Oct 1, 2007

RIF News

There have been bits of information regarding LANL management's RIF preparations sprinkled throughout the comments on previous posts. Given that LANS does not appear willing to share their plans on this, we are leaving this post where readers are welcome to leave comments with any updates on the RIF situation that they might want to share. We'll leave the post up at the top for easy access as Oct. 1 approaches.

--Gussie & Pinky

380 comments:

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Anonymous said...

rumor today was that THREAT REDUCTION canceled all managers' vacation etc so they could work on the RIF lists....

Anonymous said...

Seems that ADEPS management is working on a RIF list too. No word from Seestrom since the RIF announcement and I heard that NONE of her DLs are willing to speak to their pleebs. No communication, nada, nothing, zilcho. But then again, maybe Sarrao (and Fallensbee) are just obsessed with Marie (little vixen) ... perhaps he (and Paul) are leaving for greener Marie pastures ... anyhow, nice basic management skills folks!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain the 120 day notice to the public to me....

Does this mean that LANS cannot RIF anyone until the notice period is over?

Pinky and The Brain said...

I don't know the answer but the WARN ACT Resources post is probably a good place to start digging.

Anonymous said...

The RIF will be implemented in a manner which causes the least amount of legal distress for LANS. This means that the layoff of staff will be done in a very sub-optimal fashion that may not get to the heart of some of the serious staff problems that currently exist at LANL. The main technique will be to wipe out whole organizations from the org charts. Everyone in those targeted organizations will suddenly become RIFee's with almost nowhere to turn for relief.

All in all, it's going to be a very messy situation, but one that LANS feels will protect them from an avalanche of possible legal suits. As with many things our management does, it may be implemented in a style which causes management the least amount of trouble and effort, but which also has the least beneficial effects on the future of LANL.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can get rid of stupid stuff, like the diversity office.

Anonymous said...

Question, why is Los Alamos National Laboratory using a hiring agency in Albuquerque to hire if they are preparing for a RIF (Excel Staffing)? Just called to see if I am interested in temp to hire job as telephone receptionist with lab, doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9/18/07 1:09 PM wrote:
"The main technique will be to wipe out whole organizations from the org charts."

Indeed that would mitigate the legal hassles. But, that would only work to eliminate direct-funded divisions including the useless Diversity Office. And, who knows what the Infrastructure Planning Division does?

But, for instance, you cannot just eliminate ALL of HR, Purchasing, Business Services, etc. We do need those organizations albeit at reduced levels.

The sensible thing to do is to major major reductions in those organizations that are funded on overhead, streamline the upper-level structure by going back to the number of ADs and Divisions that existed prior to June 2006, and cutting direct-funded staff in areas where there is no funding.

Care to bet what happens?

Anonymous said...

I was in a meeting in Santa Fe yesterday with about 15 people attending and not a single one knew that LANS, LLC had announced that they're beginning to plan for a possible RIF of 2,500 people. Guess there's a message about whether SAF, or at least this small subset, cares about any news coming from 'the Hill'.

Anonymous said...

The all managers meeting presented viewgraphs stating: If employees ask about RIFs say you know nothing but RIFs will be done fairly. If asked by the media say nothing. If employees ask about budgets say you know nothing. Absolutely no information is to be revealed to employees without Mikey's direct approval.

So much for open communication.

Anonymous said...

The RIF was planned back in March when they revised the RIF procedure AM 140 or whatever its number is. Everything Mikey has said since then regarding the RIF has been a lie.

Anonymous said...

it is true that at the all-managers meeting, NO information was disseminated by mikey, double-speak (combined with mikey ass-kissing) was said by terry, and managers were frustrated as hell about not being able to tell their people anything. no dates, no numbers, no plans.

the managers came away thinking that since this non-mentioned RIF is "non-planned", then it will be worse than we thought, as any non-planned event usually is.

Anonymous said...

From a months-ago conversation with a 'civilian' (non-LANL employee) who had a conversation with someone from a parent company (LANS' parent) at his business counter, it may be that LANS brought in HR experts who began working on RIF plans a long time ago without ever being incorporated into the HR Div within LANL. That would also prevent any advance word being known within the Lab's workforce.

I also haven't heard anything official through the LANL channels that would substantiate the info mentioned here that Montoya-Rael resigned. Any confirmation of that?

Anonymous said...

I heard the rif's would be by contest. A bunch of people touch a glovebox, and the last person to let go keeps their job (but dies of rad poisoning).

Anonymous said...

"..... that would only work to eliminate direct-funded divisions including the useless Diversity Office."

Unfortunately, I believe the NNSA contract provisions for the Labs, the NTS M&O contractor, etc. have performance objectives (and resultant management fees to be earned) tied to diversity. So I doubt that you'll ever see the Diversity office go away.

Anonymous said...

"managers came away thinking that since this non-mentioned RIF is "non-planned", then it will be worse than we thought, as any non-planned event usually is." (9/18/07 9:31 PM)


Yes, it will be very bad. LANS LLC doesn't really care about the workers at LANL or the effects of this RIF on the local community. We'll see very little information released until the RIF actually hits the workforce and it will hit with a wallop. Many workers are going to be very surprised when their pink slips suddenly arrive.

The facts are that Mike kept a straight face and told the staff all of last year...

"Don't worry, there will be no RIFs and their are no plans for a RIF"

...and he said this over and over and over again. Many people felt secure with this statement and didn't bother to leave LANL or sell their homes when they had the chance.

The fact that Mike showed no sense of honesty in this matter over this last year should tell you all you need to know about both Mike and his LANS executive team.

Anonymous said...

Nice to know the NNSA contract is ensuring that all the crap organizations get to stay put. Maybe Terry can have them help Marie become a reality! Bwwahhhhahahaahaa!

Anonymous said...

9/18/07 10:32 PM said "The fact that Mike showed no sense of honesty in this matter over this last year should tell you all you need to know about both Mike and his LANS executive team."

Mike surrounded himself with a bunch of losers ... just take a look at what Terry, Susie, Marie and Alan have done for science! THey have demoted good people with backbones, hired and got funding for their friends and family, made certain that they each surrounded themselves with weak suckups, and maliciously gone after anyone they consider a threat. For Terry that means smart, competent women -which is why Betsy Cantwell did not get the Deputy PADSTE job - no problem the RIF will take care of them! Wow, what an austere group leading science at LANL.

Anonymous said...

Well at least 8:27 PM provides me an explanation as to why I have not heard a damn thing from my line management (DL, AD, PAD) even when I write them e-mails asking RIF-related questions. I understand from colleagues and friends in other divisions that they are experiencing the same kind of "silence". I remember when I took the Leadership Institute and one of the prime directives was that during times of change there should be more communication, not less. I guess our "managers" never got any leadership/management training. Oh, but I am sure that they stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

Anonymous said...

Mike and his crew have demonstrated no leadership ability. Zero, nada, ziltch. This is part of what is causing what's left of the better TSM staff at LANL to begin preparing ways to get out of this place. Not that LANS LLC really cares.

Anonymous said...

9/18/07 8:27 PM said:

"The all managers meeting presented viewgraphs stating: If employees ask about RIFs say you know nothing but RIFs will be done fairly. If asked by the media say nothing. If employees ask about budgets say you know nothing. Absolutely no information is to be revealed to employees without Mikey's direct approval.

So much for open communication."


ONE NEEDS TO ASK!!!!

So did anyone see the view graphs on the pension numbers? Seems like someone needs to explain the difference between UC and LANS. Is this substantially equivalent? UC sent over the amount of money and now the figure is less. What happened to the rest of the money? Our congress should be asking what happened to the rest of the money.

It has only taken 15 months to get a front end program so that a forecast of your retirement can be done using Hewitt. That is if we get the log on information this week. But that still leaves us short of what it would have been with UC. SUBSTANTALLY EQUIVELENT???

Anonymous said...

I am betting that the entire selection process for the RIF will be done on the basis of avoiding/reducing litigation. Individual productivity will have no consideration. That will work just fine as long as LANL has no WFO. We can hire the incompetents and the relatives behind the fence where there is no accountability for NW work.

Anonymous said...

Who the hell is Betsy Cantwell?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they can great rid of stupid people, like 2:28PM.

Anonymous said...

