed (we, as faithful NNSA employees, are certain that the outcome was a mistake and totally unintended); which, mistakenly produced a flawed, inverted, unsavory and questionable retirement plan output. Of course, now that the kitty is out of the bag, it appears to have drawn interest from some highly placed individuals in Congress who happen to value our votes.

As a suggestion:
Any future brainstorms that you (NNSA, LANS and LLNS) may have on the drawing board should be run through a debugger first before placing your misguided and untested plans into operational and production status.

Thankfully, we in the weapon's research arena, attempt to test and resolve problem areas prior to going into full production!

Finally, it may not hurt to contract your future plans and programs with proven LANL and LLNL expertise . . .

Anonymous said...

1:42, any chance you could give us a breakdown on the skill sets SV is looking for besides EE, CS and IT?

Anonymous said...

1:42 here.

In answer to the 4:12's question, if you just do some simple web searching, you will find that there are jobs for a variety of skill sets in the Silicon Valley:

"Skills in science, healthcare, mathematics, engineering and information technology are among those in the highest demand for Silicon Valley jobs. Related industries are forecasted to be among those that experience the most job growth through 2006 and again through 2012. But, the needs and desires of such a large, well-paid, techie population lays the foundation for thousands of jobs in other industries too, including low-tech and no-tech." (http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/jobsbycity/a/siliconvalley2.htm)

So there are plenty of well paid jobs for those who are not EE, CS or IT, like for those who have degrees in Biology or Physics, not to mention in Business as well. Even if you have managerial experience at your current job, or on your resume, you will be able to apply that to many areas. All you have to do is go digging around and you will find something. So current LLNL employees have many options without even having to move away from the Bay Area! =o)

I would recommend Google for those in CS/IT. I am currently interviewing with them and will probably move on to a new job soon ...

And for those not in CS/IT, do a google search, "jobs in the Silicon Valley".

Anonymous said...

I too am an LLNL employee and am accepting a job elsewhere. With the new packages LLNS is offering, along with my current salary, it's just not worth it to stay.

Anonymous said...

Same here.

Anonymous said...

I'll be 56 with 20+ yrs of service at LLNL come 10/1. After growing an additional 120 days of age factor, I'm a free agent in January, drawing my TCP2 pension annuity and getting the full 100% LLNS contribution to my medical still intact (for how long, who knows). I'll show up for the paycheck for as long as I can stomach the new regime, max out my 401k (with whatever dribbles LLNS contributes) while looking for another job elsewhere, where I'm valued. They have effectively kissed goodbye to 20+ years of loyalty, performance, and significant expertise. I feel nothing other than anger and contempt for DOE/NNSA. I owe them nothing. In a word, I'm gonna take the money and run. Adios muchachos, it was a fun ride while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

As a meek-and-mild support-type person at LLNL who has 20+ years in, I scrutinized the (personal)numbers, listened carefully to what's being said here there and elsewhere, and decided to take the money and run. NOW. Forget the extra 4-months-worth of age factor, the stress ain't worth it. I'll find a job elsewhere.
From what I've heard, it's not only tech-types that are making plans to look outside the fence for the future.

Anonymous said...

In checking out SV, I was wondering if I would be living in Santa Clara county with a median house price of $720k, or San Mateo county with a median house price of 810k? As a $120k/yr PhD, that looks a bit out of my range. Do you have any salary data for SV? Are the salaries higher there?

Anonymous said...

1:42 is right, there are more choices out here. I am 33 and have 9 years at the lab. There is no way I am giving that up for TCP1, nor am I sticking around for the transition. I'm keeping what I have in UCRP and also my 403 and 457 and moving onto a higher paying job. I've heard the 401ks that are offered at other companies are not great but I also have the option of rolling over the money into my 403 and 457 whenever I switch jobs, which will probably happen at least 3 or 4 times in my lifetime. So at least I will get to keep something good out of all this.

Anonymous said...

12:27, I am assuming you are an LLNL employee? So you have a few choices, if you own a house in Livermore or somewhere in the Bay Area, you can switch jobs, stay in your home and commute. Or, you can sell your home for roughly the same amount you would buy one closer to your new job. If you rent, and you are complaining about the housing prices, then what are you doing working for the lab to begin with? There are other jobs where housing is more affordable, like at Oak Ridge for example.

Anonymous said...

9:28, I work at LANL. I was just wondering about the area and jobs. You have a good point, perhaps SV is best left to those who already own a house in CA.

Anonymous said...

10:46, I've been watching the RE market and house prices are dropping rapidly ... everywhere, but especially in CA. Maybe in the future, it won't just be an option for those who already own a home there.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

If only there were more people like this at Livermore. I only wish all 8000+ got on the same train. Remember the young ones need to look at the fact that the 5% UC /LLNS is asking you to take as a pay cut is only going into a pot to take care of others under TCP-1. You need to understand that the 5% in years to come will become 16%. If that be the case then why not go TCP-2 and stick that money and more into your own 401K and make it work for you, that way when they hand you the pink slip, which by the way is coming, you can take all those funds with you. It is absolutely foolish for any reason to go TCP-1. The bottomless pit is going to be frozen in a few years anyway and all have to go to TCP-2, therefore losing all the years and money the you contributed to TCP-1. Think hard people. Think hard.