What about last in first out? Senority counts in other words? Kind of like "character," what St. Pete claims is important (yea right). What a unique concept though, seniority. Not at LANL though, because we're different. We don't just lay off people, we "restructure" the workforce. That means we keep our friends and relatives in place, and of course our mangement slots. We get rid of the mail room personnel. Yea! Of course later we have to assign $100K a year staffers to sort mail, but what the hell (as occurred in the aftermath of the 1995 layoff...I mean "workforce restructuring"). We're different. Indeed we're not. We're just stupid.

Anonymous said...

Personally, 7:39, I'd be thrilled to see the entire diversity office given the pink slip. At present they are just another leech on our programmatic dollar.

Anonymous said...

Gee. Why can't we all be as capable at 5:57AM. Implicit in his stated view is that he's among those that do NOT deserve to be layed off becuase he is sooooo productive. I am too by the way. Gifted...no, brilliant in fact. I know I am because I'm employed at the Los Alamos National Lab and it only hires the best and brightest. So there. And so by definition I shouldn't be targeted for termination, now should I? Or am I just too vocal? Too concerned for my own good? Too much of an independent thinker to be considered a "team player" at the Lab. Not conservative enough perhaps. Heaven forbid...not even Republican! Not even related to anyone in high places. Still I consider myself just as productive at 5:57AM. Yet, I'm probably already on the RIF list. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

No, 2:28pm was right, the Diversity Office is stupid. According to our beloved congresscreep Udall, what we should've had is a Diversification Office.

Anonymous said...

As already stated before, it's people like 7:53AM that gives Los Alamos the "wonderful" reputation it has. Thank goodness he's not the rule, but the exception. Still, it's the silent majority, through its silence, that gives idiots like this credibility.

Anonymous said...

What about last in first out? Senority counts in other words? Kind of like "character," what St. Pete claims is important (yea right). What a unique concept though, seniority.


....yeah right, give preference to those whose inaction caused the damage.

Anonymous said...

Mike surrounded himself with a bunch of losers ... just take a look at what Terry, Susie, Marie and Alan have done for science!

....and Mikey isn't a loser?

Anonymous said...

9/19/07 7:46 AM just does not get the fact that modern companies use "buzz" words. The words "lay off" though they have been used for a long time sound gloom. In the eighties and ninties, it was "reduction in force" or RIF, now it's simple a workfroce restructuring. Next will probably be realignment of work structure. They all require S-pecial H-igh I-ntensity T-raining for upper mgt.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have information about how common mental health "train wrecks" are occurring at the Lab, since our jobs have been under attack for more than 7 years now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, under unrelenting attack for 7 years now and the forecast is that things will only get worse with each new year.

What a wonderful place to spend one's career, living in constant fear that you're just a short step away from losing your job and falling into financial bankruptcy. Polygraphs, piss-tests, and poorly thought out policies. And a new management team that offers strong rewards for their buddies at the top but crumbs for everyone else.

Whoopee!

Anonymous said...

RIF's at LLNL might start with retirees. Is this age discrimination? And which retirees is questionable - UC only, everyone who is retired from any other company, such as military?

Are the LANL staff who retired last year to protect their UC retirements worried?

Anonymous said...

11:52AM: Good question. I'd be curious to hear about this too.

Anonymous said...

People respond to stress in various ways. Some people turn inward and withdraw, while others, especially as part of a group dynamic, tend to lash out. Put the first type at the mercy of the second type and... well, what do you expect?

"sheep get slaughtered, and the shepherds dine on mutton and have a good laugh"

Sorry if this sounds bitter, but it is what it is.

Richard said...

"Workforce restructuring" is sooo last century. Get hip with the new jive, man. It's "right-sizing"!!!

Anonymous said...

1:24, LANL employees didn't have to retire to protect their UC benefits. They just had to go to TCP 2. A good number did that. Some, certainly not all, have retired from UC since the transition, but so what? They were LANS employees when they retired from UC.

Anonymous said...

9/19/07 4:34 PM

They had to retire to protect retiree health care. Had they just switched to tcp-2 and then retired, they would have had no health care until they were eligible for medicaid.

Anonymous said...

11:52 - Anecdotal information from a friend who is a therapist in town says they are overwhelmed with people wanting to get in to see them.

Anonymous said...

The useless Daily Links has been advertising LANL's Employee Assistance Program. Does this mean they know their actions are causing serious emotional problems?

Anonymous said...

5:10, not correct. if you went TCP2 and froze your ucrp then you are eligible for retiree medical when you terminate lans if you have either earlier or at that time begun to recieve the ucrp monthly annuity. The only way you loose your retiree medical is if you do the lump sum cashout... which is sounding better all the time. how these rules change in the future is tbd, but i am under 50 and went tcp2 so i did pay attention to this point.

sweating it out said...

The word going around TA-3 today is that LANL will offer a financial incentive to resign in the next week or two. This makes sense because they can pay you some fraction of your salary if you quit now and save the x3 in overhead thus having to RIF fewer folks. Lets hope greed solves part of our funding problem!

Anonymous said...

IRM goes down the toilet in October

Anonymous said...

6:22 PM - the answer to your question is yes. They want you to see Tom Locke & friends who are intimately with Legal and Staff Relations. This way you will lose your clearance and your job - a twofer for LANS!

Anonymous said...

"IRM goes down the toilet in October"

Yeah, in 1999 whatever the hell they were called back then.

Anonymous said...

What is IRM?

Pinky and The Brain said...

Information Resources Management.

Anonymous said...

Tom Locke is a Nazi.

Anonymous said...

Appears the Secretary of Energy draft policy on random drug tests for Q/L employees is no longer draft.

Another attractor for talent....

Anonymous said...

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe if you hold a Q clearance and you go to see a mental health provider (such as for stress or depression) you have to report it to the Security office, right? If so, this might hold some people back from getting the help they need. What about if you just went to talk to a therapist (i.e., psychologist). Anyone know the exact rules about this situation? I'm guessing their are some grey areas here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pinkey - doesn't sound like much of a loss. Now if LANS would just get rid of CAO, diversity office, most of HR, most of faciities and KSL, Lab Legal, all the incompetent and unhelpful people in security and procurement, and Terry Wallace, we would be set.

Anonymous said...

Go out of town and pay cash. If you explain your situation no records need to be generated unless you are a threat to yourself or others.

Anonymous said...

9:28 pm: "What is IRM?"

If you are a Lab employee, you are obviously one of those who don't think awareness of the fuctions and organizations of the employer you work for are worth your attention. Welcome to the RIF list, Mr. Clueless! Ever look at the org chart of your employer, the one who keeps you and your family in food and lodging?? Or are you one of those "pure scientists" who doesn't need that distraction from your purity?

If you as an employee have not been particularly concerned that your management consider you irreplaceable, you've made a terrible, and financially fatal, tactical error.

Anonymous said...

9:36 PM - sorry, but you have been misinformed. If you see a health provider for scizophrenia or bipolar disorder you have to report. Also if you are taking meds for the ailments. Otherwise, security doesn't really care. Too many people seeking treatment for depression I guess and they can't keep up and will flatly tell you that they don't want to know. I tried to report and that is what I was told. Just don't EVER talk to anyone from the EAP - they will screw you - they do not keep ANYTHING confidential. They are a vehicle to get "potential problems" removed from the Lab.

Anonymous said...

9:43 PM - you are a jackass. I am a new TSM and was asking a question and don't deserve or need your condesending arrogant tone. So, in kind, you must be one of those old effers that are so full of themselves and do nothing at this lab. You probably don't work before 10 am or past 4 pm because you think you are above it all and consider the commute part of your time. Bottom line: you should be part of the RIF list buddy!

Anonymous said...

9:47 is exactly right about speaking with EAP. Don't do it.

Anonymous said...

As a follow-up to 9:47 and 9:57 PM, I find it disgusting that the Lab management is pushing EAP to its employees in the useless Daily Links and, furthermore, has Tom Locke going around to organizations at the Lab telling employees to come talk to him and his staff and that employees can trust EAP. My wife was in DX and who lost her clearance after talking to Locke. To all who read the blog: Locke & co. are a direct communication vehicle to Lab Legal and Staff Relations. ANYTHING you say will be put in your records and relayed to Legal.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I thought IRM was "Integrated RIF Management," five-step process and all...

Anonymous said...

9:52PM: You're a new TSM? You voluntarily came to this slow motion train wreck that has been going on for the last few years? I'm just at a loss for words.

Anonymous said...

Is it better to be one of those people who are considered critical to a functional area they won't be offered an offered an incentive if there is one, or not?

Anonymous said...

The only critical functions at LANL are management.

Anonymous said...

sweating it out on 9/19/07 at 7:02 PM said...

"The word going around TA-3 today is that LANL will offer a financial incentive to resign in the next week or two. This makes sense because they can pay you some fraction of your salary if you quit now and save the x3 in overhead thus having to RIF fewer folks."

The math is wrong here. All that is saveed with the departure of an employee is the employee's salary and benefits (medical, dental, FICA, etc.). The overhead costs continue.

Given the age demographics of the LANL workforce, the people likely to take a voluntary separation are TSMs and TECs, most likely direct-funded. SO, the overhead staff (highly-compensated ADs and DDs plus all of the HR, Diversity Office, etc staff) will likely stay. SO, then the overhead rate goes further through the roof than it already is.

A genuine re-structuring is really needed. We need to take a close look at the overhead functions. Experimental activities in HR, Procurement, CFO, etc are not needed and must be eliminated. There is no reason why we needed a three-fold increase in ADs and DDs when LANS came.

Eric said...

The quality of comments seems to vary widely on posts for this blog.

Is anyone willing to help me assemble an organized version of the comments that appear to have content?

If we have an organized version and share it back and forth, it might be easier to determine what is real.

Thanks,

Pinky and The Brain said...

Eric,
I think we've done our share in posting the stories and the readers have done their share in providing the comments. Feel free to do with it what you like.
Pinky

Anonymous said...

Please go away, Eric.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

From the rumor department: I heard that Mickey is back East these days with respect to funding, RIFs, ...

Anonymous said...

The LANS 5-step RIF process:

1) Deny that the $175M annual cost of LANS will cause the need for layoffs. Have John Mitchell run a budget exercise and tell LANL staff that we will recover this astronomical management cost through "improvements in operational efficiency".

2) Realize that John Mitchell's 10% overhead cut isn't coming close to balancing the budget as Mitchell screwed the arithmetic by a factor of two (10% overhead cut is 10% on $1B, not 10% on the entire $2B lab budget). Scramble to layoff 600 contractor employees and in the process run the LANL physical plant into the ground
by deferring or eliminating critical maintenance. Meanwhile, the head Ewok assures the staff that "there is no plan for a RIF and no plan to make a plan for a RIF.

3) Finally do the budget and realize, even if the budget stays flat, staff layoffs are needed to pay for the $175M LANS cost. Scramble to plan the layoff (which really means deciding how many staff need to be cut to pay for each LANS manager's bonus.)

4) Owing to completely inept management, find out that there's a 120 day hold on layoffs because of Federal Law, thus delaying the necessary layoffs and causing 50% more staff to be lost than needed.

5) LANS collects its $79M annual fee (minus $300K for the Crem-de-Meth incident) and hands out bonuses to all of its managers.

Anonymous said...

Eric,

I am quite sure that Pinky and Gussie have your contact info, and that you will be the very first person they call when they need your help to run LTRS.

Anonymous said...

"From the rumor department: I heard that Mickey is back East these days with respect to funding, RIFs, ..." 9/20/07 8:55 AM


Maybe so, as I haven't seen his sweet looking jet black Audi TT "Darth Vader" sports car parked outside of the Otowi building of late.

I suspect this car must be the one that is covered by the UC LANS Executive compensation agreement. That public agreement, previously posted, says that UC will pay about $750 per month for the Director's "car expenses". Mikey has good taste in cars.

Anonymous said...

Some LLNL related news....

-------
Stockton Record

Lab workers scramble to unionize

Management blocking efforts, Livermore employees say

By Jake Armstrong
September 20, 2007
Record Staff Writer

LIVERMORE - Workers organizing a union at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory accuse lab management of refusing to recognize their union and throwing up roadblocks to prevent its formation prior to Oct. 1, when the lab shifts from public to private management.

But lab officials and the University of California, which manages the lab for the federal government, deny the charges and say a decision on the organizing effort rests in the hands of the state Public Employment Relations Board, which ratifies unionizing efforts at state agencies.

A local union under the Society of Professionals, Scientists and Engineers has been working to organize plumbers, pipe fitters, carpenters and other skilled trades while the lab is under UC management.

The workers want a determination on their bargaining unit prior to Lawrence Livermore National Security, a Bechtel-led coalition, assuming lab management Oct. 1. The workers hope a union will shield them from staffing reductions.

After that date, the workers will have to start over and gain approval of their unionization effort through the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees private-sector workers, said labor organizer Jan Gilbrecht.

The workers and the lab have submitted briefs to the state Public Employment Relations Board and await the outcome of a hearing, lab spokeswoman Susan Houghton said. She denied the lab is stalling.

"We're not refusing to recognize it. It is a formal process in order to recognize it," she said.

Calls to the Public Employment Relations Board were not returned Wednesday.

Gilbrecht said a majority of the 300 skilled workers at the lab have agreed to organize. The lab employs about 8,200 people, 1,500 of whom live in San Joaquin County.

Workers fear the new management team will reduce staffing under a restructuring plan lab officials have created.

Lab officials say the plan is merely a contingency plan, since Congress has not yet approved a budget for the 2008 fiscal year.

It contains no specific reductions, Houghton said.

-----

Anonymous said...

Somebody suggested unionizing at LANL just prior to the contract change over. The collective "Baaaaaaaaaa" as the good sheeple of Los Alamos stampeded away from the suggestion of taking any action as *controversial* as joining a union could be heard as far south as Albuquerque.

Good luck, LLNL.

Anonymous said...

mikey also travels first class on his frequent trips to DC. everyone else gets to use the Improved Travel System.

Anonymous said...

more from the rumor dept: i heard today that the way they will do the RIFs in a way that protects them from wrongful termination litigation is by mkaing everyone reapply for their own jobs. anyone heard any news of this?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9/20/07 12:11 PM writes:

"The workers hope a union will shield them from staffing reductions."

WRONG! The union cannot shield them (us) from staffing reductions unless it negotiates about a 20 cut in wages to get the costs down to the level of the budget.

What a union can is insist on a seniority-based RIF. Now, the question is would that mean "last in, first out" which would result in all of those highly-compensated Bechtel people being RIFfed?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that hypothetically bargained for seniority system only apply to those union members?

Anonymous said...

That is the concept of a Union, 1:58. It's called collective bargaining.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9/20/07 1:58 PM said

"Wouldn't that hypothetically bargained for seniority system only apply to those union members?"

That is not clear. I believe that NM has this "FAIR SHARE" law that says that individuals who are not members of a union must pay union dues if their employment is covered by a union contract. Such individuals get full benefit of any and all provisions of the union contract.

So, for instance, if non-management TSMs were covered by a union contract, then all matters, such as seniority, would apply to all such TSMs regarless of whether or not they are formally members of the union. This is probably reasonable given that such individuals would be paying union dues under the fair share law.

Anonymous said...

2:26, as I recall, I thought that issue came up before at LANL some years ago. It was CA and not NM that has that law?

Anonymous said...

What the heck is a WFO?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

WFO = Work For Others. Any project funded by an agency other than the DOE.

--Gussie

Anonymous said...

To/MS: All Employees
From/MS: Jan A. Van Prooyen, A100
Phone/Fax: 7-5101/5-2679
Symbol: DIR-07-275
Date: September 20, 2007

Subject: Workforce Planning Update

Two weeks have passed since the all employee meeting regarding FY08 Budget uncertainties where the Director announced I would lead a team focused on planning efforts around potential workforce restructuring. As part of that planning process I have led a LANL
team in working with DOE/NNSA to meet the requirements of Section 3161 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993.

Section 3161 establishes the planning process for a possible workforce restructuring and requires the creation and submission of a workforce structuring plan. There are two types of plans required by Section 3161. Initially, a high level general plan, establishing the general framework within which any restructuring of the workforce at LANL would be implemented, is submitted to NNSA for their adoption. As has been discussed, this plan does not contain any specificity and is largely for the purpose of providing notice to employees and the community that a specific plan is being developed. Following the general plan, a specific plan is submitted that describes in detail how a workforce restructuring would actually be accomplished.

I submitted a proposed general workforce restructuring plan regarding LANS and its integrated subcontractors reporting to the Los Alamos Site Office and performing work at the Laboratory and our satellite locations (Nevada and Carlsbad) to NNSA yesterday.