Anonymous said...

By all means, if you want to spend every dollar you earn on housing, love sitting in traffic jams, and like working from the comfort of a cubicle farm, then go to the Silicon Valley. By the way, average salary for typical Silicon Valley IT guy is about $85-90k (and I don't think a Ph.D. physicist is going to be worth much more because they are not in demand), average home prices are approaching 1 million. What are you waiting for?

Anonymous said...

C'mon 1:03, I heard there's a shortage of scientists and engineers in the US.

Isn't IT perhaps the most outsourced tech job in the US?

House prices ~10x what would be considered a wet dream income for most in NM.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm sure Google, Yahoo, and Cisco are really hurting trying to recruit older, out of work weapons physicists.

Anonymous said...

2:25,

You could try Raytheon, Lockheed, or Northrop Grumman for starters. I would imagine the techie people will probably stick with Google, Yahoo, and Cisco.

Anonymous said...

If you've got a TS clearance and can keep it, you can be hired at a lot of places. The demand for cleared employees is huge, esp. those with a technical background. Just take a peek at some of the job boards and you'll see. In the DC area, I've seen lots of jobs for cleared employees that pay over $100 K. Employers are desperate for workers in some parts of the military-industrial complex.

Note that Congress has recently passed an act so that OPM will be force to cleanup the slow processing and backlogs involved with getting people cleared. Once this change happens (2009 ?), the demand and extra pay for cleared employees is going to rapidly dissapear.

Anonymous said...

Raytheon, Northrup, Lockheed are interested in skills in radar, lasers, space engineering. Very little in nuclear physics. These companies also prefer M.S. degrees over Ph.D.'s. Ph.D. in physics is not worth much in the private sector, and might even work against you.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing, the LANL employees! You try to find every excuse as to why you can't get a job elsewhere and why you have stayed at LANL ... and then complain and whine about what LANS is doing to you while at the same time calling LLNL employees "Big Talkers"! Tell me, who are really the "Big Talkers" here?

Anonymous said...

No excuses, just stating the ground truth. It's not as easy as you make it sound. Not like working at McDonald's where you can just walk a few blocks down the street and get the same job somewhere else. TSM's in the nuclear weapons complex often have very specialized skills that are not in high demand in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

What specialized skills? Wasting money and leaking secrets?

Anonymous said...

People in the area I work in at LLNL get head hunted constantly. The bleeding has the potential to be intense and devastating.

A very large % of the LLNL work force is either over 45 or under 30. Most people who can retire will and most people under 30 are going to be looking for other jobs. I'm one of the demographically challenged people in the middle. To old to be highly employable and to young to have the blessed release of retirement as something to look forward to if I can stomach the coming [expletive] storm for a few years.

NNSA and the previous congress have a lot to answer for on this one. I wish I had any faith in the current congress. They have the ability to fix this mess. Somehow I doubt they will though. And when the work stops getting done and the cracks in infrastructure become impossible to ignore you know they aren't going to be taking any of the blame.

Anonymous said...

6/28/07 12:46 AM Don't inhale the LANL doom and gloom. Let's give it a chance and see what happens.

Another demographically challenged person in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. Frankly I'm not that worried about LLNS. I'm worried about the NNSA who are after all the authors of this whole debacle.

Anonymous said...

As i was reading all of your flaming post about "The Man" mistreating you it became blatently obvious to me the reason for all of your anger all of you LANL employees. Prior to the LANS team you were all being overpayed for little to no production and had gone from the prestige of the Manhattan Project and the cutting edge of nuclear and overall weapons technology to the island of exile where LLNL sends its employees that they can't fire but don't have any marketable skills. I have heard stories of people that prior to the LANS team held AD positions with degrees in non-science related majors. Does anyone else see a problem with a psychology major directing the research of nuclear weapons...something in there doesn't add up.
As for the knocking on the LANS team. Most of them are there against their own personal wishes solely because they feel obligated to because it is the right thing to do. As for them being greedy and taking the credit of co-workers, this could not be farther from the truth. If you ask any co-workers of any of the ADs that are on the LANS team they would speak highly of the integrity, work ethic and selflessness. They all are the first to go to work and the last, if at all, to take credit.
So you all need to take a good look in the mirror before you tear at peoples integrity and i'm sure you will realize your own inadequacy. And as proof... If LANL is a great as you say it is, why did the government chose to build the National Ignitions Facility in Livermore instead of Los Alamos. Tell me that.
And what is even more sad is that it takes a college student to tell a multitude of griping middle-aged poster children of mediocrity the error in their ways.