The submitted plan is based on guidance our site, along with a number of other sites throughout the NNSA complex, have received. It will now be reviewed by NNSA and once approved posted on the NNSA website. It is my understanding that this posting will begin the official notice process. We will also post the approved plan on our website. Given the high level and general nature of this plan, I anticipate a relatively quick approval.

We will continue to keep you apprised of activities regarding our planning process. In that vein, I anticipate an information website being posted in the near future. Please remember however, that we are still in a planning phase, and you like us, have many questions that don’t yet have answers. Having said that, it is our intention to maintain open and effective communication with you and stakeholders of the Laboratory.

Anonymous said...

I love all the misconceptions about counseling. From my own experience, you only have to report mental health counseling on your 5 yr investigation Q paperwork IF you saw the provider within X years of your current investigation. I think the X is 5-7 years. IF you are on HRP, then yes, any kind of medications must be reported immediately to HSR-2 AND counseling reported on your yearly HRP paperwork. Counseling related to bereavement, marital (unless you are seeking counseling for abuse) or otherwise need not be reported but I know most people elect to notify DOE on their reinvestigation paperwork just to get it out in the open.

Anonymous said...

RIF planning has now "officially" begun.

Gussie, isn't it time to start a new lead post about the "official" planning activities given the number of comments here prior to Van Prooyen's memo?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

Perhaps, 8:19. We'll see. However, I suspect that the "official" planning activities will be, shall we say: negligible, until about November 19th. Be assured, though: if we detect any "official" planning activities you will hear about it on LTRS, pronto.

--Gussie

Anonymous said...

who is this "eric" and what is his agenda?

Pinky and The Brain said...

Eric is an occasional contributor to this blog. To find out more about him just click on his name at the top of one of his comments and you can read his profile.

Anonymous said...

It's a job 10:21 PM you effing moron! At least they converted me willingly AND I am a red badge so screw you!

Anonymous said...

The Final Score
Employees that Responded = 7,834
54% = TCP-1
46% = TCP-2
At least 46% of LLNL was awake

Home of the best and brightest

Anonymous said...

Re: 10:58 PM

The TCP-1 vs. TCP-2 decision is not one-size fits all. Don't declare victory before the race is even run. No one will really know what the very best decision was for their own circumstances for some time to come. Hopefully either way it is good enough and probably better than most folks will have.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many people think this RIF exercise will be a one-time thing vs an annual exercise over the next few years?

Anonymous said...

Guess what DOE official rubber-stamped the Lab's layoff (aka workforce restructuring initiative) in November 1995. Rich Marquez, that's who! Yep, he was the DOE Albuquerque office contracting official that signed off that fiasco. Now guess what DOE attorney led the charge defending that fiasco in court. Tyler Pchzybelech (whatever the spelling is), that's who. Don't believe it? Do a little homework and you'll see. Talk about rewarding those with no reservations about carrying out the dirty deeds that trash people's lives. Why not, they both got rewarded quite well for it in the end...didn't they? So spread those cheeks my dear colleagues, and get ready for another holiday season surprise. They'rrre Baaaack!

Anonymous said...

Eric the Great...pleeeze save us!

Anonymous said...

8:07am
it's a good question and hard to tell.
i for one can see where LANS could see favor by "over-doing" the initial RIF in an attempt to possibly not have to do it again for quite some time.
Also, keep in mind it will be easier to hire people back than to RIF them should the RIF go "too far", and any TCP1 rehires would come back as strictly TCP2 (no options this time). Another cruel way to reduce future cost to LANS.

Anonymous said...

New rumor is:

The plan will be approved Monday the 24th.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 10:24!
I say, the sooner the better - let's get on with this dog and pony show.
The sooner I know I am getting RIF'd the sooner I can get on with my life.

Anonymous said...

Amen to sooner rather than later.

But will there be an incentive for leaving voluntarily? Less messy that way. I want to get off this train and on with my life.

Anonymous said...

"Show me the money!"

Anonymous said...

The incentive will be "Leave now and we'll let you take your severance."

They'll follow that with a warning that severance is going to be pared way back, so those who take their chances with the RIF will see little of it if they happen to get laid off.

Granted, not much of a carrot, but the treasure chest is bare and LANS needs to have enough money on hand to pay for next year's executive bonuses and the management fee.

Anonymous said...

An incentive is hard to believe. It would take a meaningfull amount of money to get most people to leave. And, they would be mostly TSMs who do not have ties to the local community. So, my guess is that it would take a minimum of 6-months' salary to get people to leave and that would just make the RIF deeper.

And, do not expect any kind of VERIP as in 1993. The TCP-1 pension fund is underfunded and TCP-2, as a 401 plan, has no funding.

Anonymous said...

If the clock starts ticking on Sept 24th, then it looks like the 60 day time frame will be up right before Turkey day and the 120 days will be up around 3rd week in Jan. Correct?

Anonymous said...

That's my interpretation 1:23.

It's also been made very clear that any incentive tied to a DB retirement plan, LANS TCP1 and UCRP, is off the table.

Anonymous said...

The rumor that I heard today is that anyone who already retired from UC and is working via TCP-2 is not truly an employee with regard to the severance package. Years of service are only used for purposes of calculating vacation, TCP-2 401 matching,etc. but that the TCP-2 can readily be RIFd, similar to limited term, without any cost. Anyone else hear about this strategy?

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that affiliates are limited term employees and that limited term employees can be let go at any time, similar to contractors. But not all UC retirees are affiliates. Some are regular term employees.

I heard that the RIFs will be done on the basis of ORC scores, to ensure that it is performance based. That would be reassuring, except when will they announce this year's ORC scores? The date has been pushed back, which raises the specter of whether it is being adjusted for political reasons.

Anonymous said...

RIF = Reduced Intelligence Functionality

Why are the managers so highly paid, and why are there so many of them. In all seriousness, can someone answer this question with justification past corporate greed.

Anonymous said...

If there is a function you don't want performed then you put an idiot in charge of that function. It's a tactic that explains a lot. Take a look at each manager from this perspective and see how often this explanation fits.

Anonymous said...

5:43 PM

Unless the function was to put idiots in charge sop that the continual failure would reduce the amount of science performed, and LANL as an organization would go away.

Then, the intended goal will have been reached. The cumulation of success was awarding the contract to LANS and letting Mike and his merry mustketeers take the helm

Anonymous said...

4:32, I'd have to see if their Offer Letter looked any different than mine. I have yet to see any policy that separates these people from anyone else. I saw nothing in the RFP to that effect. I saw nothing in AM1400 to that effect. What about those in TCP2 who are not retired?

I'm not talking about Lab Associates, LT, students, contractors, etc.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the RIFs will be done on the basis of ORC scores, to ensure that it is performance based. That would be reassuring, except when will they announce this year's ORC scores? The date has been pushed back, which raises the specter of whether it is being adjusted for political reasons.

9/21/07 5:17 PM

Since when have the ORC scores let alone Performance appraisals been fair? The system is very arbitrary and the worst I have ever seen. Managers @ LANL do not know and are clueless regarding employees jobs and can't tell the difference between a good employee and a moron.

Anonymous said...

9:59 PM - it used to be called the "old boys club" but since June 2006 it has been renamed as the "friends & family plan". Just look in Terry's slice of the Lab where Marie, Sue and Alan rule...

Anonymous said...

"Why are the managers so highly paid, and why are there so many of them." - 9/21/07 5:39 PM

---

OK, 5:39 PM, I'll take a crack at answering this for you.

There is a school of management that says:

--------------------------------------------------
"More managers == More managing == Better management."
-------------------------------------------------

It's management by volume, rather than by quality, sort of an "all your can eat" buffet approach.

This is all wrong, of course. The more management layers, the less chance that any bad news will make it up the management chain to the top layers because:

(A) Nobody likes to report bad news to the boss, and

(B) The large number of management layers reduces the probability that managers along this chain will let the bad news flow upward.

Each management layer becomes a "gatekeeper" to the information.

With multiple layers of management, top managers never really know what's going on in their operations. They can look at the pretty little dials of executive "dashboard" software all day long, but they will never really understand the truth about the business operations in their midst. Because of this, they become blind-sided when things go awry.

A good example of the "More managers == Better management" fallacy was seen with former Director Brown. He had no idea of just how broken the property accounting system had become because the news never filter up along the vast management chain to his desk.


So how are the best management systems run? The best management systems:


*(1)* Strip down the management layers to the bone.

As mentioned before, bad news has more chance of traveling upward with fewer layers of management to stop it.


*(2)* Have managers that "walk the shop".

This is done to both find out what employees really do and also to put a human face on management and show they care about their employees. Even the top executives must find the time to "walk the shop". The talk with staff is frequently casual and non-business in nature, at least at the start of the conversations.


*(3)* Lead by example.

This is extremely important for good relations between workers and management. In this case, it would mean RIF'ing top managers along with the general staff, which frequently happens in the best run companies.


*(4)* Let lower level managers state their goals and then get out of their way.

Good management doesn't micro-manage those who work under them. They want to hear what their lower level managers think they can accomplish as goals and then let them go to it. At infrequent intervals, the upper management checks in with the lower level managers and see how they are doing towards achieving the goals.


Many of the items mentioned above can be seen in the great managers of our time like Warren Buffet and Jack Welch.

LANL management is very poor at the management game, which is sad because it doesn't have to be this way.

Life at LANL would be a lot more pleasant and bearable if we had good leaders.

Anonymous said...

Surely, it's not just "the manager's fault." Many of us/you have stayed for decades of nonsense programs and misleading press releases; all the while the lab fails at programs that were awarded without proper review. Now we see continuing "Performance Awards" given to programs that are in danger of losing their support. These circumstances were inevitable when we accepted "Domenici funding." If you don't like it speak up!

Retired

Anonymous said...

I believe 9/21 11:24 am did just that.

Anonymous said...

When Management "RIF'd" 10K at SRS, they first asked if everyone would be willing to take a pass on any pay raises. It would save everyones job. We bit.....and while we all joined to save our jobs...they were working on the "RIF" list silently. SRS laid off 10K+, and they used the "Force Ranking Scores". You all have been forced rank whether you know it or not....and as the next few years unfold and if RIF's continue, the top performers will eventially fall.

How come no one in management is offering up their bonuses to save jobs? How about it NNSA?! It seems glutteny to let so many suffer (families) at the hands of those who could make a difference!

Anonymous said...

1:27pm,

Ve Vere chust following orderz.

Anonymous said...

I agree 4:01.... and why doesn't LANS give up its management fee to save jobs and the New Mexico economy? OH WAIT... LANS has nothing to do with New Mexico.. They'll grab the profits while they fuck the workers since the management fee and profits have nothing to do the accountability or conscience. And the RIF has nothing to do with budgets... it was all planned the minute NNSA handed the contract to LANS.

Anonymous said...

4:17

You are 100% correct! I have worked on many of these DOE sites...and the story is the same....I told people this would happen (1) yr ago. It has nothing to do with Science or mission...it is "check the box" and pay attention to the bottom line. They hope all who have experience leave, a more junior person will cost less and in time they will come up to speed.

If you want to know how important one is at LANL...take a bucket of water...thrust your hand into it...and pull it out. That is the how much things will matter if anyone of us drags up.

Anonymous said...

DOE/NNSA made it very clear several years ago that they intended to reduce expenses associated with running the nuclear weapons labs. The easiest way to do this is to eliminate jobs. This is what they had planned out in the background when NNSA announced the "for-profit" LLC idea several years ago.

They now have things nicely set up so that they can pay their trained "attack dogs", LANS and LLNS, a small management fee and, in return, the LLCs will happily do the dirty work for them.

None of the LLC management will take a hit during this whole RIF process. Indeed, you'll see them richly rewarded by NNSA with large bonuses by next year! Life is good at the top.

Anonymous said...

4:01 and 4:17 PM - be sure to thank the management at the Fall Festival!

Anonymous said...

Do you all know how many DOE sites this "Management" runs? This does not include UC, they go in and render their partners useless.

These guys know how to do this....look around everyone is from another site and gun-ho. They have nothing to worry about they are part of the machine. How many BNI folks will be RIF'd?

Check out:
1.SRS
2.LLNL
3.Oak Ridge
4.Idaho Falls
5.Pantex
6.Hanford
7.Was NTS...the bunch that were there are here.

The Home Office is in Maryland....what do you think? Guess who is running the show. Not NNSA....guess again.

I know I have missed some....

Anonymous said...

4:42Pm

It was UC that decided to go the LLC route.

NNSA only required that any bidder for the LANL or LLNL contract be organized as a distinct, special-purpose legal entity dedicated exclusively to the performance of the contract.

UC could have met this requirement by setting up a solely UC owned company, similar to what Univ of Chicago has done for the new Argonne Lab contract.

There's a nice summary guide, put together by the UC General Counsel explaining to UC faculty the new contracts structure. It states....

"The LLC structure was chosen [by UC] as the form of legal entity for the two partnerships because it was deemed to offer the most flexibility in the organization and governance of the partnerships, and also because it proved to be particularly conducive to establishing a partnership between the University, as a public institution and an instrumentality of the state of California, and its three commercial partners. "

The guide is at

www.universityofcalifornia.edu/senate

Anonymous said...

4:42Pm

"It was UC that decided to go the LLC route."

Really? I think Nanos was sent in to see what would happen if the Lab was shut down....nothing happened........we lost all our WFO and the rest of the Lab floundered after a gut wrenching blow like that. Everyone was a bit uneasy, waiting for the next punch. NNSA awarded the contract to LANS because of promises made that we are just coming to grips with. They got the folks that know how to conduct a RIF and take no prisoners. BNI knows how to do this correctly, legally and swiftly.

Advise:
If you are not funded....drag up.

Anonymous said...

Boy, is it any wonder the Lab is in the mess it's in? I've never seen so much clueless drivel from so many that should know so much better. This layoff will be as senseless and mean spirited as the one in 1995...period. Logic has nothing to do with anything. That's the nature of the beast, and nothing will change that. And as suggested earlier, perhaps you ought to just grab your ankles, close your eyes and hold your breath for another holiday surprise. Resistance!...as the German SS would gleefully tell you... is futile!

Anonymous said...

6:20 PM is right on. The right people were brought in to orchestrate the next slaughter, and 6:36 PM sounds like one of those brought in. Sounds like Mr. Marquez in fact. Why am I not surprised to learn from an earlier post that Marquez had a hand in the layoff a few years back? And now he's the Ewok's right hand henchman? Watch out!

Anonymous said...

6:36pm,

If you think the previous comments were clueless drivel, consider this to put them into a bit more perspective: by comparison to the average LANL employee's level of understanding of his surroundings as recently as a year ago, our previous pair of drivelings are paragons of knowledge and wisdom.

Recall that as recently as just a few days before the contract was awarded to LANS, LLC last June, the average staff member was still saying, "I want UC to win the contract so that my benefits are preserved."

You have to admit that by comparison, today's drivelers are positively erudite.

This, naturally, leads one to conclude that a RIF at LANL will be well needed exercise in Darwin's principal.

Anonymous said...

7:21 pm:

You are absolutely correct. The clueless and factless are driven by rumors and purposely-planted fears. Very few employees will spend the time to get the facts straight. It is possible, with enough homework, research, and actually talking to your supervisors (imagine that!). All LANL managers have more information that that posessed by the level below them. If you have cultivated a good working relationship with your manager, and he/she values your contribution, you can fnd out a lot. If you haven't, and they don't, you are screwed, just as you would be at any other employer. Welcome to the real world.

Anonymous said...

funny how no one batted an eye over Nanos' $300M stand down fiasco over disks he knew weren't lost.

funny how no one bats an eye over bush's BILLIONS wasted monthly in Iraq and to crooked contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater.

but now thousands of employees will be displaced through no fault of their own because of .... what is it again?

Anonymous said...

NNSA is now in the perfect position they have sought for decades. The ORC/appraisal process of the last decade has laid a paper trail for everyone that can be used as lip-service for "due-process", but even due-process is unnecessary, since we are all now "at will." RIFs are now easy compared to 1995.

But not for all of us.

"Key personnel" (D, PAD, AD, minions) are all on contract, so they know their jobs are secure, guaranteed by their privileged terms that we cannot see, since it is business proprietary.

And all key personnel are now "motivated" by up to 20% bonuses for performance. A performance dictated by NNSA.

So we are now thoroughly screwed. NNSA has complete control to do as they please. Nothing is secure. If NNSA doesn't want WFO, even if it is funded, out it goes.

Anonymous said...

> but now thousands of employees will
> be displaced through no fault of
> their own because of .... what is
> it again?

Umm... Bush and Halliburton?

Anonymous said...

8:25 pm and 10:01 pm:

Oh yeah - blame Bush for what's going on at LANL - as if he even knows or cares. It's not like LANL is on the front burner of world affairs. Get over yourselves.

LANL is a backwater issue, only important to the NM delegation (when they can't avoid it) and some other congresspersons who will always hate LANL, no matter what. It is the latter that will do LANL in in the end. Currently, no one is countering that threat. Udall is clueless with his mantra that the Lab must do other work, when he knows perfectly well that the only work LANL can do is what Congress has funded. The others are damning with faint praise, at best. Time to boogie.

Mesa Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A lot of younger staff who had visions of making it for 25 or 30 years at LANL are going to be in for a rude shock. In the future, most staff at LANL are only going to be working here for around 5 or 10 years before either leaving for better jobs or getting hit with a layoff.

The old days of hiring on at LANL and making it through to the retirement years is almost over. It's the way that both LANS and NNSA will avoid being stuck with paying out large amounts for the new TCP1 pension.

Unfortunately, Tyler Przyblek forget to mention all this during his "feel good" benefits meetings with LANL staff before the hand off to the LLC. Must have slipped his mind, I guess.

These days Tyler has other things on his mind after being promoted by NNSA to a top position at the agency. I'm sure NNSA feels he did some excellent work leading the sheep here at LANL to slaughter.

Anonymous said...

For those who don't keep track of these things, today is an interesting anniversary. On Sept. 23, it's been 15 years since Divider. I'm not sure if this is an anniversary of celebration or mourning.

Anonymous said...

What is "Divider?"

Anonymous said...

I suppose Monday morning we'll be greeted by a homepage photospread of Happy LANL picnickers hobnobbing with managers and all without a care in the world. "But we're not even planning to plan for a RIF....."

Anonymous said...

That will be Monday a week from tomorrow, 9:36. The LANS PR event, er, Fall Festival is not until Saturday the 29th.

Anonymous said...

11:20, some of my coworkers predict LANL and LLNL will look more like other defense contractors over the next 5-10 years. They're talking benefits, turnover rates, etc.

According to LLNL the rest of the story, LLNL employees went 51% TCP1 and 49% TCP2, while LANL went 68% TCP1 and 32% TCP2. Don't know what to take away from that without going through the data.

Anonymous said...

My concern about the upcoming RIFs pertains to NNSA’s and LANs’ vision for the nuclear weapon complex. I am fearful that NNSA and LANs will use RIFs to achieve what they always wanted – a pit manufacturing lab, an engineering lab, and a physics/weapons lab. It does not take much thought to figure out which type of lab LANL will become. Moreover, gutting LANL would allow UC and NNSA to save LNLL by shifting the stockpile and other physics related work to Livermore. NNSA and UC over the past decade have gone to considerable lengths to shift work from LANL to LNLL. For example, the W80 was sent to LLNL, but they skewed up the LEP so it was recently cancelled. Next, NNSA and LANs overrode the RRW decision as a way to save LLNL, but that plan has failed too. My fear is the next plan is to RIF X, W, P, and T divisions. LNLL would receive the X, P, and T division work and Sandia would get the W division work. In other words, LANL is downsized while Sandia and LNLL are protected. If UC is given the option of RIFing B division people (LNLL) or X division, who do you think is getting the pink slips? Moreover, do you think that Bret Knap cares about W division? Indeed, “you are not paranoid if people are really out to get you.”

Dr. Strangelove said...


Divider
was the last US nuclear test made on September 23, 1992 at the Nevada Test Site.

9/22 5:59 - Point well made. Bechtel *is* sweeping the field.

Watch the list grow at:
Wikipedia:LANS


To the folks who ask what this has to do with Bush, go take a peek to see what kinds of connections there are between the Bechtel Family and Corporation, the Bush Family and Friends, the bin Ladens, and the Saudi royal family.

If you think Bechtel got this contract because they do such good work, take a look around in that regard as well. Their Iraq no-bid contract and the Boston Tunnel ("Big Dig") are a couple of sweet (counter) examples just to get you started.

So *why* does the American Public (or is it just the rich neocons?) want Bechtel to control virtually *all* nuclear weapons facilities?

Anonymous said...

I am curious to see if any BNI (Bechtel National Inc. the Government Division) get pink slips.....what is your guess? I bet it will only be "LANS" the LANL crew, that was here before the "LANS take over". We were led to the RIF slaughter by getting everyones mind on TCP1 & TCP2. No one was paying any attention to the invasion. Some are still pondering in the weeds when the forest is on fire. We have rendered ourselves helpless and at the mercy of our warlords. The time to rally together is gone....we will take our place in the line of 2500 and migrate out of town.

The best you can do to mitigate the coming axe, is to work harder...longer....be a team player...and give them no reason to RIF you. Make sure you are fully funded on a program or project and keep your head down and elbows up. So if the RIF is performance based, they will have had to have kept good records that you are a non-performer, and just not RIF you on political correctness.

If you have a buyer for your house on the hill and potential jobs lined up....use this time to secure a new job. This is being positive in the face of debilitating views of the future at LANL.

Maybe the 2500 RIF information is used to scare off as many as they can.

Anyone get a "Does not meet Requirements" on their IPO? I didn't think so.....make them squirm, then you have reprocussions if there is no record of poor performance.

Anonymous said...

and don't forget the Blackwater private army that bush/cheney utilize for their own private corporate means... Blackwater can do things the public army can't get away with, and Blackwater answers to no military court. Bush/cheney have their hands very deep into this money barrel of graft and corruption. And it's this colossal greed for money and power that has fueled their private agenda that has nothing to do with terrorism (largely invented by them), democracy (we have a fascist president), or the right-wing political base (they use "issues" to get votes and nothing more).

So yes I say our current condition in Los Alamos is largely bush-based.

Anonymous said...

Dr.S, thank you for verifying the obvious. No one seems to have paid attention to where BNI "is". They are virtually at every DOE site.

Hmmmm, right about them being so competent.....they lost NTS because they were not performing well. All those guys are now at LANL, running the show, and our lives.

Anonymous said...

9/22 11:20PM is certainly right. Younger staff won't spend their entire careers at LANL, they'll pack up after they learn how to make nuclear weapons and go somewhere else. If we're lucky, that place won't be North Korea and the displaced LANL staff won't show the North Koreans how to turn their firecrackers into multi-Megaton weapons.

If you want to know what the root problem is with security at LANL, look no further than NNSA. The recent changes NNSA made (hiring LANS for example) that encourage weapons knowledgeble personnel to leave after a few years on the job are going to lead to an uncontrollable security nightmare.

Congress needs to get the GAO looking at the security impacts of NNSA's recent policy changes and their own proposed budget cuts. Now, before it's too late.

Anonymous said...

11:37

I have wondered about this impact. You take W-Division and RIF a good portion of contractors and regular employees (including retirees with weapons history they have been a huge part of). They are dismissed as if they are yesterday's trash.

They have "Q's", SIGMA's and unparralled knowledge of our stockpile...and they are turned out to pasture.
Is anyone thinking straight???!!! And Nanos shut the Lab because of disk that were NOT missing? There will be no more secrets.....period. I am not saying that these people would not be patriots, because I believe they are.....but in the face of financial ruin, that is a very dangerous place to put these people. Why does the FBI look at finances when you are getting a "Q"????

We need to look at the big picture here and stop being wound around the axle.

Anonymous said...

I've just got to ask: why all the outrage now? Everything you needed to know about NNSA and Bechtel was in the public domain back in 2005. Where were you stupid motherfuckers two years ago when the bid was out? I'll tell you where you were. You were sitting in your offices saying, "I want UC to win the contract so that my benefits are preserved."

You are all paying for your blind, stupid obtuseness now. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

and yes it was a brilliant decision to take the nonprofit UC manager for $8M/year and turn the lab over to a FOR profit manager at ten times the fee.... then Congress quibbles over money for running the lab after increasing the operating costs many times over. Makes sense to me....

Meanwhile Bush spends a BILLION a month on his war

Anonymous said...

12:02

Working for Bechtel....don't be so quick to be so rude....

Anonymous said...

Ah, the enemy speaks.

Myself, I was working at LANL, fed up to my teeth with the direction the lab was headed, and, quite frankly, fed up with how most of my colleagues were quietly ignoring the reality of the situation and just letting it happen.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy turning LANL into a pit factory, 12:06.

Anonymous said...

I am not the enemy and in a much more vulnerable situation than you all. As noted.....I workED for Bechtel. I am a contractor now, as I wanted to stay here in NM and at the Lab. I have worked here before and do now....I am hanging on by a small thread, as I will share the fate of many, I am sure.

I saw this "head in the sand" approach and I tried so hard to warn folks. They thought years would pass before any action would take place....I warned them....but it fell on deaf ears. Now, we are in a hard place. Because BNI being on so many DOE sites...I knew they would win. It did not matter who they partnered with/ or how well they did on their interviews.

This "Pit Plant Vision" did not happen over night. This was in the works when Nanos shut this place down....that was drill. What programs were most important to the cost of running LANL. Our answer.....

I own a home and have kids in school. This is grueling for me, as well. I know how the machine works.....very well!

Anonymous said...

You're right 11:20PM. Tyler Przyblek is not as innocent as he may appear. He, along with his former boss, Rich Marquez, led the sheep to the slaughter. It’s clear now that turning LANL into Rocky Flats II was a done deal from the get go. Marquez and his former DOE colleagues, Przyblek being one of them, knew how to play this card game. And now they’re both happy-go-lucky double dippers now that they’re in solid with the military industrial complex, and all at our collective expense. UC retirement be damned! Years of service be damned! Work protections be damned! Marquez and Przyblek are now viewed as gods in the eyes of the military industrial complex. They managed to do what nobody thought was ever possible--drive a stake through the heart of what was once a great science institution and turn it into another military industrial plumb. And as for UC, its arrogance and worthless oversight turned us into complacent sheep over the years, fattened us up for the slaughter and then handed us over to the slaughter house masters without a second thought. Loyalty be damned! Fairness be damned! What a disgusting legacy!

Anonymous said...

Apologies, 12:25. And good luck in the coming months.

--12:12pm

Anonymous said...

12:03 - We only have a chance to make our voice heard once every couple of years or so, lets all make our voice heard the next time. It may not do any good, but at least we can sleep with ourselves.

Anonymous said...

"According to LLNL the rest of the story, LLNL employees went 51% TCP1 and 49% TCP2, while LANL went 68% TCP1 and 32% TCP2. Don't know what to take away from that without going through the data."

My view is this reflects are couple of things: 1) people will not stay long, since they can get another job without moving in the Bay Area. TCP2 makes sense for those, and 2) going inactive preserves getting back into UCRP at another campus, of which there are several. Rolling into TCP1 precludes that.

Anonymous said...

On the average, you get out of life what you put into it. Most LANL staff were too obtuse, or too ignorant, or too arrogant, lazy, or cowardly to face up to what was happening to LANL, starting with Nanos. Heavy on the 'cowardly' during the Nanos reign.

As a result, Bechtel, protected by their tame LLC will now turn the place into a pit factory, eliminating over half of the staff along the way.

Sure looks like a live demonstration of Darwin in action to me.

Anonymous said...

So which one of you is going to have the nerve to say something to Mike & Co. (if they even show) at the company picnic next weekend? Lots of anonymous talk here and yet nobody ever asks Mike tough questions at All Hands meetings. Nobody said WTF to to him when he made the announcement! People are going to go, eat some weanies and suck up. Nobody is going to question LANS ...

Anonymous said...

1:29,

Answer -- no one. LANL has proven that most of the staff who work there are total cowards, yourself included, I suspect.

And before you ask: no, I don't work there any more. Nanos was all it took for me to get the hell out.

Anonymous said...

1:42 PM - yes I work here for another couple of months and then I am off to do a post doc at a university where I can get some work done.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a larger percentage of the workforce at LLNL recognized what too few LANL workers did. TCP2 preserves UC retirement and allows double dipping, as well as conversion of accumulated sick leave to UC service credit, as long as the employee is of the right age and years of UC service, and prepared to take UC retirement within 120 days. A pretty sweet deal for those who qualify. I don't know if the LLNL employee demographics support this scenario, but I'll bet they do.

Anonymous said...

no top managers will have the nerve to show up for the FALL FUCK.... oh I mean FIESTA

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9/23/07 11:27 AM writes:

"Make sure you are fully funded on a program or project...."

That is not so easy. In a group that is more or less homogeneous, the GL can assign the funded work to the favorites leaving the disgruntled and complainers unfunded and thus on the RIF list.

I wonder if an employee would prevail in a lawsuit against the GL in such a matter?

Anonymous said...

LANL is, first and foremost, a nuclear weapons design lab. Those who protest about the need for scientific diversity at LANL and our high labor rates, whether they be staff members or members of Congress, are badly mistaken. Nuclear weapons have served up good jobs in this community for over 60 years, and they will continue to support the surrounding community well into the future.

Congress balks about spending for nuclear weapons all the time. This year is nothing new. In the end, Congress will realize what is at stake and belly up to the bar with extra funding and lots of it. We'll call Congress' bluff and in the end we'll get our new CMR building, RRW funding, and much, much more. And, yes, we'll even get a new plutonium pit facility and it will be for good for both LANL and the surrounding communities.

Today we have a workforce of about 12,000. By the end of the next decade it will be closer to 20,000. The good times on the Hill are just getting started. Buy a big house on the Hill. Spend money at our local restaurants. Have faith in the direction of the lab. Above all, don't give in to the gloom and doom crowd. They were wrong in the past, and they will continue to be wrong in the future.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the lawsuit. What part of "at will" don't you understand?

Anonymous said...

Litigation is going to be the next largest business endeavor in the area.

I suspect that we won't be seeing the same scenario as a result of any RIF that occurs where the lab gets called on the carpet for how they conduct a RIF and end up paying a settlement.

The 1995 RIF taught UC, DOE & NNSA how not to conduct the exercise and now they've set up the organizational arrangement with 'at will' terms & conditions for reducing the workforce for whatever reason.

And those who opine that we let it play out without pushing back are essentially correct. After years of thinking we were working toward common goals with a fairly open door policy to facilitate communication between management and the work force, our lives changed dramatically when the military model of chain of command and taking orders was introduced in the form of Nanos.

Anonymous said...

The question of being funded on a project or a program is perfect to open dialogue you need to have. Closing your eyes will not make it go way. Call a meeting with your GL and ask point blank...."Am I funded for FY08"? Tough question...but you will know. Then if they say you are not....find out why and what was the GL's plan for you in FY08. Maybe it is hard to step up to the senior management, but you need to know the answer from your GL. Then you can get on with the rest of your life.
LANS (B) knows how to RIF....trust me....this is not their first rodeo.

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:04

I am a Program Manage at LANS. The GLs have little to do with who I will fund. The GLs do try hard to play the boss role, but guess what...LANS has handed the reigns over to the PM side of the house. Even the DLs try to be important...so cute. I set the skills required to meet the goals to pay off the MASTER’s fee (PBIs) and ask the GLs for specific individuals to work these activities. When GLs push some sorry, lazy bastards, I simply decline to fund the group at all. Yeah it is a game of chicken, but I win because I can wait longer....hahahahaha

Wanna to be funded? Make friends with the PMs at the lab! Sorry to say but the day of the line managers having any power is over. They are not even that technically astute. I must say it is the great TSMs and Technicians (young and old) that I rely on for creative input and planning.

I genuinely would like to RIF the majority of the G&A funded overhead lame duck managers at the lab. They drive the burden rates through the roof. They will eat their own just like any card-carrying self-righteous, insatiably gluttonous, lobotomized zombie.

Of course we PMs can be kinda brutal and indifferent as well if you fail to serve our upward needs.

Best advise is to just up and leave....NOW!!!

Of course us PMs can be kinda brutal and indifferent as well, if you fail to serve our upward needs.

Best advise is to just up and leave....NOW!!!

Anonymous said...

7:15 PM - ahhh yes, Bill Priedorsky finally has some power back. Line managers have no power? No so, if you are blonde and have boobs and are a line manager, Bill will give your organization money, lots of money ...

Anonymous said...

I was on Divider. J-8 Wow.. long time ago. The Lab was fun to work at then. The work was fun. The people were fun. We had a mission.

Anonymous said...

7:31 pm to 7:15 pm:

It's not Bill; Bill knows how to spell. It's just some lame TSM with no talent or experience who wnats to keep his managers angry, and is too drunk to check his spelling or grammar. This is typical of LANL in extemis. Of course program managers need line managers. Otherwise, their "hired" TSMs all disappear to programs that apply more direct pressure to the line manager.

It would be very satisfying if LANL employees showed any sign of mutually supportive, concerted action to save their careers and their Laboratory. As a recent retiree, I am very disappointed in the lack of cohesiveness. Where is the centralized LANL employee voice to fight the coming catastrophe?

Anonymous said...

I agree with 5:08 PM, start talking with your GL now and ask what funding you can expect to see for FY08. This next year is going to be brutal. The RIF may involve ORC scores, but it will also revolve around whether anyone is willing to pay for your time or not. If not, then you may be in big trouble.

For FY08, we'll be looking at stiuation where:

No funding == No job.

Of course, by definition, all overhead and management positions will be funded. No worries there. And any shortfalls will be made up for by simply raising the overhead rates a little higher, as always.

Anonymous said...

well, the problem with this is that 90% of the deadwood is on overhead as management or on the "support" side of the house. the people who bring the money in are getting funds taken away because of how much it costs to do business here. thanks, Mike!

Anonymous said...

"11:27 am,... We were led to the RIF slaughter by getting everyones mind on TCP1 & TCP2. No one was paying any attention to the invasion..."

Some did.

Anonymous said...

Well, 7:50am, I hope you both take pleasure in that knowledge.

Anonymous said...

9/23/07 9:47 PM, some truth to what you say. I've seen PM's apply favortism to groups that utterly lack the skills they need to get the job done. They had one year of success on project X with group A, so they send project Y to group A because it sounds like it might need similar skills and group A says they can do it.

Unfortunatlely, the whole institution loses when this game gets played, because the sponsor gets pissed off when group A doesn't deliver. But the PM gets to set their own "overhead" rate (we don't call it that, because the PM's skim dollars off the top) until eventually all that's left of the program is a $450K Program Manager TSM fee and maybe an SSM2 to run the P3 schedule for his bathroom breaks.

Anonymous said...

PMs are not saints. I have seen a lot more cronyism, nepotism, and factorism on the part of PMs than by line managers.

Anonymous said...

Are people actually going to the fall fiesta? Really?

Sounds like Stockholm sindrome

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

It's spelled "Syndrome", actually, but point taken, 8:48.

--Gus

Anonymous said...

8:48, there will be attendees, no doubt. Only a few will be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, however. The rest will be mid-level manager sycophants, or mid-level manager sycophant wannabes.

I suspect there will be very few self-respecting (are there any left?) LANL staff attending.

Note:
syc·o·phant
/ˈsɪkəfənt, -ˌfænt, ˈsaɪkə-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sik-uh-fuhnt, -fant, sahy-kuh-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite.
[Origin: 1530–40; < L sȳcophanta < Gk sȳkophántés informer, equiv. to sŷko(n) fig + phan- (s. of phaínein to show) + -tés agentive suffix]

Anonymous said...

Speaking of PM and the comments made by 7:15 PM. Someone should look at another one of Nano's great legacy projects led by PM Division. That would be the RIEP project or as I called it at the time the RAPE project! What a fiasco. It drove the price of a single POB outlet up to 20K or more in some cases. The project was turned over to a bunch of people that didn't know a computer port from their hind end. Every time I brought up the cost I was politely told to be quiet. It was a major reason why I gave up and left the Lab after 29 years. The GAO should look at this project and the waste that it created. Of course it is over now and PM Division wasted no time in slaping themselves and KSL on the back for doing such a wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

RIEP?
POB?

WTF?

Anonymous said...

From my experience, PM division is the worst of any in the Lab. And, that would include HR, FM, etc.

Anonymous said...

Picketing the fall fiesta seems like a better idea than going.

Anonymous said...

The fall fiesta is costing $300K. How about we cancel it and save a few people from having to get RIFed?

Anonymous said...

Any way to verify that $300k figure? $30/person X 10,000? Those are expensive hot dogs and burgers.

Anonymous said...

No, no no no no, 5:10. As Nanos would have said, "You just don't get it, do you?'

What we *need* to do is to hold two Fall Fiestas. That way, instead of having just 30/45'ths of an FTE less funding, we would have 60/45'ths less.

Get it? Money is no object (unless it's being spent on staff salaries, that is).

Anonymous said...

9/24/07 5:10 PM, are you shitting me? Oh. My. God. This had better be coming out of the LANS fee.

Anonymous said...

The next wave of the shitstorm is on its way. This message went out to HX and DE Divisions this afternoon:

All,

A MESSAGE FROM ROLLIN WHITMAN:

Please be advised that there will be electronic e-mail coming from
the LANL Director's office regarding more restructuring
information. We are anticipating this information to come
soon. Please check your e-mail for the updated information.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool."

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy."

I think that one or both of these should be the Feynman quote(s) on the United Way Fall Fiesta T-shirt. I'd buy one then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9/24/07 5:18 PM said

"Any way to verify that $300k figure? $30/person X 10,000? Those are expensive hot dogs and burgers."

WRONG! Actuall, the food and drink cost about $5 per employee. The remainder of the $30 is overhead.

Anonymous said...

Noticed that Mike's car wasn't parked at LANL today (Monday). Guess that means he's still out in Washington DC talking with the folks out at DOE HQ about the upcoming layoffs. Can't wait to see what the official LANL RIF web site will have to say about all this activity. I'm hoping it gives some idea of how the layoffs will be implemented and who might be affected.

Anonymous said...

Wow! The LANS 'Love Fest' cost a whopping $300,00? A sane person would have negotiated a deal to get it catered for around $30,000 to $50,000 tops! For $300,000 I would expect to see some good caviar and Kobe beef steaks! Oh, and lots of good wine and single malt scotch.

I wonder what lucky company got the contract to cater this expensive affair? Aramark? KSL? Betty Bechtel's Catering?

Anonymous said...

Does ANYONE have more information regarding the post by 5:45 PM? Come on, people! Please share.

Anonymous said...

who in hell do they think is going to this disaster? on a Saturday yet? bet they'll have a RIF roaring time

Anonymous said...

There's an interesting new website up and running.

https://int.lanl.gov/projects/workforceplan/

Dr. Strangelove said...

It would be very satisfying if LANL employees showed any sign of mutually supportive, concerted action to save their careers and their Laboratory. As a recent retiree, I am very disappointed in the lack of cohesiveness. Where is the centralized LANL employee voice to fight the coming catastrophe?

9/23/07 9:47 PM


Yes. How DO we find something worthy to rally around? How do we start that process? This series of LANL-THE-*-STORY blogs helped to provide a semi-public semi-anonymous forum for announcements, venting, and sometimes discussion. But how do we start a truly *coherent* dialogue among ourselves?

We have allowed ourselves to be divided and conquered.

I wish that I could answer these questions better myself, it is necessary but not sufficient to ask them.

- Doc

darko said...

Fall Fiesta? So why don't WE hold a party at the same time, nearby? It could be a pot-luck.

Sadly I don't even know when/where this goofy gig they are planning actually is! Sounds like this Saturday maybe? Where? I guess I can check the internal LANL page.

Imagine a hundred or a thousand folks showing up for a no-host party nearby. Or better yet, showing up *at* the official Fall Fiesta without having registered... maybe wearing some kind of solidarity indicator.

I'm not suggesting a protest or any kind of confrontation, just an indicator of how many folks are *not* impressed with the way things are being handled or this boondoggle.

Maybe something as simple as a petition signing staged there... or a "collection" where people are invited to drop off a can of "corn" or some other properly symbolic "donation" to U-Way?

Maybe some of Eduardo de Los Alamos' "Organic Plutonium" (aka relabled canned peas).

Or maybe $.02 in a glass jar? A few jars...

Just a few thoughts.

- Darko

Eric said...

First we each must trust one person other than ourselves.

Many at the lab have learned to trust no one.

This makes cohesive behavior difficult.

It is necessary but most LANL staff will not do it.

LANS probably knows this.

Just a thought.

To begin cohesive behavior, at least two people who read this blog have to talk to each other in person. Then they have to recruit others. Anonymity won't work.

Just another thought.

Anonymous said...

Eric is right for a change - we trust no one. It is clear that management is out for number one and does not give a shit about anyone. What bothers me the most is how our own "home grown" managers up high (Terry, Scott, Mary, Sue, Alan) are so hell bent on f-ng us over with no remorse as long as they get the bigger bonus and more support for their own research programs.

Anonymous said...

One flaw of having left the lab is not being able to see web pages on the intranet. What does that new page contain? Anything interesting?

Anonymous said...

Darko said ..."I'm not suggesting a protest or any kind of confrontation ..."

Why not?

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